Over the past few years, you’ve probably noticed a steady increase in the amount of bright, colorful cafe drinks you see on the street and all over your Instagram, and it’s not just matcha green that’s taking over. With its bright green hue, matcha splashed on the cafe scene a few years ago around 2015 and is now a staple for many cafes. Lucky us, because matcha has paved the way for many more of those colorful “superfood” lattes you see popping up all over the place. Thankfully, they’re all incredibly easy to prepare and store since they come in powder form.
If you’re looking to dip your toes in the new colored latte trend, but don’t know where to start, we’ve got your back. Here’s a quick rundown of their properties:
- Turmeric has quickly picked up speed as being a “natural” medicine, with curcumin being the main active ingredient. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that also kicks inflammation’s butt, and may even slow down brain disease. You need both black pepper and a little fat to fully absorb the benefits of turmeric so it lends itself perfectly to a cafe beverage, particularly one made with heavy cream or coconut milk. Note: curcumin only makes up about 3% of turmeric so don’t count on your turmeric latte as being your only answer to fighting inflammation! We like Blume’s Turmeric Blend for its addition of warming spices cinnamon and ginger, alongside that important black pepper.
- Mood enhancing rose alone actually doesn’t lend much color in your latte, which is why it’s usually mixed with hibiscus petals for an extra pinky punch. Rosewater is typically used to give a sweet, floral taste. The scent of rose is a mood enhancer, which is why the oil is said to treat depression, anxiety, and stress. Rosewater contains the Vitamins A, C, E, and B and has been used to treat upset stomachs. Hibiscus is super high in Vitamin C, and can even help lower your blood pressure! Check out Fresh Origins Rose Crystals – since they’re made with only rose petals and sugar, they dissolve readily in drinks and can be used as a rose syrup, or sprinkled as a topping for a sweet, rosy treat. We like to freeze for extra crunch and use ‘em as sprinkles!
- Powerhouse beetroot is rich in antioxidants (hence the bright magenta color), potassium, folate, and manganese, beets are incredibly nutritious. Studies also suggest that they can support brain health, fight inflammation, and improve digestive health, so drink up! We love Somage’s Hue line for having multiple beetroot options: they have a standard Spiced Beet Latte Powder as well as a decadent Red Velvet Latte Powder, which has the addition of cacao and dark chocolate nibs for a chocolatey treat.
- In addition to smelling absolutely fantastic, calming lavender has been traditionally used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness, but some studies suggest it can even help with digestive issues like nausea, vomiting, and gas. But please make sure your lavender oil is culinary grade before you go dumping lavender into everything you eat and drink – the essential oil is toxic when ingested! Or consider using lavender bitters or lavender syrup instead – we’re fans of Seasoned Brooklyn’s CBD Lavender Bitters for additional calming benefits.
- Butterfly pea alone doesn’t have much flavor, so the “butterfly pea tea” you find is usually mixed with lemongrass for a fresher flavor. On its own, it has a soft, lightly floral, vegetative flavor (if you’ve ever tried eating flowers, you know what we’re talkin’ about). The flower is loaded with antioxidants which are great for fighting free radicals and its high content of anthocyanin and is said to enhance memory and brain function. Probably the coolest thing about butterfly pea though is that it’s a pH indicator! This means that it changes color depending on the pH of whatever you’ve mixed it into. We recommend serving butterfly pea with a lemon wedge on the side for customers to add so they can watch the brilliant blue beverage turn deep purple before their eyes. Our favorite, Simara’s Butterfly Pea blend, has a touch of ginger to brighten butterfly pea’s naturally floral flavor and coconut sugar to lend a mild sweetness.
- The most mainstream of our list, matcha has a special place in our hearts. It’s LOADED with antioxidants (catechins, for you science nerds) and though it still has a fair amount of caffeine, it doesn’t give you the jitters like coffee does when you drink it too fast (no shame, we’ve all been there). Man Eating Tiger’s Ceremonial Matcha has been our new go-to for its bright, citrusy finish and vivid emerald green when mixed with water.
If you’re wondering why should you get these colorful lattes for your cafe, consider this: superfood trends always come and go, but since these latte mixes usually come in powder form, their shelf life is almost infinite. They’re great attention grabbers for potential customers, because who isn’t excited by a little variety in their standard latte habit? Throw in the fact that many of these are created with superfoods, these trends can be highly profitable. With some of these drinks costing anywhere between $.51 to $.72 per serving, these drinks quickly pay for themselves with resale values of up to 300-600%.
These drinks are also ridiculously easy to make. Similar to how matcha drinks are created, whisk the powder mix with a bit of hot water, then add your choice of steamed or cold milk. With the exception of turmeric, these drinks usually play well with non-dairy milks because they have lighter flavor profiles than espresso, which is usually rounded out with the thick mouthfeel and naturally occurring sugars of regular whole milk. We’ve seen a few shops mess around by adding these blends to espresso and tea too, rather than a standalone latte. So go wild, and send us pics of your creations–we want to see them!
Looking to offer beautiful wellness lattes like these in your coffee shop? Sign up for CUPS and we’ll help you from sourcing to serving.
Get tips, tricks, and the latest CUPS news delivered fresh to your inbox. (If only you could get your coffee delivered, too.)