Starbucks Buzz: Caramelized Honey Latte is a delight

(Claire Cecil/ Fourth Estate)

(Claire Cecil/ Fourth Estate)

Rachel Shubin, Staff Writer

Damn, Starbucks! Back at it again with the limited-edition drinks, I see.

Even before I’d finished writing my review on the Cherry Blossom Frappuccino at Starbucks, I found out they had quietly released yet another spring drink — the Caramelized Honey Latte (CRHL).

Starbucks describes the new drink as “a sophisticated, slow-cooked caramel honey sauce meets our bold espresso roast and steamed milk to create a delightfully sweet latte experience.” It’s available hot, iced or blended in a Frappuccino.

Anytime Starbucks comes out with a limited-edition drink (think butterscotch latte), I feel an urge to try it. I opted to try the Frappuccino version of the CRHL because it was a warm day.

The first flavor I noticed was a rush of honey. There were certain caramel undertones to the drink, before a more subdued honey flavor kicked in. The cool drink left a feeling of a honey bath in my mouth. There is a whipped cream finish with honey sugar crumble on top.

It’s safe to say that you need to like honey if you order this drink.  I happen to be a honey fanatic, so it felt like Starbucks had created this drink especially for me.

On the second sip, it felt really refreshing and it was clearly my new favorite. Normally I order a caramel Frappuccino, but the honey syrup really sets this drink apart. It is sweet, but not overly so. I wish the CRHL Frappuccino was a permanent addition to the menu because I would make that my standard order.

I asked the barista who made my drink what he thought of the flavor, and he told me that it reminded him of the Toasted Graham Latte that is offered in the winter.

A fan of Starbucks Frappuccinos, junior Will Lee decided to try the CRHL Frappuccino. “I like it a lot. I thought it would be way too sweet, but it was understated in my opinion. I’d definitely recommend it to others,” said Lee.

A quick Instagram search of #CaramelizedHoneyLatte brings up hundreds of posts of people trying out this new favorite.

“A lot of people have ordered the hot version of the latte through the drive through in the morning,” junior Kassandra Gardner, who works at an off-campus Starbucks, said.

The honey sugar crumble on top of the whipped cream is an extra special treat. The flavor is unique and subtle and truly compliments the flavoring of the drink.

I found myself back at Starbucks for a third time in one week (Starbucks is a staple in the collegiate diet) craving more honey goodness. Unfortunately, the third time was not the charm for the CRHL. I opted to try an iced latte version, expecting to taste the same flavors as I did in the Frappuccino. I was wrong.

While the iced CRHL has a stronger coffee flavor, there is definitely a decreased honey taste. Perhaps the culprit is the thickness of the honey syrup, which had pooled at the bottom and sides of the cup.

“The iced latte version has a strong possibility for all the syrup to sink to the bottom, it doesn’t mix very well,” Gardner said.

The iced version came with whipped cream – the barista asked me if I wanted it while taking my order. Of course I said yes, wanting all the possible whipped cream and honey sugar crumbles I was entitled to.

The tall version of the CRHL will put you out no less than $5. That is standard for Starbucks’ pricing. But overall, I’d say it’s worth the price.

Starbucks has not said how long the limited-edition drink will be available, so get it while it’s hot (or iced, or blended).