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FIRST LOOK: New Toffee Nut Latte and Toffee Nut Ice Blended from Coffee Bean (and a $1 Open House)

CB&TL Toffee Nut

Few coffee shops capture the utter bipolarness of a Southern California winter better than The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Their newest seasonal offerings, a Toffee Nut Latte and Toffee Nut Ice Blended, are perfect examples of the 50-year- old chain’s SoCal roots. Available hot or cold, you can enjoy yours either bundled up in a peacoat and infinity scarf, or out on a sunny patio waiting for your yoga class.

Starting this week, CB&TL released its winter line of beverages, bringing back its popular Red Velvet Hot Cocoa, Peppermint Mocha, and Winter Dream Tea Lattes, and introducing the faintly butterscotch-flavored Toffees. We were invited to a Coffee Bean location in Los Angeles yesterday to preview the spread before the chain’s Holiday Open House this Thursday, November 7 from 2 to 6 pm at all participating locations. Each 12-ounce holiday drink will be available for only $1, with proceeds going to The Help Group, a charity for children with learning disabilities.

CB&TL - Holiday 2013 - Promo Horizontal

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Check out a few of our photos from the tasting below:

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Neither too bitter nor too sweet, CB&TL’s Red Velvet Hot Cocoa is perfect for kids or adults looking to get their Rudolph on.

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Very chocolate-forward, the Peppermint Mocha was my least favorite of the bunch, but would probably be greatly improved by a sriracha candy cane stirrer.

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The Winter Dream Tea Latte is your basic chai, remixed with extra oomph. Cinnamon comes off a bit strong though.

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Pro-tip: get the Toffee Nut Latte for a subtley-sweet hit of butterscotch, and the Ice Blended version for something a bit more vibrant. Both were perfectly nutty and caramelly, though, and excellent alternatives to all the pumpkin-this, peppermint-that, and salted caramel-everything else.

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Gratuitous topographical shot.

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We also tried a few of their pastries: a maple scone, lemon-coconut cake, and the “World’s Best Coffee Cake.” Nothing too noteworthy there, except that they were all surprisingly moist, and are made locally every morning and shipped to each CB&TL location.

Onward, for bonus bakery-porn:

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By Dominique Zamora

Dominique would be a foodie if she had money to pay for food. For now, she gets by just looking at food photography, which results in at least one more starving journalism student every time Instagram breaks down.

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