We’re in a bit of a rainbow-everything moment so why not rainbow lattes with an herbal twist? Playing with colorful plants and making rainbow potions is the best and definitely brings out your inner potions professor. Instead of giving you a hard and fast recipe, I’ll be showing you how to construct your rainbow concoctions with whatever ingredients are easily available to you.
Basically, rainbow lattes are created by using fluids at different densities to create layers of color. I used four different plant milks in my latte experimentation. You could weigh them out with a scale, but I just added different color to each and layered them slowly, watching where they all eventually settled. The milk that settled on the bottom was the densest and the milk at the top the lightest. I encourage you to do the same with whatever milk you buy or make before you go about making your final product.
Here is what I found out about the densities of my plant milks:
The lightest was Coconut milk, followed by Almond, then Rice, and the heaviest was Oat milk.
I used a combination of sweetened and unsweetened milks so that I didn’t have to add any additional sweetener to my latte. If you’re adding sweetener do so before you layer your latte. Remember, that adding sugar or syrup to your milk will add density to your layer and may might it heavier than other layers in your latte.
Choose Your Rainbow Layers
Basically if it is a plant, fruit or veggie that tastes good to you, you should try it in your rainbow latte experimentations. Here is my list of color-rich plants with latte-worthy flavors for you to try.
Reds + Pinks : Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa), Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis), Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), Beet
Oranges + Yellows : Turmeric (Curcuma longa) (always add a pinch of Black Pepper to enjoy its full medicinal benefits), Mango, Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), Banana, Carrot
Greens + Blues : Spirulina (Spirulina platensis), Chlorella (Chlorella vulgaris), Blue Green Algae (Cyanobacteria spp.), Green Tea (Camellia sinensis), Butterfly Pea (Clitoria ternatea)
Purple : Blueberry, Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), Butterfly Pea (combine with Lemon to turn it from blue to purple), Black Tea (Camellia sinensis) (combined with red and pink ingredients), Acai (Euterpe oleracea)
I was in a Hibiscus mood when making my tea (thank you to the Hibiscus Mint sellers in Austin, TX for introducing me to the glory that is this iced red beverage), so both of my lattes feature that flavor. you’re not a fan of the sour taste of Hibiscus (but it’s so gooood), I recommend replacing it with Beet powder which has a naturally sweet taste for your red layer.
I made my four layer rainbow latte with the following ingredients:
- Bottom layer : Oat Milk with Hibiscus and Rooibos
- Second to bottom layer : Rice Milk with Turmeric and a small pinch of Black Pepper
- Second to top layer : Almond Milk with Spirulina
- Top layer : Coconut Milk with Acai and Elderberry
The dominant flavors are the Hibiscus and Rooibos which has a cooling, sweet and sour taste, combined with the other berry flavors or the latte made for a fun drink. Spirulina and Turmeric are both pretty neutral-tasting when used in small amounts, so while I was still enjoying their healing benefits, they did not disrupt the taste of the berry-flavored latte.
My three-layered rainbow latte features the refreshing flavors of mint and green tea to help you cool down during your summertime adventuring. It features:
- Bottom layer : Oat Milk and Hibiscus (I used a lot more Hibiscus than the first latte to get a darker color)
- Middle layer : Blue Green Algae, Peppermint Tea, and Green Tea
- Top Layer : Plain Coconut Milk
Putting It All Together
When making my colored layers, I would brew a strong infusion of my ingredient (such as Elderberry) in water and then add some to milk. A strong infusion might be 1 - 2 tablesoons of herb per 2 ounces of water. I typically added about 1 tablespoon of my tea to 2 ounces of plant milk. For powdered ingredients, such as Spirulina or Turmeric, I just added a little powder a bit at a time directly to the milk until I had achieved the color I wanted.
With my colorful milks made, it's time to pour! Add some ice into the bottom of your glass and pour in your first layer. I did about 2 ounces of milk per layer, but you don't have to be so precise. I would add a little more ice and then slowly pour in the next layer, usually along the side of the jar. Repeat until all layers have been poured. Voilà!
Feeling inspired to create your own herbal rainbow lattes? Yay! Let me know about what you end up making in the comments below. If you need more colorful herbal remedies in your life, click here.