© Provided by INSIDERStarbucks added a new item to its 2021 winter menu: the Pistachio Latte. Lauren Edmonds for Insider
- Starbucks released the new Pistachio Latte as part of its 2021 winter menu.
- The latte incorporates the "sweet flavors of pistachio" and is finished with "a salted brown buttery topping," according to the drink's description.
- The Pistachio Latte is a wonderful choice for nut and seed lovers, but it won't become my go-to drink.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Starbucks recently unveiled a new addition to its winter menu this year: the Pistachio Latte.
The drink, which was announced by the coffee chain on January 5, "features espresso shots paired with pistachio-infused milk, warmed with a cozy hint of orange zest and finished with a sprinkle of salty-sweet pistachio topping," the company website said.
The Pistachio Latte joins the ranks of other Starbucks seasonal favorites like Irish Cream Cold Brew and Peppermint Mocha.
But after drinking several cups, both hot and iced, I think the majority of Starbucks devotees can stick with their usual go-to orders without experiencing FOMO.
I was skeptical about Starbucks' new Pistachio Latte © Lauren EdmondsI didn't think I'd like the Pistachio Latte. Lauren Edmonds
I'm the first to admit that I'm not a huge coffee drinker, and I have even less experience with pistachios. In fact, after years of bypassing pistachio cakes and desserts, I had to purchase a bag of the seeds from my local bodega to remember what pistachios taste like.
Snacking on the pistachios, I enjoyed the mild, slightly sweet taste of them but wondered how the flavor would work in a warm winter beverage.
When I visit Starbucks, I lean towards sugar-infused drinks like the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino - a drink with a strong saccharine flavor - so I thought pistachio's mild taste could be underwhelming in a latte.
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The Pistachio Latte I got looked nearly identical to the promotional picture © Starbucks; Lauren Edmonds for InsiderThe promotional picture Starbucks shared to announce the Pistachio Latte was spot on, in my experience. Starbucks; Lauren Edmonds for Insider
There was only one word that came to mind when the barista handed over my finished Pistachio Latte and I got a whiff: potent.
The scent of espresso and pistachio hit my nose long before the barista combined the ingredients and sealed the cap shut. If the smell was anything to go by, the Pistachio Latte would certainly pack a flavor punch.
I was also impressed by the presentation since it very closely resembled the promotional photo shared by Starbucks. True to its description, the drink had sprinkles of a salty-sweet pistachio topping that didn't prematurely melt into the latte.
The pistachio taste was prominent and worked surprisingly well © Lauren EdmondsI tried the hot Pistachio Latte first. Lauren Edmonds
I was surprised that the nutty flavor came through so well. Just underneath the espresso, notes of pistachio weaved themselves into the drink's smooth texture and left a buttery finish.
Although the pistachios likely added some sweetness, there was another flavor - almost like toffee - detectable in each swig. The toasty latte kept me warm as I left the Starbucks, which doesn't offer indoor seating amid the pandemic, and walked back home to my tiny New York City apartment.
Starbucks also offered an Iced Pistachio Latte as an alternative. In my opinion, icing the drink made it sharper with a lighter, less overwhelming mouth feel.
However, I'm not completely sold on nutty beverages. While I love cashews and enjoy a good Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, the flavor of the Pistachio Latte lost its appeal the longer I drank it. Instead, I wanted to eat actual pistachios and get the full, uncompromised taste of them.
The Pistachio Latte is Starbucks' first new beverage of the year and was created for the Chicago Roastery Reserve's debut © Lauren EdmondsThe iced version of the Pistachio Latte. Lauren Edmonds
According to Starbucks, the Pistachio Latte was created for the Chicago Roastery as a tribute when it debuted in November 2019. It was inspired by the rave reviews for the Starbucks Reserve Hazelnut Bianco Latte and other popular nuts in Italy.
"Hazelnuts are grown in northern Italy, and some of the best pistachios are grown in the southern region of Italy. "They call them "green gold' - there's even a pistachio festival in Bronte, Sicily," Starbucks beverage developer Jennifer Galbraith noted in the announcement.
The Pistachio Latte is a drink that fans of nutty flavors will probably love, but I'll stick to straight-up pistachios © Lauren EdmondsThe Pistachio Latte was pretty good, but it won't become my go-to drink. Lauren Edmonds
I certainly won't turn down a Pistachio Latte if one is offered to me, but I'd much rather munch on a handful of pistachios than have them bogged down into a latte.
Fortunately, Starbucks has an array of other new items for coffee lovers to try, including the Honey Almond Cold Brew, Honey Almondmilk Flat White, Earth Cake Pop, Kale and Portabella Mushroom Sous Vide Egg Bites, and Earth Cake Pops.
This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author(s).
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