Blue latte: Could algae-infused beverage signal peak hipster?

Another superfood that will help your ‘mind/body balance’ - but it tastes like grass

Ireland has reached peak hipster, with a cafe in Dublin now selling luridly blue almond lattes made with live algae and lightly dusted with lividly-coloured beetroot shavings.

There was hardly a queue out the door of Cracked Nut on Dublin's Camden St on Wednesday morning and no one was clamouring for its brand new Live Blue Lattes. But the barista on duty did say a couple of people had ordered the drink to go before The Irish Times arrived.

There really is no accounting for some folk. The very notion that anyone would waste a most Instagram-able moment by putting this Smurf-like latte into a cardboard cup and then covering it with a while plastic lid is ludicrous. This is a drink best served in a small, clear glass and then photographed from multiple angles.

Anyone hoping for a caffeine buzz will be left flat as there is no coffee at all in the mix. All you can expect is a milky drink made with lemon, ginger, agave, almond milk and E3 live algae.


It is the alga which gives it its bright blue colour, but apart from adding filter-friendly blue notes it is, according to Cracked Nut owner Nikki Carruther, " a superfood that helps support overall body/mind balance".

The blue latte was only concocted last summer at Melbourne’s vegan Matcha Mylkbar and she said the the cafe was “ really excited to be the first in Ireland to have it on our menu.”

But why? What it is for? There is some research out there suggesting algae is an antioxidant which promotes healthy inflammation responses after physical activity as well as supporting healthy joints and cellular protection.

It is, however, unclear how many lattes a body would need to consume and for how long before any benefits would be seen, but at four euro a pop, you’d need pretty deep pockets to make it a feature of your daily routine.

As for the taste, some people have described it having a sour milk flavour with a bitter after taste.

That seems a bit harsh. The almond milk gave it a vague sweetness but the strongest flavour was grass with a tiny hint of ginger which is grand, if that’s your thing.

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor and cohost of the In the News podcast