Starbucks announced new menu items for 2017, including a new latte with an intriguing name: the Cascara Latte (about $4). Eager to try it out, we got one of the first tastes of the latte along with the answer to our burning question: what exactly is a Cascara Latte? It's an espresso-based drink that's inspired by the actual fruit that coffee beans come from, coffee cherries. The "cascara," meaning husk or shell in Spanish, is the outer shell of a coffee cherry that encases a coffee bean. With this in mind, Starbucks created its Cascara Latte, which has a syrup made from the coffee cherry extract, coconut, and cane sugars.
According to our resident NYC-based Starbucks enthusiast Sarah Siegel, the latte is subtly sweet and not overbearing. "I always have to tell baristas to use half the syrup they normally do to keep my drink from being overwhelmingly sweet. This latte is lightly sweetened and reminds me of brown sugar," she said. The latte is finished off with steamed milk and topped with micro foam and a cascara topping, "which is a crunchy, sweet topping reminiscent of caramel." It's safe to say this unexpected latte lived up to its expectations and delivered the sweet, satisfying flavor we were seeking. If you're just as excited to try it as we were, look out for the new drink on Starbucks menus starting in early January, while supplies last.
— Additional reporting by Sarah Siegel