Spring has officially made its arrival, and I for one am itching for the weather to catch up so I can welcome iced coffee season with open arms. But, in the meantime, Starbucks has a new drink to cozy up to in these final frigid days of March, and if you haven't heard, it's delicious. What does the Starbucks Caramelized Honey Latte taste like? It's definitely a treat.
The new drink comes quick on the heals of another ephemeral favorite — the Starbucks Cherry Blossom Frappuccino, a sweet and fruity strawberry matcha blend that was available for five days only before disappearing back into the Starbucks archive on March 20, aka the first day of spring. The new Caramelized Honey Latte definitely has a different feel to it than its blended creme counterpart, but it still pays tribute to the new season in a super yummy way. According to Starbucks, the drink's rich flavor was "created with the season’s changeable nature in mind." Whether you sip on it hot, iced, or in Frappuccino form, the drink is going to hit the spot. And, given that it can be snowing one day and 70 degrees the next come springtime, that type of flexibility is much appreciated.
The Caramelized Honey Latte is available March 22, and is expected to hang around Starbucks stores through the beginning of May, meaning you have plenty of time to enjoy it in its various permutations. However, given that it's currently not even 50 degrees in New York City where I work, live, and consume caffeine, I decided to try it as a hot latte. Surprise surprise — it was pretty great. Here were a few of my taste test takeaways:
1. It tastes... familiar
According to Starbucks, the new drink is "made with a subtly sweet caramelized honey sauce that’s been slow-cooked to reveal a richness that stands up to our bold espresso." Notice that none of those ingredients are too out of the box — individually, you've probably tasted all of them in a latte or coffee drink at some point in your life. With that in mind, the Caramelized Honey Latte definitely tastes familiar — you're not going on a super crazy flavor adventure with this one. And, that's not a bad thing. Sometimes, you just want to sip on what you know. My initial impression was that this kind of tasted like a sweeter, vanilla latte, but after spending a little more time with my beverage, I realized it wasn't quite as familiar as I thought. In fact, there was one key difference that stood out...
2. The syrup is different!
When I first heard what Starbucks was calling its new latte, I assumed there would be caramel sauce involved — but I was wrong. Instead, the coffee chain sweetens the drink with a caramel honey syrup that has been slow cooked. To me, it tasted less buttery than a regular caramel syrup, but not quite as sweet as honey.
3. It has a little bit of a crunch to it
Literally! Because the caramel honey sauce is slow cooked, you get crunchy little bites of sugar at the bottom of your drink. I, for one, loved this, and so did Bustle editor Emma Lord — she actually got out a spoon so she could get to them quicker when I plopped a Caramelized Honey Latte on her desk.
Overall, the Caramelized Honey Latte kind of felt like catching up with a friend I hadn't seen in a really long time — it felt familiar, but not boring. While I only tried the hot latte version, I definitely foresee a trip back to get my hands on a Caramelized Honey Frappuccino once the weather gets a little warmer. The CHL costs $4.25 to $4.75, and is available until supplies last. So, if you haven't celebrated the arrival of spring yet, this might be the perfect way to do just that.
Images: Starbucks; Giphy