Unicorn Latte: Worthy of Money or Just Instagram?


Photo by Yasmin Gulec

The End’s colourful but expensive Unicorn Latte.

Yasmin Gulec, Dining Editor

Every month, a new food takes over our Facebook feeds, and this month it is the Unicorn Latte. Excited by the magical name and a love for anything Instagram-worthy, I decided to find a place in New York where I could get a taste of this magical drink.

The End is a cute coffee shop in Brooklyn that exclusively offers the infamous Unicorn Latte. The atmosphere of the shop is as magical as the drink seems to be. Small yet functional, the coffee shop not only sells hot beverages but cold pressed juices, chocolate, and even clothing items. However, everything seems secondary when it comes to their unicorn latte. This warm juice is made from cold pressed lemon juice, honey, cayenne, steamed coconut milk, maqui berry and blue green algae. The algae gives the drink its blue color and its ability to boost one’s energy level without consuming coffee. The Unicorn Latte’s ingredients are considered very healthy. Coconut milk reduces inflammation and helps with digestion, while lemon juice soothes sore muscles and settles the stomach. Whether those health benefits are worth the drink’s $9 price tag, however, is debatable.

The fan base of this drink increased very rapidly within the first month of its release, and it became one of the The End’s most popular drinks. However, despite its popularity, people’s initial reactions to the idea of the drink are not the same as their reactions after they taste it. Many New Yorkers who are coffee fans, myself and Gothamist photographer Scott Heins included, do not like it, because it does not energize as an espresso shot or even a normal latte could. Others think that this is only a scheme to sell a mediocre drink by using the word “unicorn” in it, since it worked before with unicorn hot chocolate and unicorn cupcakes. Whether this was a clever scheme crafted by the Unicorn Latte’s creators to sell more drinks or just a healthy alternative to an energizing drink is a decision you have to make after tasting the drink for yourself.

At first look, the Unicorn Latte is an Instagram user’s dream due to its colorful star sprinkles, glitter and blue color. Although everyone loves brightly colored food, the magic was all gone after a few sips. Despite being called a latte, it tasted more like honey-lemon tea. It is important not to get sucked into the world of food trends and forget to appreciate the simple yet delicious things in life. I would definitely prefer a cup of coffee, which would do a much better job of energizing me for the day.  Students on a college budget who aren’t concerned with their Instagram feed should consider recreating it at home — with or without the algae — to save themselves a few dollars.

The Unicorn Latte may be overrated, but the unicorn trend isn’t all bad: unicorn hot chocolate could be the future!

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Jan. 23 print edition.

Email Yasmin Gulec at [email protected].