Photo: Kelsey Hansen

A call to arms for plain and simple coffee and tea

Rebecca Firkser
Updated: August 10, 2018

As a food editor, my inbox gets flooded with press releases for products. And in the dog days of summer, that can only mean one thing: drink updates for fall. Between the bone broths and the bottled adaptogenic lattes, there are so many, and it has to stop. I'm rolling my eyes and wrinkling my nose with disdain on such a regular basis, and that has to be bad for fine lines.

I’m just going to say it: Adaptogenic lattes are a lie. The word latte is a shortened version of the term caffe latte, meaning espresso and hot or steamed milk. I hate to break it to you, but when you drink hot almond milk blended with ground mushrooms, it’s not the same thing. Sure, I totally enjoyed the flavor of the cinnamon-dusted hemp milk maca-ashwagandha latte I had the other week (it tasted like coffee whispering which is… good?). But most adaptogenic lattes I’ve had haven’t tasted too different from masala chai or a London Fog, so I don’t know why people still insist on launching so many alternatives.

I know some people would say that if I'm only having a drink for breakfast, turmeric bone broth would be a better choice than coffee, but you know what? If I want soup, I’ll have some after my coffee, thank you very much.

The other day I got a press release about a thing called the Brothuccino, a mixture of chicken bone broth and cold brew. As if I couldn’t just drink a cup of coffee and enjoy a snack on the side, like a regular human. 

I get it. Bone broths and adaptogenic drinks are intended to be the antithesis of the chocolate-drizzled, whipped cream-topped Frappuccinos of the last decade. Trade in the 72 grams of sugar for extra protein and fat, balanced blood sugar, and less caffeine. But I don't like Frappuccinos as a concept either. I only wonder why we can’t simply have regular coffee and tea? Coffee and tea are pretty good for you from a nutritional standpoint, as long as you still drink enough water. My main issue here is that these new drinks purport to be “better” for you than the classic alternatives. Odds are they’re lower in sugar, which is certainly better for most folks first thing in the morning, but slapping the word “healthy” on labels can be just as dangerous as a venti caramel mocha swirl. A cup of coffee or tea with a splash of milk and maybe a spoonful of sugar is probably going to confuse your body way less than swigging beef soup from a to-go mug at 8 a.m. Just eat some real food after that and don't worry so much.

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