Like all color-obsessed bloggers and micro-bloggers out there, I was immediately enamored by the idea of the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino. It’s colorful! It reportedly tastes like cotton candy! Etc etc. America is apparently SO DIVIDED on this issue (like most other issues), therefore many people are hating on it. Fitness bloggers immediately jumped on it for being super unhealthy.
Come on, people.
Most normal grande frappuccinos are around 400 calories and there are milkshakes out there that are over 1,000 calories. This is not news. It’s the same old sh*t ‘Murica dishes out, just in a new exciting host of colors. If I was in maintenance mode, like I one day dream I would be, this is one of those things I would try at least once. You can do two workouts and cancel it out, or one workout if you only drink half of it and share it with a fellow color-obsessed friend! No one is going to drink Unicorn Frappuccinos everyday. It’s ALL FINE.
BUT, I am not in maintenance mode. Far from it. I’m trying to lose weight this year and attempting to be serious about it, instead of just dieting all week and then eating 3 slices of regular cake every weekend. I also didn’t feel like going on 2 runs for 1 drink. I WILL ONLY DO THAT FOR CAKE. Luckily, some online magazine informed me of the rainbow latte by “The Good Sort”, which is a vegan cafe in Chinatown. As you probably know, I am NOT vegan. My diet is the furthest from vegan that any diet could be. I basically live off meat, cheese, and eggs, and then force vegetables down my throat. But, since I’ve been on other cleanses before, I recognize a good thing when I see it (The Good Sort, if you will, LOL). Here’s what the latte is made of:
“Each shade comes from different combinations of beetroot, blue algae, turmeric, coconut sugar, vanilla bean, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and agave. The latte also contains three types of non-dairy milk: almond, coconut, and oat.”
Ok so 1) I am mildly lactose intolerant, only when it comes to yogurt and fresh milk. So the variety of milks in this is good for me. 2) There is sugar in it *gasp*! But coconut sugar is known to be lower on the glycemic index. Agave seems like it’s basically just sugar, so I’m hoping that there’s not a lot of it in there. (Spoiler: It wasn’t super sweet so I doubt there was a lot.) And 3) Have you looked up the host of things that blue algae and turmeric are known to be good for? This latte is actively trying to energize you, fix your ADHD, and prevent cancer.
Naturally, I immediately went and tried it to cure my longing for that oh-so-demonized Unicorn Frappuccino. I took the 6 (or you can take the R) train to Canal street in Chinatown, and it was about a 10 minute walk from there. I had to wade through huge crowds of people buying fresh seafood and fruits on Canal street, turned right Mott street, and found my way into a little glaringly empty alley off of Pell street. The “alley” is actually Doyers street, which ironically used to be known as Chinatown’s “Bloody Angle” because of its history of gang-related street fights and murders. It’s now home to a lovely vegan cafe! There’s a big sign for it, even though the cafe itself is pretty tiny.
I had a genuinely nice 10-minute experience in there. The latte was served pretty fast, I asked a girl sitting on a two-seater table if I could sit in the empty seat in front of her, and she very nicely said “of course”. She was very concerned that she was ruining my photo of the latte and asked a few times if I would like her to move so it would look nicer (in an absolutely non-snarky way). I didn’t ask her to move. I’d rather not inconvenience someone twice if I can help it.
So here’s what I think about the latte:
1) It’s surprisingly delicious. It may be that my body just got all excited about the coconut sugar or agave, but I don’t think so because it wasn’t too sweet. It was almost like it was mostly sweetened by the beets.
2) It actually tastes like a regular latte, and it LOOKS like a normal latte once you stir everything together. Isn’t that cool? I tried to copy one of Starbucks’ healthier two-tone drinks recently and its color after mixing was akin to cartoon vomit. More on that later.
3) They use an adorable, floral, paper straw. If you’re vegan due to environmental reasons, I’m sure that’s a huge plus.
And there you have it. Try The Good Sort’s rainbow latte. It is worth the trip. If you’re interested in their vegan food, here’s a nice article on them by Gothamist. If you’re craving some regular food, go for Hop Kee, Mei Li Wah (roast pork buns!), Joe Shanghai (soup buns!), or Buddha Bodai if you want vegan Chinese food. They’re all within walking distance. Go and shop for some fresh seafood and fruit if you’d rather cook for yourself. Or be like me and shop at Tony Moly, a Korean beauty store, which I did in lieu of my usual bakeries. I grabbed a set of sheet face masks for a little over a dollar each. They cost around $6 at Sephora for most brands.
If you’re REALLLY intent on making a colorful drink and have control over the ingredients at the same time, you can do what I tried to do last week — copy one of the colorful Starbucks two-toned drinks. I copied the matcha pink drink using coconut milk, matcha, berry tea, and a touch of pink food coloring. It’s not very exciting, but still cute.
Here’s the recipe – Make a matcha latte like you usually would. Cool it to room temp or colder. Make berry tea, add milk of your choice, add a drop of pink food coloring, and cool to room temp or colder. You can mix your usual sweetener into these if you wish. Pour matcha latte into a glass. Add some ice. VERY carefully pour the berry milk tea over the matcha latte. (I poured it over the ice to prevent mixing). Add some toppings, such as blueberries. Enjoy!
The Good Sort
5 Doyers St.
New York, NY