• Starbucks have launched rooibos lattes at its shops in Europe and the UK.
  • A limited version of the drink contains a "delicate apple blossom dust".
  • The drinks have been well received.

Starbucks in Europe and the UK have launched rooibos drinks at shops across the continent – but this is not your grandmother’s tea.  These rooibos lattes are served with freeze-dried apples sprinkled on top.

The Starbucks Rooibos Latte and Starbucks Red Apple Rooibos Latte were added to menus last month. A spokesperson for Starbucks in South Africa, Fareed Mohammad, says the teas have been well-received.

The Huffington Post in the UK reviewed the drinks favourably, calling the rooibos latte “a very comforting winter drink”, while the red apple rooibos is “the kind of sweet treat you need in your life when you hit your 3PM lull in the office”.

According to the Starbucks marketing material for rooibos, it has a “vanilla, honey-like aroma, with hints of caramel and malt for a slight sweetness”.

“Red apple rooibos” also contains an apple syrup and “a delicate apple blossom dust” (freeze-dried apples sprinkled on top of the latte), which creates a slightly sweeter and fruity version of the rooibos latte.

According to Starbucks, the red apple version is “the perfect drink for a spring-time Instagram photo”. The red apple rooibos latte is available on menus for a limited time only.

Starbucks rooibos apple

Starbucks use microground tea, a new way of extracting flavour from tea leaves, for the rooibos drinks. The rooibos tea leaves are ground into a very fine powder and then blended with steamed milk.

According to the Starbucks tea category manager, Charlotta Oldham, the microground rooibos recipe took Starbucks tea experts three years to perfect.

A “short” rooibos latte will set you back  £2.75 (almost R50) at a UK Starbucks.

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