I stumbled into the avocado latte frenzy on Sunday evening, and my night was derailed. Post after post deemed the drink the most hipster thing to ever come out of a third-wave coffee shop. Twitter was quick to take things a step further: “Literally someone call NATO," tweeted one person who was clearly having none of the avocado latte trend. "I just drank a latte out of an avocado and it changed my DNA I'm Caucasian now,” joked another. The truth blended with fake news, and only a few things were clear about what really happened inside a scooped avocado this weekend: A cafe in Australia posted a video of a barista making some perfectly respectable latte art over a pulled shot of espresso, and their vessel of choice was an avocado. The cafe did not start selling an avocado latte; the barista didn’t think it would be a good way to practice latte art or make an attempt to repurpose food waste. They simply did a thing, and social media took it from there.
“It’s literally coffee in a piece of rubbish,” said Jaydin Nathan, a barista at the birthplace of the avocado latte, Truman Cafe in Melbourne. Confirming that the latte was a joke didn’t put the story to bed. The internet quickly divided into those who couldn’t wait to get in line for the Next Big Thing in viral food, and those who were ready to quit—after a quick Tweet to document their fury, of course.
People don’t appear to care that the avocado latte isn’t a real thing that's for sale. When a food trend surfaces, it only seems to matter what side you’re on, and that you’re part of the conversation at all. If you haven’t already heard of and decided whether or not you’re on board with the mermaid Frapp served in a unicorn Cronut with galaxy frosting, you essentially cease to exist. Even though the avocado latte genuinely doesn’t appear on a menu yet—though I’m sure as I say this, “avolatte” is likely being scribbled onto chalkboards around the world for six bucks a pop—it’s mind-boggling that so many people feel compelled to assert just how for or against the trend they are.
Just as soon as it appeared and was judged, the avocado latte will probably vanish. In fact, if you’re very quiet, you can hear the soft, desperate typing of hashtags for the next big food trend right this second.