Be Bright Coffee, co-owned by the freshly minted 2024 US Barista Champion Frank La, is rolling out new seasonal drink offerings at their cafe in Los Angeles, California. These springtime beverages offer a little something for everyone, from tea-forward drinks like their 18-hour cold brewed Sencha Iced Tea and a caffeine-free Blue Jasmine Palmer (blue jasmine cold brew, lemonade, lemon wheel garnish), to coffee beverages like their sparkling Strawberry Sichuan Tonic (strawberry Sichuan peppercorn syrup, espresso, Fever Tree tonic, freeze-dried strawberries). But one that really got our attention was the Carrot Cake Latte.

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Just look at it! This gorgeous drink is built using an organic carrot juice-based carrot cake syrup, espresso, milk, carrot cheesecake cold foam and a candied carrot garnish. “The ingredients are something that can be easily found in any supermarket,” says Be Bright Coffee’s Assistant Manager Tae Kim, “but I found that organic carrot juice has more natural sweetness that works better in this recipe compared to non-organic.”

“I wanted the name of [Carrot Cake Latte] to easily communicate what the customers were ordering,” explains Kim, “I believe good customer service involves making things easy and simple. Having a straightforward name, such as the Carrot Cake Latte, easily communicates what they should expect ordering the drink.”

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We spoke with Tae Kim digitally to learn more. Find out what coffee goes into the latte, what food pairs best with it, and how Be Bright puts together its unique seasonal offerings below!

Beverage Name: Carrot Cake Latte
Coffee: Breakfast Blend Kaleidoscope espresso
Components: Carrot cake syrup, espresso, milk, carrot cheesecake cold foam and a candied carrot garnish
Release Date: 3/23/2024
Price: $7

What inspired the creation of this drink?

Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts. When I was researching our Spring Menu I searched what sorts of desserts people eat during the spring. Luckily, one of the desserts that popped up was carrot cake. That immediately inspired me to create the Carrot Cake Latte and was happy with how it turned out.

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Who created this new drink? Was it a team effort in development? 

Whenever we are coming up with a recipe, it is always a team effort. For this Spring Menu, Frank gave Michelle, his wife and my boss, and me full control of what should be on the menu. For the Carrot Cake Latte, I created the base recipe and through collaborative effort and input from Frank and Michelle, we landed on a final recipe to what it is today.

What kind of coffee is used in this drink?

The coffee we use is our Breakfast Blend Kaleidoscope, which is 50% Ethiopia and 50% Peru. The Kaleidoscope as an espresso has a nice citrus note with a lingering caramel finish which pairs perfectly with the ingredients that are used for the Carrot Cake Latte.

How did you work to balance the flavors and create the perfect taste profile?

When I was working on the recipe, I found that the balance was the hardest part to find. If you added too much of the carrot cake syrup, it was too sweet and overpowered the coffee, but if you didn’t add enough it was lacking the carrot cake flavor. What created the perfect balance was adding some of the syrup into the Carrot Cake Foam which boosted the Carrot Cake Flavor without overpowering the coffee. I got that idea from one of our previous recipes that Frank created from other foams we previously had.

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Would you recommend any food pairings to go along with it?

I could be wrong, but the best food pairing for a Carrot Cake Latte would probably be carrot cake. I would also maybe suggest a pastry that has a good ginger and orange flavor as well.

What are people saying about it?

Whenever I ask customers what they think of the drink they say, “It’s really good,” or “Wow, that really tastes like a carrot cake.” People think it’s fun, festive, and tastes like a carrot cake in liquid form!

Thank you!

Visit the Be Bright Coffee cafe at 7311 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, California. For more, follow @bebrightcoffee on Instagram.

Carrot Cake Latte photos by Stan Lee, courtesy Be Bright Coffee.

Read about more specialty coffee and tea drinks from our On The Menu archive: