Starting today, August 28, Londoners will be able to taste Starbucks' newest drink: a turmeric latte. Even if you've never heard of a turmeric latte before, chances are good you've seen a photo of it on Instagram. Versions of the bright yellow drink—which is sometimes called "golden milk" because of its distinctive color—have become increasingly trendy over the last few years, popping up at third wave coffee shops and health food cafes across the world, often as a caffeine-free alternative to espresso.
This is part of the reason the new turmeric latte at Starbucks is kind of surprising. Turmeric lattes are generally caffeine-free, made by heating up milk with turmeric and other spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. But the Starbucks turmeric latte has caffeine in it. According to a press release from Starbucks in the UK, the Starbucks turmeric latte is "made by steaming milk with aromatic turmeric powder and spices and poured over espresso." Customers can also choose to swap in dairy-free milk, like Starbucks' almond or coconut milk, both of which "complement the warm flavors of turmeric," notes the press release. Unclear how the coffee tastes with turmeric, however.
But even with the added caffeine, drinkers of this new turmeric latte should be able to reap the health benefits of this root vegetable. The ingredient has been used in traditional Indian medicine for centuries, after all, and it's only been relatively recently that folks in the Western food world have picked up on the health benefits of turmeric, which are purported to include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
So as with all good food trends with ancient roots, it really was only a matter of time before turmeric became available at Starbucks, too—at least at 200 stores in the greater London area. There's no word on whether this turmeric latte will be coming to the United States, but at least we can all take comfort in knowing that there's no beef jerky in this newest Starbucks drink.