TRAVERSE CITY — Move over, pumpkin spice and salted caramel. Purple potato, beetroot, turmeric and butterfly pea health lattes are challenging traditional espresso drinks.
Fieldstone Market on Friday launched its new line of health lattes featuring Simara Specialty Blends imported from Australia. It has exclusive rights to the Traverse City market, said Dave Sears, owner of Fieldstone, which focuses on local and natural food and drinks.
“It’s one of the most exciting things I’ve ever rolled out,” said Sears, who talked up the drinks on social media leading up to the launch. “It’s cool, it’s healthy and it’s unique. You won’t find it anywhere in Michigan.”
The specialty blend lattes are made with colorful fine powders — naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan — steamed with a choice of milk, from whole and 2 percent dairy to soy, almond and oat. The result is a mild, smooth and creamy drink loaded with antioxidants and vitamins but without the caffeine of traditional espresso lattes.
By 10 a.m. barista Linda Solem had lost count of how many health lattes she’d served.
“These are so fun to make,” said Solem, who started this week at the expanded coffee bar, which boasts a $20,000 espresso machine. “I guess it’s just seeing the color, and with nice, frothed milk, it’s beautiful.”
Dine-in drinks are served in clear, double-walled glasses so customers can appreciate the drinks’ jewel tones.
Cheryl Ortwein tried a purple potato latte, a “superfood trifecta” of beetroot, purple sweet potato and butterfly pea powder finished off with a bit of ginger and a dash of coconut blossom sugar. Purple sweet potato is touted for its immune-boosting vitamin A and antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation.
“Oh, it’s very good,” said Ortwein, of Traverse City and Ft. Wayne, Indiana, after taking a sip. “You can kind of taste everything but nothing sticks out. It’s a nice, allover flavor.”
Ortwein, who is lactose-intolerant and sensitive to many other food ingredients, had her drink blended with oat milk, which she discovered this summer in Sweden.
“Anything processed I stay away from. I have to read the labels on everything. If the black latte didn’t have stevia, that would be my real preference,” she said, referring to the specialty blend of red reishi mushroom, activated charcoal and raw cacao.
Jen Teeples ordered the turmeric latte made with turmeric, cinnamon and ginger, lightly sweetened with coconut sugar and garnished with a sprinkle of pumpkin spice. She said she likes turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties.
“I like turmeric tea and it reminds me of that,” said Teeples, manager of Running Fit and the track coach for Traverse City West Middle School. “It’s also like a recipe for golden milk,” a make-at-home version of turmeric latte.
Teeples stops at Fieldstone about twice a week and said she plans to work her way through the health latte menu. But she believes even non-health buffs will appreciate the drinks.
“They’d like it, especially if they like the flavor and they add anything to it,” she said.
Sears said the health lattes are big in Australia, Asia and Canada. His favorite: butterfly pea latte, made with butterfly pea powder — a superfood blend filled with antioxidants — and balanced with organic coconut blossom sugar and ginger.
He said Fieldstone is one of only a handful of shops in the U.S. to serve the Simara line. Currently he’s working to find a U.S. distributor.
The 12-ounce drinks sell for $5 at Fieldstone’s coffee bar, which is open from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.