Have you ever looked at a Christmas tree so darn beautiful that you thought to yourself, "I could just eat you up?" Turns out, this is the year that Starbucks is helping you realize that dream once and for all. No, we are not marking the return of last year's Instagrammy Christmas Tree Latte, but something far more unique from the beaten holiday path: the Starbucks Juniper Latte, which quite literally tastes like a tree. As of Nov. 27, the drink is officially part of Starbucks' Holiday Drink lineup, and available for a limited time.
If you've heard the words "Juniper Latte" before, you're not having Starbucks deja vu — the chain did release it in 2017 as a Wintry Juniper Latte in participating Starbucks Reserve Stores. Now, though, they are expanding this new version out to stores nationwide, so everybody can get in on the festive flavor.
But what exactly is that flavor? Although you may not be used to hearing the word "juniper" as a descriptor, the berries are tart, almost pine-y in flavor, and have a citrusy after taste — hence why so many people associate it with the smell or "taste" of trees. The Starbucks Juniper Latte takes on these flavors with a juniper syrup blended with espresso and steamed milk, which is then topped with foam and a dusting of pine-citrus sugar to bring out the wintry flavors.
Still, you're probably wondering how this taste translates into latte form; Bustle had the opportunity to try the drink just before it hit stores, and I can assure you that although the flavor is unusual, it's not that much of a departure from the lattes you already know and guzzle. The pine flavor is definitely detectable, and perfectly complements the sugariness of the drink, lending more of a balance of sweetness than other drinks might have. If you're a person with a sweet tooth who is looking for something a bit more understated than the Juniper Latte's holiday drink brethren, this might just be the perfect option for you. It may be unusual for the first few sips, but just like lavender and rose and other less conventional flavors that have hit the drink scene in the last few years, it grows on you fast.
Like all the other lattes on Starbucks' lineup, the Juniper Latte is can be customized with soy milk, coconut milk, or Almondmilk. And, of course, if that doesn't float your boat, you have a wide variety of other holiday drinks at Starbucks to choose from, including the iconic Peppermint Mocha and Caramel Brulee Latte (did anyone else just start drooling at their desks?). Once you're finished working your way through the drink menu, Starbucks also has a few holiday food offerings for a limited time. As a self-professed expert in matching desserts with other desserts, might I suggest a Sugar Plum Cheese Danish to accompany your Juniper Latte? That way you can eat your way through a culinary version of The Nutcracker and truly live your most festive, caffeinated life.