Photo via Starbucks

Praise the Smoked Butterscotch Latte

Rebecca Firkser
January 17, 2018

Fans of Harry Potter have likely wanted to try butterbeer—that amber, foam-topped brew served at the the Three Broomsticks pub—for years. Luckily, Starbucks wants to lend a hand. The coffee franchise is bringing back their limited edition Smoked Butterscotch Latte for a third season. Starbucks’s Smoked Butterscotch Latte, a blend of espresso and milk with smoked butterscotch-flavored sauce and topping, is probably as close as you’ll get to drinking butterbeer without making a trip to Hogsmeade.

Of course, people have been employing the Starbucks “secret menu” trick to make a butterbeer drink of sorts for a while. Enjoyable as the final product might be, ordering a drink that’s actually on the menu is sure to make your barista happier than you instructing them to add 3 different types of syrup and salted caramel flakes to steamed milk.

The Smoked Butterscotch Latte, or the SBL, starts out as a classic latte: espresso and steamed milk. The hot milk and coffee are mixed with Starbucks’s Smoked Butterscotch sauce, (which contains brown sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream butter, and natural smoke flavors, as well as a few other additives) and milk foam, then topped with their Smoked Butterscotch Sugar Topping (containing sugar, natural smoke flavors, and fruit and vegetable colors).

“The smoky flavor balances the subtle sweetness of the butterscotch,” said Christal Canzler, an espresso beverage developer for Starbucks, when the Smoked Butterscotch Latte was first introduced in February 2016. “It acts as a savory ingredient that enhances the coffee.”

Not a big espresso fan? No worries. News broke last week that Starbucks now serves what they call Blonde espresso, a brighter, fruiter coffee bean that is more lightly roasted than their classic espresso roast. The Smoked Butterscotch Latte can easily be made with Blonde espresso, making for more mild sipping.

The Smoked Butterscotch Latte is available now at participating Starbucks locations for a limited time.

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