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Starbucks' molten chocolate drinks may be off the market, but the coffee giant is rolling out new options to help fill the void.
Beginning February 16, java junkies in the U.S. and Canada will find two limited-edition flavors on menus: a smoked butterscotch latte and a citrus green tea latte.
Both were invented at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, a cavernous 15,000 square-feet Seattle storefront where the chain does most of its experimenting (think iced sparkling espressos and matcha basil-mint lattes). Seattleites have been able to swing by and taste test new creations since the Roastery debuted at the end of 2014, but this is the first time drinks created there will be available nationwide.
Starbucks gave TODAY a first taste of the new drinks and while the recent Valentine's Day specials impressed us, these could use a little fine-tuning.
The scent of the citrus green tea latte, made with matcha powder, steamed milk and a citrus-mint syrup, seemed promising at first. As soon as we popped the lid open, the lovely smell of lemons began to waft from the cup, but the citrus started to overwhelm our taste buds just a few sips in.
On the flip side, we wished the smoked butterscotch latte had more of a punch. Like Starbucks' other specialty coffee drinks, the SBL combines a shot of espresso with steamed milk and flavorings. In this case, the add-ins of smoked butterscotch sauce and finishing sprinkle of butterscotch sugar weren't, well, butterscotch-y enough.
"It tastes a bit flat and feels like it could've been a bit more flavorful. I love butterscotch, but wasn't a huge fan of this drink," said one TODAY taste tester.
The concepts behind the drinks are interesting and with a few tweaks, we can easily see them becoming alternatives to the caramel macchiato and regular green tea latte.
Will you be giving the new drinks a try? Tell us in the comments!