It’s undeniable that the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino was a total hit. And sure, it Instagrammed well, but it was also just plain unhealthy. The grande size was loaded with 410 calories and 59 grams of sugar, it also contained 16 grams of fat. There’s nothing magical about that.
The massive coffee chain wasn’t unique in their introduction of a beautiful beverage that tastes as good as it ‘grams; The End, a coffee shop and juice bar in Williamsburg has been slinging their version of the colorful Unicorn Latte for a few months now. The blue beverage doesn’t just look good, but it’s packed with E3 live blue green algae, a cold-pressed lemon tonic, wildflower honey, cayenne, vanilla bean extract and cashew mylk. There are no unpronounceable ingredients here.
However, The End is adding a new frothy beverage to their menu that is threatening to dethrone the Unicorn. Introducing the Merbabe Latte. Packed with sweet ingredients such as strawberry, dragon fruit, hibiscus and schisandra berry, the pink concoction is topped with purple foamed coconut mylk that is infused with blue green algae and marine collagen. Golden flax crumble, kelp flakes and vegan sprinkles are added on top, for extra health benefits (and as Instagram bait). There are no processed sugars or ingredients in this drink; everything in The End’s Merbabe Latte is plant-based.
“These are the kind of ingredients that help you get in touch with your intuition and listen to your inner guidance. It’s a drink that helps bring confidence to all of the amazing women out there and [the] fuel to just go out there and, you know get it done,” said The End co-founder, Madeleine Murphy. For example, shisandra berry will banish fatigue and increase mental clarity, while strawberries are known for supporting healthy skin and teeth. Marine collagen also serves to promote healthy skin, but it goes even deeper and promotes tissue regeneration and bone growth.
The pink drink, which tastes like sweet coconut milk with subtle fruity undertones, was born from the theme of female empowerment. When Murphy started thinking about the women’s movement and all the people who have been putting their efforts into making women’s lives better, it made her think about how that kind of momentum starts from within.
“There are so many amazing parts to being a woman, but sometimes we also put so much on our plate. We try and do so much and, [but] we don’t allow ourselves to fill our cup,” she explained to the Observer. So she wanted to develop a beverage that would help women find that inner strength, while also allowing them to feel beautiful, from the inside out. As it turns out, most of the beverages on The End’s menu have some sort of health benefit, from their Anxiety-Melting CBD latte, which does just as it says or the Purple Amethyst Latte, which fights radicals and promises a soothing after effect.
“We honestly want to leave people in places better than we found them, and I found so much wisdom, information, and functionality in the plant-based diet, or using ingredients that are sometimes intimidating,” explained Murphy. And if you can Instagram it, well, it’s even better.
The Merbabe Latte launches at The End (522 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211) this weekend. But mention that you are an Observer reader and you can order the drink starting Tuesday.