Pity the golden latte.
Its rise to stardom was meteoric. The accolades began with market research firms citing turmeric – the spice responsible for the drink’s warm glow – as the potential breakout spice of 2016. Yes, it’s been around for millennia, but suddenly it was the latest hit. Already that January, Google searches related to turmeric rocketed up by 56 percent in two months. By May of that year, The Guardian noted the “cult following” and crowned golden latte as the year’s “it” drink.
But then came the backlash. Natives of India became angered that the drink was tethered to haldi doodh, a traditional turmeric milk, or pitched as something entirely new, with no cultural context. And some people seethed as the golden latte was lauded as a miracle remedy.
But seven years after the golden latte heyday, it’s possible to strip away the attachments and enjoy it as a coffeehouse menu option. And at Coffee Bank in Carmel, the golden latte comforts you with a pillowy foam offering a gentle egginess. The unique earthy bite of the spice is made resonant by pepper but muted by the coconut milk base into a low but steady drumbeat to which a toss of cinnamon lends a harmonious tone. The finish brings a hint of weathered wood, tapping faintly on the palate.
The golden latte deserved neither the cult craze nor the antipathy. Enjoyed on its own merits, it’s just a nice break from pumpkin spice and the others.
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