Food

Starbucks announces its first latte of 2017 — here's what's in the 'Cascara Latte'

You know pumpkin spice latte season is officially over when Starbucks announces its first latte of 2017.

In an effort to move away from its dessert-coffees — like Frappuccinos and seasonally flavored lattes — and work toward a more "artisan" coffee image, the coffee giant is adding the "Cascara Latte" to its menu.

At its Biennial Investor Conference, Starbucks announced that the fancy-sounding latte would be its first of 2017.

But what the heck is a cascara?

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A Starbucks spokesperson told TODAY Food via email that, literally translated, cascara means "husk" or "shell" in Spanish, referring to "the fruity outer skin of a coffee cherry, which is the fruit that surrounds the coffee bean."

Okay, but what does that taste like, exactly? Why does it deserve its own flavor?

Annabelle Breakey / Starbucks
We can't wait to get our cold hands on you.

While we were told we can't get our hands on a cup until early January, the spokesperson said the cascara lends Starbucks' classic espresso "notes of dark brown sugar and maple." Imagine a Flat White with a subtly sweet fruity flavor.

We assume that this drink, much like Starbucks' new-ish Cold Brew and Latte Macchiato, leans heavily on the espresso flavor, as the company joins the coffee purist movement.

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Typically farmers dispose of the cascara, so props to Starbucks for finding a good use for it to cut down on food waste.

So, what's next? We predict a mashup of seasonality and sustainability: The pumpkin seed latte. Boom.

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