You may have noticed all of the bright multicoloured lattes popping up on coffee shop menus lately and even on the shelves of some supermarkets. These drinks are eye-catching, fun and definitely photogenic enough for Instagram, but what benefits do they have for you? And are they a healthier alternative to a regular caffe latte? We break down what ingredients give them their colour and what benefits they can offer you.
Sometimes also called golden milk or simply a turmeric latte, this latte gets its bright yellow colour from turmeric, a spice commonly used in curries. Turmeric is well-known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties due to curcumin, the active compound found in turmeric. Turmeric has a bitter taste so golden lattes often have other ingredients added too, such as cinnamon and ginger, to mask the flavour. At some places you might even find black pepper in your golden latte – this is added not for its taste but because black pepper can help your body absorb curcumin more efficiently.
Yes, you can even find blue-coloured “smurf” lattes on some menus! These are made from spirulina, a blue-green algae regarded as a superfood for its high nutrient density. Just a few grams of spirulina powder contains a significant amount of B-vitamins, calcium, iron, antioxidants, and all of the essential amino acids. It does have a slight seaweed taste, but a dding a bit of honey can help mask it.
The red coloured latte is probably the least exotic to us South Africans. We’ve been drinking red rooibos lattes and cappuccinos for ages and now the rest of the world is catching on: rooibos tea, as well as red lattes, are now super popular in the US, UK and elsewhere. Rooibos is naturally caffeine-free and boats a long list of health benefits, including improving blood pressure, cholesterol and digestion.
Green coloured lattes are made with Matcha green tea powder. Matcha powder has soared in popularity in recent years and you can find it in numerous other food and drink products. Matcha tea is very high in antioxidants, which means it can help prevent cancer, and it has also been shown to boost metabolism. But note that Matcha is also relatively high in caffeine, so rather go for another colour is you’re looking for a decaf latte.
At DayToDay we are always interested in learning about new superfoods, but sometimes it’s hard to know which foods and drinks actually deserve this title or if they are just a fad. The benefits of the ingredients in these superfood lattes means this trend might be here to stay. If you’re looking for a coffee alternative give them a try, these multi-coloured drinks will kick start your day in a different way to your regular caffe latte.