Starbucks is offering a unique holiday drink that'll be available only at a handful of stores, including three stores in Texas. The drink is called a Juniper Latte and is designed to conjure up a sleigh ride over the river and through the woods, with a woody aroma and flavors of sweet mandarin and mulled spices.
The new beverage is available for a limited time at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle and at participating U.S. stores with Starbucks Reserve coffee bars. Those include two stores in the Dallas area: one at McKinney & Olive in Dallas and Legacy West in Plano. The third store in Texas is in Austin at the Domain II Northside.
The other dozen or so stores selling are in New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; the Bay Area; Seattle; Palm Springs, California; and Birmingham, Michigan.
The centerpiece of the beverage is Starbucks Reserve Christmas 2017 beans. The coffee has become a holiday tradition, with Latin American beans imparting flavors of orange and mulled spices. An Indonesian component features a rare, spicy coffee from the island of Sumatra, with notes of cedar and black licorice.
The beverage starts with Starbucks Reserve Christmas brewed as espresso. Steamed milk is infused with a syrup made with dried juniper berries, sage, and mandarin. The beverage is finished with latte art and a sparkle of juniper sugar.
Lillian Ontiveros from Starbucks R&D says that the beverage has a complexity that reveals itself as you drink.
"With the first sip, you’ll inhale that woodsy aroma and the savory woodiness of the juniper," she says. "On your second sip, you'll get the mandarin. The sage follows on the back end. It's a well-rounded experience."
For a cooler take on the wintry beverage, there is Juniper Affogato, made with a scoop of Mora juniper ice cream and a shot of Starbucks Reserve Christmas 2017 espresso.
Starbucks Reserve Christmas beans will officially appear in stores on December 5 — although some stores have them already — and be available for a limited time only.