And you thought matcha lattes were wild
We see your matcha lattes and heart-shaped foam, and we raise you a blue-green algae latte. Yep, the bar on wacky coffee trends has officially been set. And we have Melbourne, Australia-based café Matcha Mylkbar to thank. The all-vegan hotspot opened this spring, and even though it doesn't even have its website fully up and running yet, people are flocking to it. The menu boasts lattes that are way more out there than even the most complicated Starbucks order (hello, mushroom latte), perhaps none more so than the new blue-green algae latte. The 40-seat café debuted this "smurf latte" on July 9 and sold more than 100 during the first weekend alone, the café's co-owner told Mashable.
The buzzed-about beverage gets its blue hue not from artificial food dyes or (the most logical bet) blueberries but from E3Live blue-green algae powder. Add coconut milk, ginger agave, lemon, and hundreds of eager Instagrammers, and you've got yourself the next food craze. Those who've tasted it say it's like "sour milk," "baby formula," and "sweet and soury."
That might not inspire you to jump out of your seat to head to Australia. But Matcha Mylkbar claims the drink is loaded with health benefits that give it the power to ward off colds (which is of concern since it's currently winter down under). The makers of the blue-green algae powder used in the latte say it can aid "the immune, endocrine, nervous, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular systems." And science agrees blue-green algae is good for you. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found blue-green algae has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduce inflammation, and protect against oxidative stress.
"If you're looking for cellular-level nourishment and total-body support then, yes, it's a smart idea to incorporate blue-green algae into your daily diet," says Jessica Dogert, R.D., a nutritionist with Chicago's Hi-Vibe Superfood Juicery, which serves a super-food shot containing blue-green algae. "Algae holds the power to heal, protect, and enhance all forms of life." Its health benefits can end up boosting your immune system and energy levels, she says.
While you probably haven't encountered the powder on the menu at your corner coffee shop, you may have heard of spirulina, which is a type of blue-green algae that has been shown to effectively treat allergies. No word yet on if U.S. coffee shops will pick up on the trend and start serving their own smurf lattes, but something tells us it's only a matter of time. Meanwhile, try one of these 20 Genius Ways to Use Matcha.