Starbucks is currently testing a new drink in a few select stores in Ohio and Florida, and it is supposed to taste like…beer.
It’s called a “Dark Barrel Latte,” and it’s an espresso drink topped with whipped cream and a dark caramel drizzle. The beer flavor comes from a “chocolatey stout-flavored sauce” (or really, roasted malt flavor) that is blended in the drink. There is absolutely no alcohol within the drink, but it most certainly tastes like there is or there should be. At least that’s what several social media posters have claimed.
There is even a Frappuccino option, so you can drink your morning beer brew cold, like most people enjoy beer.
While Starbucks claims this is all part of their regular tests for new drinks, many are speculating other theories. For example, some think that Starbucks is trying to bridge the gap between coffee and beer for their stores that sell beer in the evenings. Others believe that Starbucks is trying to tap into the craft-beer sensation sweeping the nation.
No word on if Starbucks will spread the test to other states, but if it takes off, what is next? Beer-flavored K-Cups or coffee pods? How many other coffee houses or coffee roasters will try to capitalize on this and make their own various flavors of beer/coffee? A lite beer coffee? IPA coffee? Coffee ale?
Most importantly, is a coffee that tastes like beer something you’d be interested in? Many have compared the taste of Guinness and similar dark stouts as tasting coffee-like, but is that desirable first thing in the morning?