Matcha lattes…turmeric lattes…beetroot lattes…it’s safe to say that the humble ‘latte’ has definitely had a healthy makeover in more ways than one.
But now there’s a new kid on the block (you may have already heard of it). It’s called the black latte.
The black latte has been doing the rounds for some time now in certain London cafes. I don’t think the trend has quite made it to the north yet, but I’m confident that it’ll only be a matter of time!
Black lattes contain a magic ingredient called activated charcoal, which gives them detoxifying properties as well as the noticeable blue/black colour.
If you can’t find the new hot drink at a cafe near you, the solution is simple. Make your own version at home!
(And please don’t laugh at my awful attempt at latte art.)
Benefits of Activated Charcoal
Available to purchase in capsule or powder form, activated charcoal works by binding to the toxins in our bodies through a process called adsorption (different to absorption), and carrying them out safely.
Regular consumers report that activated charcoal can relieve bloating, reduce gassiness…and is just a good all-round helper if one happened to overdo it the night before. (Psst…apparently it makes a great hangover cure!)
Charcoal in powdered form can also be used to whiten teeth in a natural, chemical-free way.
My discovery of the black latte actually comes at quite a good time. I recently bought a canister of charcoal capsules, simply to keep to hand for the odd morning where I feel a bit “bleeuggh”. I’ve been reading up about it and it seemed like it was a good thing to have in the house.
One word of warning though if you’re thinking about adding charcoal to your daily supplements. Due to it’s highly adsorbing properties, it has the ability to inhibit absorption of medicines, vitamins, or even nutrients.
If you’re taking medication, it’s best to talk to your doctor before adding charcoal into the mix. And if you happen to be taking a daily vitamin or the contraceptive pill, you’ll want to make sure these aren’t taken within several hours of taking activated charcoal, or their effectiveness may be reduced.
On days where I feel a little bloated, I simply take two charcoal capsules first thing in the morning, with some water. I take my daily probiotic and multivitamin at the end of the day, in the evening. So the properties of the charcoal aren’t likely to interfere.
What Type of Charcoal Should You Buy?
I should also say that not all activated charcoal is created equal. There will be natural brands; there will be synthetic brands. And there are many brands that are not vegan-friendly, so always check the ingredients – or ask the seller.
The charcoal I use is a natural, high grade one derived from coconut shells. It’s also approved by the Vegan Society. I’ve linked it below, for those who want to try it.
Detoxifying Charcoal Latte Recipe
This Black Magik latte is the perfect way to incorporate activated charcoal into your diet! It’s comforting, it’s sweet, it’s soothing…and you can be happy knowing its helping to detoxify your body.
I’d recommend drinking this latte alone – at least an hour before or after food.
If you’d like to add a bit of a stimulant, you can add the little bit of cacao, which will also give it a slight chocolatey taste.
1 mug oat, almond or coconut milk
1 tsp (or two emptied capsules) activated charcoal (I recommend this brand.)
1 tsp maple syrup or date syrup
OPTIONAL: 1/4 or 1/2 tsp cacao
Blend all ingredients in a blender. Heat in microwave for approximately 1 minute.
If you’re trying to keep this latte raw, heat it on the hob gently in a saucepan until you start to see the first wisps of steam coming off. Remove from the heat immediately and serve.
What did you think of this recipe? Have you tried a black latte yet? Let me know in the comments!