Coffee drinkers, we’ve got some wonderful news for you.
The month of October will see the arrival of a sacred day for caffeine fiends, International Coffee Day. And although it’s always enjoyable to celebrate a beverage that we’d find it hard to live without, Costa has just given us another reason to get excited.
The coffee chain has decided to take our go-to order, the classic latte, and give it a spangly new update. Drawing inspiration from all over the globe, they’ve collated a list of the most interesting and unusual lattes served in their international stores – and brought them all together for Londoners to enjoy.
Setting up shop at Shelton Street in Covent Garden from 28-29 September, the ‘Bean Around the World’ latte bar will give you the chance to try some of the quirkiest coffees out there. From the Middle Eastern camel milk latte to Poland’s very own doughnut latte, you’re in for an absolute treat.
Although you can’t try these limited edition drinks until next week, here’s what to expect to get your taste buds tingling...
Matcha green tea latte
Matcha products have been growing in popularity in the UK for a while now, thanks in part to the fine green powder’s perceived health benefits. Matcha is said to be packed with antioxidants and vitamins, which means it’s been popping up everywhere from from superfood-focused supermarkets to organic cafes.
But while it’s only become trendy in the UK relatively recently, matcha has long been a staple on coffee menus in South East Asia. Matcha lattes have an earthy, bitter but strangely pleasant taste – one to try, if only for the experience.
Apparently people in Hungary are hungry (sorry) for the sweet, nutty taste of pistachio and also have a penchant for ice cream: both of these indulgent snacks are bestsellers at Costa branches across the country. Thanks to the inventive nature of Hungarian baristas there, locals can now enjoy a steaming cup of joe that combines both of their favourite flavours.
The pistachio latte brings together Hungary’s most popular coffee and treats for one cup of utter deliciousness. Since being created it’s been a huge hit with locals, visitors – and now, no doubt, us.
Camel milk latte
When reaching the front of the queue at your local Costa, it’s quite normal to ask for a speciality milk. What’s not quite as normal is to request camel milk instead of the company’s go-to cow – but as Costa customers in the Middle East and North Africa will tell you, it’s a surprisingly delicious addition to your usual latte.
The Costa camel milk latte was originally developed for April Fool’s Day, but actually relates to the region’s Bedouin and nomadic pastoral cultures who have consumed camel milk since the animal was domesticated millennia ago. The taste will be quite different to the dairy milk we’re all used to, but give it a whirl and benefit from three times more vitamin C and 10 times more iron.
Rose & almond latte
Don’t worry if camel doesn’t quite float your boat: the Middle East and North African Costas have also got another option. Using rose as a culinary flavouring is nothing new in the Greater Middle East: the flower has been used as an ingredient there for centuries. But while us Brits are more likely to have rose in our perfume than our food, rose’s floral, candied taste makes a delightful addition to coffee when combined with almond milk.
Now we know we’re not supposed to have favourites, but out of all the delicious combinations on Costa’s list, this one has got our mouths watering the most. We feel a deep affinity with the people of Poland, with whom pastries and cakes are hugely popular. The Costa coffee development team in Poland were apparently inspired by the ‘freakshake’ trend, leading them to create this incredible sounding drink.
You don’t have to be green-fingered to be a fan of jasmine. Its beautiful white flowers and calming, sweet scent make it an obvious choice whether you’re arranging a bouquet or picking out a beauty product.
But in China, where jasmine has been used in tea for centuries, you’re much more likely to see the flower appearing in a cup than in your cosmetics cabinet. In an attempt to fuse ancient tradition with modern tastes, Costa stores in China added the ingredient to their coffee – and soon we’ll be able to try it for ourselves.
Costa’s ‘Bean Around the World’ latte bar can be found on Shelton Street in Covent Garden from 28-29 September – so don’t miss your chance to see what coffee tastes like on the other side of the world.
Images: Costa / Josh Couch