By Kacey Hsu,
I’ve been a Starbucks enthusiast ever since I found out I could be lazy and pay for someone to make hot chocolate for me. Then later I discovered frappucinos; my excuse for drinking coffee though I was “still too young”.
After that stage passed, I moved on to the Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Chai Lattes and their newest release of the Caramel Brulée Latte. By new I mean it was released in 2009, but as of Nov. 12, Starbucks has made a big change.
This season, Starbucks surprised their crazed coffee fanatics by giving them what they’ve been waiting for after five years of the same annual drinks: the launch of the Chestnut Praline Latte.
The Chestnut Praline Latte is described as “a blend of fresh espresso and flavors of caramelized chestnuts, with freshly steamed milk, topped with whipped cream and spiced praline crumbs,” and my friends, it is exactly that.
This new holiday drink became available at Starbucks locations on Nov. 12 and has been set at the top of every menu to draw people in to try. The company has emphasized that the goal with the drink is to stimulate romantic and peaceful visions of Europe during the Christmas season. According to a recent press release, Starbucks said the drink is “an opportunity to bring a taste of Europe to Starbucks’ lineup of holiday espresso beverages.”
The Chestnut Praline Latte accurately follows the basis of ingredients from traditional French recipes. Pralines are sweetened almonds and hazelnuts, commonly found in French desserts as a garnish, and now can be found in the new latte as “spiced praline crumbs”.
Having tried one, I’m positive that I wouldn’t have been able to depict it’s chestnut and praline flavor without the help of the description. All I would have known is that it’s a Starbucks drink and that I was struck by it’s different taste.
The latte itself contained espresso, milk and chestnut syrup for flavoring. The chestnuts’ natural subtle flavor is reflected in the latte.
As for the praline aspect, you would not be able to know the “crumbs” were sitting on top of the whipped cream unless you took the lid off instantly. They quickly dissolved into the whipped cream and did not have a huge impact on the overall latte flavor. It’s not like you really get to have any of the whipped cream on top when you drink a beverage anyway.
Unlike the bold flavors of the popular Gingerbread Latte, Peppermint Mocha and Caramel Brulée Latte, the Chestnut Praline Latte offers softer and more subtle notes of chestnut with the lightest amount of sweetness. Although different, I was pleasantly surprised because most Starbucks drinks have strong flavors.
If you plan to stop by Starbucks just once this holiday season, I would recommend sticking with the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Or if you’re looking for something to help you get in the Christmas spirit, the Peppermint Mocha never disappoints.
But if you’re a regular at your local Starbucks and must try something new, go for Chestnut Praline Latte for something light and easy to drink.