Healthy drinks seem to have transcended the seasons and are now available year-around. Healthy hot drinks, as an alternative to your daily coffee (or two), however, are a relatively new food trend.
And, in New York, it’s always important to stay ahead of the culinary trend curve.
Matcha lattes, golden (turmeric) lattes, beetroot lattes and unicorn lattes. These colorful, instantly instagrammable drinks are suddenly everywhere, but do they actually carry any real health benefits?
A natural anti-inflammatory, turmeric has long been popular in juices, tonics and teas, and turmeric with milk is a fairly common drink in India. The recent rise in the popularity of golden lattes — where pressed turmeric juice is combined with dairy or nut milks – can be attributed to a number of things: from Goop writing about it, to a reinvigorated interest in health and fitness, to, naturally, its photogenic quality.
Many cafes note that they have had golden lattes on the menu for some time, but that the recent rise in the drink’s popularity comes from our obsession with food photography. As more people are being exposed to colorful lattes, more and more customers become curious about seeking out the drink and trying it themselves.*
A unicorn latte — made with spirulina (blue-green algae) and maca root — comes in a not immediately appetizing shade of blue, yet photographs well. It resembles a magic potion, and, if you believe the Brooklyn juicers and coffee shops serving it, it will give you a restorative boost of natural energy without the caffeine.
The trend for curative lattes, perhaps, began with the more traditional matcha, which packs both the caffeine and the antioxidant benefits of green tea. Matcha lattes are now almost ubiquitous, yet their health benefits really depend on the amount of sugar and the grade of matcha powder being used.
Where to Find Them
Golden latte: Cafe Integral, The Butchers Daughter, Bluestone Lane locations
Unicorn latte: The End Brooklyn
Beetroot latte: Bluestone Lane locations
Matcha latte: almost everywhere, but also at City of Saints Roasters, The Elk NYC, Maman, Cha Cha Matcha, MatchaBar.
*I tried it and although I like using turmeric for a cold or a sore throat, I was not impressed.