Starbucks Toasted Graham Latte: We tried the new drink so you don't have to
Just two weeks after the Pumpkin Spice Latte made its triumphant return to Starbucks stores, the company has launched a new seasonal flavor.
The new Toasted Graham Latte was announced today as a celebration of the first day of fall and is available in Starbucks stores across the country for a limited time.
We're not used to having graham crackers outside of s'mores, so what's the flavor they're shooting for? According to a press release, "The Toasted Graham Latte is an espresso beverage with steamed milk, flavors of graham and sweet cream and finished with a sprinkling of cinnamon graham crumbles."
There are five different ways to enjoy the new Toasted Graham flavor, and we tried them all except for the Iced Toasted Graham Latte. So how were they?
1. Toasted Graham Latte
The Toasted Graham Latte (or TGL) is lightly dusted with graham cracker crumbles and cinnamon, which you can smell right before you sip. It almost smells like some sort of treat baking in the oven and definitely gave me a cozy, fall feeling. The flavor is very subtle, though — the strong flavor of the espresso overwhelms the graham. You do get a nice, sweet and creamy flavor, and the drink was definitely enjoyable, but it seemed like most of the graham flavor/scent was in the sprinkles on top of the drink.
2. Toasted Graham Frappuccino
Regardless of what the beverage below it tastes like, the whipped cream topping with its sprinkle of graham cinnamon crumbles is amazing. That should be a dessert in and of itself. As for the Frappuccino? Again, there wasn't much graham flavor to it, but it was very pleasantly creamy tasting and not overly sweet. It also had a nice, mild coffee flavor.
3. Toasted Graham Crème Frappuccino
The graham flavor was much more evident in the Crème Frappuccino, which doesn't have any coffee in it. In the coffee drinks, the sweet creaminess of the flavor works well, but the graham itself disappears. Here, because there is no coffee, you get a taste of the graham. Starbucks lists cereal milk and milk-soaked graham crackers as an inspiration for this flavor, and in the Crème Frappuccino you can definitely taste that. It's sweet, milky and has a hint of that cereal-y graham flavor, sort of like the milk left over from a bowl of Lucky Charms, but less sweet.
4. Toasted Graham Crème
I'd never had a Starbucks Crème before, and I must say it was really good! It's basically just steamed milk with the graham and sweet cream flavoring. This drink had the strongest graham flavor, probably because there was so little else competing for the spotlight. The flavor is light and clean and isn't as cloyingly sweet as some of Starbucks' other seasonal offerings have been. The Toasted Graham Crème was my favorite of the bunch. I could imagine sipping one in front of the fireplace or feeling the cup warm my hands on a late-autumn walk. I think this is a great option for kids too, and a less-sugary choice than hot chocolate, to boot.
If your palate tends toward creamy, warm, vanilla-type flavors, you'll enjoy the new Toasted Graham flavor at Starbucks. It's much more subtle and less overly sweet than some of their other seasonal offerings (looking at you, PSL), so if you've felt like you're missing out on indulging in a fall treat because of your aversion to those, I would give this one a try. For the most pronounced graham flavor, go for the Toasted Graham Crème, but if you just want a supremely creamy coffee drink, then the Toasted Graham Latte will be right up your alley. Just make sure to not skip the fragrant graham and cinnamon crumbles on top — and get whipped cream if you can.