Yes, my friends, lavender lattes are a thing, and they’re popping up on Instagram faster than you can hashtag #EEEEEATS. If you’re looking to get your hands on one of these unique concoctions, look no further. I’ve got the scoop.
I’ll start by saying that this journey involved a lot of research, a hefty amount of caffeine, and good old fashioned determination.
When in doubt, go Home (and go iced). On my trek to hunt down the best lavender lattes in the city, I headed to the Outer Sunset, fresh on the trail of a cozy weekend sipping spot and a morning treat. Let it be known: when it comes to coffee, I’m typically anti-sweet, so I was hoping for a lavender drink leaning more on the neutral side.
And that’s just what I got. For this stop I went iced; It was this first sunny day in a week, after all. Served in a mason jar (!!), it was not too sweet, not too bitter, just a refreshing floral hint to kick off my Saturday. Even better? Sprinkles of dried lavender leaves covered the top of the creamy latte, leaving half of me arguing to drink it, and the other half willing to just stop and stare (and Instagram).
When all signs lead north, head to Black Point Cafe, stop number two of Operation Lavender Latte. This time I went hot -- you know, for research purposes. Black Point also used the dried leaves on top, which made me feel fancy, and the drink overall wasn’t too sweet (score!). For an added punch, order it with almond milk. You won’t be sorry.
Overall, the location was great; one of the best, in my humble opinion. With views of the bay, it’s a truly unique experience -- one that’s screaming for a post-coffee walk, I should add.
I could be biased, but Coffee Bar’s exotic coffee drinks come in at the top of my list. It’s also my morning haunt, so again, I could be biased. But aside from my usual morning order, sometimes I like to switch it up on the weekends, specifically with the horchata cold brew. Smooth and sweet, it’s the perfect treat for a warm afternoon.
I’m not typically one to derail the conversation from coffee, but we must talk interior digs. This place is, for lack of a better word, awesome. With giant windows and top floor seating, you can kick back and overlook the space, or grab a seat outside for some fresh air.
This far into my mission, I was worried things would get repetitive. But alas, I was wrong. Enter, the lavender mint latte. So fresh. So delicious. And I am so going back. I saw many a cafe-goer order the iced option, which admittedly made me feel a little left out, but hey, there’s always next time (and there will be a next time).
Being in the Financial District, Bread & Cocoa does feel like more of an “in and out” kind of place, with pretty intense crowds at the typical breakfast and lunch rush, but overall, a great spot for an afternoon pick me up (in the lavender form).
Okay, bear with me, we’re going real deep into exotic latte land. Meet, the sweet potato latte, a staple of the adorable YakiniQ Cafe. I’ll admit, at first glance I thought I’d keep walking, but that felt like defeat. And so I took the plunge. It was sweet -- very sweet -- but also shockingly good. The cafe makes the drink with real sweet potatoes, which was a welcomed change from all the syrup I had consumed. Although it feels more like a fall drink (hiya, PSL!) I’d definitely recommend giving it a try.
The consensus: while at $5 a pop they’re definitely not meant to replace your morning cup o’ joe, lavender lattes and their equally delicious exotic counterparts are a definite treat for a weekend morning splurge. Will I continue to indulge? Yes, definitely, but will I ditch my current coffee habit for a lavender line up? No, probably not. In the meantime, I’ll continue to slowly make my way through San Francisco’s exotic latte scene -- promise to keep you posted.