If you walk into a speciality coffee shop, you might expect to be highly impressed by the various interesting and novel styles of coffee on the menu and to be seen on the tables around you as you walk in - and so you should.
Just occasionally, however, something truly different will stand out. You might expect coffee colours to range from the frothy white of a latte to the beige of a normal coffee and the dark brown of a black coffee. But when you see something green, that is bound to raise both questions and eyebrows. What, you may ask, is that?
There is in fact more than one kind of green latte you might encounter in a coffee shop. But usually it is most likely to be a spinach latte or a matcha latte.
Matcha is in fact a form of tea, rather than coffee. But rather than coming in leaves or a bag, it is powdered, giving it a coffee-like consistency that enables it to be made into a latte, even though it is for all intents and purposes a green tea.
Indeed, it is quite simple to make in latte style. It can be mixed into a paste with a little hot water, before the milk is added. Vegans can choose coconut milk instead of cow juice, but either way you are left with a very pleasant, frothy and bright green drink.
It is also very healthy, with lots of antioxidants and at least some evidence that it can fight cancer, type 2 Diabetes and depression, as well as boosting liver and brain function. It can also help perk you up as, like coffee, it does contain some caffeine.
While a green latte may well be matcha, it might also be spinach. This is of course the greenest of green-leafed vegetables, offering a healthy dose of nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and fibre, though it does not immediately confer super-strength on anyone consuming it, despite what you may have seen in Popeye cartoons.
Once again it can be powdered and pulped and mixed into a paste, with milk being added, although a vegan version is also possible; this does include coffee, but can also feature lovely spices such as cinnamon and ginger, plus a bit of vanilla. All this will mean the spinach taste (which is quite bland on its own) will not dominate, as it soaks up the over flavours very well.
The fact that this green ingredients offer something very healthy may be an extra reason to go for them, even if you find green an odd or even off-putting colour. Not that you should; after all, we all eat greens in our meals. It might be a novel colour for a hot drink, but it’s also something wonderfully healthy and a nice alternative if you feel adventurous enough to try a something new.
So the next time you fancy a nice coffee and cake on an afternoon in west London, why not go green for a novelty you may just love?