CSIRO broccoli lattes and other crimes against coffee

A rainbow of alternative lattes, including blue algae, turmeric, matcha and mushroom at Matcha Mylkbar in Melbourne.
A rainbow of alternative lattes, including blue algae, turmeric, matcha and mushroom at Matcha Mylkbar in Melbourne. Photo: Nic Davidson


The CSIRO made headlines this week for creating something called a broccoli latte. Hang on, a broccoli what now? The cruciferous vegetable is delicious but it has no place in coffee. Milk and sugar can be added to jitter juice and that's about it.

The broccoli latte is made using a brassica powder created by the CSIRO in partnership with research and development corporation Hort Innovation and uses produce that might have otherwise ended up as landfill. A hot drink that can put more nutrients in the national diet and benefit farmers is welcome news, but let's not call it a latte. "Milky broccoli coffee thing" is more accurate.

Drink your greens: the broccoli latte.
Drink your greens: the broccoli latte. Photo: Supplied

Unfortunately, the broccoli latte is the latest culprit in a growing number of coffee crimes that make a baristas' blood boil. Any cafes guilty of the following should be reported to your local latte authorities immediately.

Golden latte

Dairy milk or nut "mylk" mixed with ground turmeric. Sometimes there's coconut oil and occasionally actual coffee, but this is essentially watery curry in a cup.

The golden latte took off after wellness gurus proclaimed turmeric as a superfood and while evidence suggests the yellow spice might have beaut anti-inflammatory properties, you're probably better off eating some vegetables and getting on with your day.

Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino in all its sugary hypercolour glory.
Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino in all its sugary hypercolour glory. Photo: Starbucks

Butter coffee

Also known as Bulletproof Coffee, the standard recipe involves coffee, butter and MCT oil which some researchers claim can help weight loss. I always thought an espresso was better for weight loss than coffee with a pat of butter in it, but hey, I'm no wellness expert.

Popular among paleo dieters who won't drink milk (although butter is fine for whatever reason), Bulletproof Coffee was invented by an American bloke named Dave Asprey who describes himself as a "professional biohacker".

On my list of Job Titles Belonging To People I Never Want To Have Dinner With, biohacker is very high. Right up there with "social media influencer", "recruitment expert" and "Collingwood Football Club president".


The babycino

This nonsense is why most baristas look dead inside. See also: asking for coffee to be served, "Really, really hot. No, REALLY hot. Last time I came in here and asked for my coffee to be served really hot it wasn't hot enough. Make sure it's really hot this time. Did you hear me? HOT, I said. And decaf, too."

Unicorn Frappuccino

A swirly blue and purple drink from Starbucks that would magically turn pink when stirred because: science. This plastic cup contained 76 grams of sugar by way of mango syrup, some kind of weird blue powder confection, whipped cream, milk and zero coffee.

The Unicorn was available for five days in the US (it never made it to Australia) and grown-up Americans went into pink frapp' fits trying to get  their hands on one to Instagram. Most likely the same American adults who get hysterical over Candy Crush Saga, royal weddings, Young Sheldon and Crocs.

Mushroom coffee

Attention all "superfood" marketing departments: stop trying to marry ingredients that hate each other. Is it too hard to enjoy a straight-up espresso in the morning followed by a salad at lunch? What is wrong with you people? Do you also put Ice Magic in bolognese and add mayonnaise to tea?

The doggycino

Pupper would be just as happy drinking water, hey.