Taste Test: Starbucks' Caramel Flan Latte

By Kelly Dobkin  |  February 4, 2014

Starbucks is going crazy with the dessert-themed lattes of late. From Creme Brulee to their latest creation - the Caramel Flan Latte - their slogan "where latte meets dessert" pretty much sums up this targeted latte marketing campaign. Tiramisu is the latest flavor, still in testing mode. We figured it was about time we tasted one of these creations as a culinary professional, to see how much (if at all) it actually tastes like the dessert. Results below.

Ingredients: “Espresso with steamed milk and caramel layers of creamy flan, topped with whipped cream and caramel-infused whipped cream and caramel flan drizzle.”

The pitch: “Wrap your winter-chilled hands around this dessert-inspired beverage. Our new Caramel Flan Latte starts with the perfect shot of espresso and freshly steamed milk -and then we add plenty of caramel flan deliciousness for a truly heartwarming treat.”

Initial thoughts: It looks not unlike just about every other caramel latte we’ve ever had. The caramel flan drizzle atop the whipped cream has a strong aroma of faux-caramel flavor. 

Tasting notes: A cross between caramel-flavored Coffee-mate with a slight hint of burnt milk on the finish. The caramel seems to deflate the whipped cream quickly, as it melded completely into our drink within about three minutes.

Resemblance to actual flan: Almost none.

Feeling after drinking it: Loaded up on caffeine and aspartame. Perfect state of mind to do some speed Flamenco dancing.