Folks call it a preschooler’s breakfast in a cup. It’s that big chain’s Toasted Graham Latte, or #TGL as the Twittersphere likes to call it. Besides tasting like milk left over in your kid’s cereal bowl after she’s slurped up all the soggy Cinnamon Toasted Crunch, what does a Toasted Graham Latte really taste like? And better yet, how do you make it taste better in your store?
We put Stockton Graham & Co.’s master taste testers to the task of describing the mermaid chain’s drink, and then we asked them to come up with something better. And since most of the latte and frappe recipes involved two shots of expertly pulled espresso made from beans just roasted in the back of our Raleigh facility, our taste masters where all too eager to oblige.
Based on actual sales of the other hot fall beverage — pumpkin spice lattes — provided by market research firm NPD Group, it is reasonable to expect 20% of your store’s customers will try a graham flavored beverage this season. And those customers’ average ticket will be slightly higher than your normal ticket in the critical fourth quarter. So let’s get your shop started selling your own custom version of a toasted graham beverage.
Describing A Toasted Graham Latte
When it comes to describing Starbuck’s Toasted Graham Latte, our taste testers identified cream, honey and graham crackers. Some of the more poetic descriptions include:
“Warm vanilla with hints of honey and chocolate, like if you dipped a s’more into warm frothed milk.” — Bennett
“I think of graham cracker pie crust…mmmm… now i’m hungry for pie and s’mores!” — Melissa
“A box of Teddy Grahams blended into a can of sweetened condensed milk.” — Mitchell
“Tastes like a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch.” — Blair
“Sugary cardboard dissolved in lukewarm water with hints of cinnamon and sadness.” — Sim
Hyperbole aside, all our taste testers commented that the Starbucks Toasted Graham Latte was okay. But overall, they all thought there was something important missing: the rich, deliciousness of just-roasted high quality coffee. So we set out to craft our own coffee-based toasted graham recipes.
Making a Better Toasted Graham Latte
Our taste makers tried to create a better version of the drink using syrups, sauces and mixes from our partners like Torani, MONIN and Big Train plus freshly roasted beans from our own roasting facility. Some of their more delicious options included a simple Honey Graham Latte featuring MONIN cinnamon and vanilla syrup and their natural honey sweetener.
“I like that you can really taste the espresso in this version,” Mitchell commented after sipping the new Honey Graham Latte. “There are two shots of espresso for a smaller latte, which makes it coffee-forward. The espresso’s dark chocolate flavors contrast nicely with the creamy sweetness of the milk, cinnamon, honey and vanilla in the drink.” Click here for the recipe.
The most delicious cold beverage option that our taste testers created was our Toasted Graham Frappe featuring Torani Real Cream Frappe Base, Torani Brown Sugar and Vanilla Syrup, Stockton Graham Coffee and Honey flavored Teddy Grahams.
“The Teddy Grahams have a subtle honey flavor that don’t overwhelm the coffee,” said Melissa. “The Torani Brown Sugar Syrup adds a deeper, richer flavor than the version with their Cane Sugar Syrup.” Check here for the recipe.
The most surprising recipe created by our taste testers was the Nutter Butter Latte featuring MONIN Peanut Butter and Cinnamon syrups and a freshly made latte using Stockton Graham Coffee. The combination of peanut butter, cinnamon and honey created a pleasing, rich backdrop for the baker’s chocolate flavor of the espresso. Check the recipe here.
Just the Coffee, Please
Some of our taste testers wanted to enjoy the creamy honey, cinnamon and vanilla flavors of a Toasted Graham Latte without adding extra syrups, sweeteners and creams to their coffee. That group gravitated toward some of Stockton Graham Coffee’s custom blended flavored options, which they enjoyed with a splash of half and half. Here’s a list of their favorites:
Snicker-Dandy: This coffee features the flavors of vanilla, hazelnut and cinnamon paired with a creamy butter flavor and hint of spice.
Winter Wonderland: Hazelnut and caramel sit lightly on a powdery snow of vanilla and and light coconut.
Crème Brûlée: The elegant flavors of sweetened cream, caramelized sugar and hints of vanilla taste like dessert without all the calories.
Danish Pastry: The coffee tastes like a sweet, buttery pastry from the corner bakery topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
To get started with your own Toasted Graham Lattee, contact our Customer Care Associates at 800 835 5943.