Sorry coffee addicts, but these aren’t the lattes you’re used to. These lattes are weird and wonderful because they’re made of everything but coffee.
Tea Based Lattes (♥)
Tea lattes are a natural progression in an over-caffeinated world. Some tea lattes are made from black tea or whole tea powders such as matcha (green tea powder) and these still contain caffeine, but most tea lattes will still be lower in caffeine than coffee, and those made from herbal teas would likely be caffeine free.
1. London Fog Latte – Rabbit Hole Tea Bar
The Rabbit Hole deserves their number one spot on this list simply for the sheer amount of tea lattes they have on the menu. Their menu describes the London Fog Latte as ‘Earl grey with sweet, soothing vanilla.’ The flavour in actuality is very subtle, and not very sweet, but it is still a very pleasant drink. Coffee drinkers may not appreciate the mild flavour of this latte, but tea drinkers would appreciate the subtlety. If you love Earl Grey tea, definitely give this one a go.
2. Hojicha Latte – Double Cross Espresso
This one is for those with a taste for Asian cuisine. This latte is unlike anything else, and is reminiscent of Genmaicha tea, though Hojicha is different again from Genmaicha (Green tea with roasted rice). Similarly, both Hojicha and Genmaicha are often made from Bancha tea leaves (a type of green tea which is roasted). The roasted nature of Hojicha tea gives this latte its bold flavour. After my first sip, my first thought was ‘grassy’ in the way that green tea often has a grassy quality. As I continued to drink, the roasted flavour came through. For those of you who aren’t usually adventurous with your drinks, I wouldn’t recommend this one unless you’re a fan of green tea (including the regular kind, or the fancier kinds like Genmaicha or Sencha) already. Though, if you are adventurous and are tired of matcha lattes – the Hojicha latte would be a great next step in your phase of Asian drink exploration.
This latte is also served at Glider KS cafe in Chippendale!
Vegetable-based lattes (?!)
This trend has emerged from Asia – where these kinds of crazy lattes have become a staple offering in many cafes, and in Sydney, we’re lucky enough to have some Asian owned cafes which have started offering them! Vegetable lattes might sound crazy, but they’re actually sweet and delicious. If you’re tired of tea and coffee, why not give powdered vegetable lattes a shot?
3. Taro Latte- TNS Coffee Project
The Taro Latte at this small Central Park Mall cafe is so dreamy. It’s bright purple, and it sometimes comes with a latte-art heart to give you that extra lovely feeling that you want from a hot drink. If you are unfamiliar with what Taro is, it is a type of white or purple yam, very popular in Asia, but also available in Australia! In its pure baked vegetable form, it is super sweet, and the powder-based form it takes on to blend into a latte works amazingly well. The flavour mixes well with milk (and sugar somewhere in the mix) to create a wonderfully creamy and nutty drink. You wouldn’t want to drink one of these every day, but for those times when you need a pick-me-up or a fun substitute for a hot chocolate or chai latte, it’s the perfect option.
Other signature drink options from the same cafe: chai, green tea latte, plus all the other basics.
The Taro latte is offered in lots of cafes now, but The Local Mbassy in Ultimo also does a really great one.
4. Sweet Potato Latte – Caffe Tiamo, CBD
The Sweet Potato Latte is a signature drink offered at this quirky cafe near World Square, right in the heart of the city. When the latte first arrived, I thought – ‘It’s purple, they’ve given me a taro latte by mistake!’ but after seeing the poster featuring the sweet potato latte inside the cafe, I realised that it was supposed to be purple. And then, as soon as I took a sip, I was certain that it was the right latte. The first sip tasted just like an extra sweet baked sweet potato. I was actually amazed at how much the latte tasted like a real sweet potato. The only question: whether or not you would like to drink liquified sweet potato? At first, I was amused, but when I really considered how much I was enjoying the drink, the answer was not much. There was nothing wrong with it, it is a sweet and tasty drink (sweet potatoes are delicious!) but it all comes down to how much you enjoy that taste. If you’re a sweet potato fanatic, I would absolutely go and order this drink, but if not – steer clear and try the nutty Taro latte instead.
Though, I must say that the sweet potato latte certainly lives up to its name!
Other signature drink options from the same cafe: green tea latte, taro latte, chai, soy black sesame, soy chestnut latte, cookies n cream, hot chocolate, mint chocolate, blue lagoon. They also do coffee, if you’re into that kind of thing.
And that’s the first edition of weird and wonderful lattes in Sydney!
But that’s not all the weird lattes Sydney has to offer, and I’ve got a fair few more to talk about, which will be covered in part 2 (coming soon).
Thanks for reading!