As life returns to the 9-5 after the summer break, we often find ourselves primed for a post-school run pick-me-up. But, before you head to the local coffee shop, there’s a new beverage giving the caffeine cup a run for its money.
Herbal lattes are set to go big this autumn, and while we’ve already seen a wave of golden-hued turmeric lattes steam their way across Instagram feeds in recent years, the new set of caffeine-free, immune-boosting drinks are definitely worth a second shot.
In fact, herbal lattes are not the new kids on the block we might consider them to be. On the subcontinent, a pre-bedtime ‘haldi doodh’ or turmeric milk has been popular for centuries. Better than a cup of hot chocolate or malt-based beverage, ‘golden milk’ has just the right amount of fat and protein to ensure the magical turmeric is absorbed by the body. This wonder root is believed to boost the immune system and skin, reduce joint pain and induce relaxation as it helps to prepare the body for sleep. It is also commonly used as a remedy to treat colds in Ayurvedic medicine.
With beetroot, lavender and dandelion lattes appearing on coffee-house menus around the globe, our obsession with reinventing the hot drink doesn’t look like it’s running out of steam. Brought bang up-to-date, the new crop of herbal lattes are perfect for even those following a vegan diet as many use creamy coconut-milk powder as a dairy-free alternative.
Pukka Herbs has just launched a new collection of herbal lattes including antioxidant-boosting Turmeric Gold, fiery Ginger Joy, Matcha Chai (brilliant at clearing back-to-work brain fog!) and – in our opinion, the jewel in its herbal latte collection – a pleasure-packed, tongue-twisting Cacao Maca Magic Latte. Along with endorphin-boosting cacao, this lush mug features ashwagandha, which helps to reduce stress and calm an anxious mind, shatavari, which supports the female reproductive system and maca, which is believed to boost mood and libido – forget cosy cocoa, this is our new bedtime drink of choice!
Another latte makeover improvement is a nod towards a reduction in sugar. One of the hazards of big-brand coffee-house chai lattes is the amount of the sweet stuff found in a cup – a 2016 study by Action on Sugar found that Costa’s largest chai latte had 20 teaspoons, while Starbucks’ included 13 and Caffe Nero had eight. Thankfully, along with medicinal-grade herbs and spices, Pukka’s herbal lattes include inulin, a sweet, calorie-free pre-biotic which encourages healthy gut bacteria.
So, next time you fancy a cuppa on a chilly autumn morning, look beyond the traditional java jolt and make it a brew that really is good for mind, body and soul.