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.
Check out a few of our photos from the tasting below:
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.
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.
The Winter Dream Tea Latte is your basic chai, remixed with extra oomph. Cinnamon comes off a bit strong though.
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.
Gratuitous topographical shot.
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: