Mixes Make Turmeric Milk Lattes Easy

Ancient and imbued with healing powers complementary to tea, turmeric is a root spice experiencing strong growth globally in beverages and cosmetics. Turmeric (curcuma longa) is an herbaceous perennial in the ginger family (zingiberaceae) that tastes peppery and has a lingering, somewhat bitter finish that can be successfully blended into a pleasant and nutritious drink, often with the addition of milk or milk substitutes such as soy. As a tonic and medicine, turmeric has been a natural remedy for centuries. In recent years, formulations have been developed by several tea companies including Numi Organic Tea, Traditional Medicinals, Rishi Tea, Teeccino and Choice Organic Tea. The mustard-colored herb is now seeing strong sales as a latte. “Known as the golden spice or the magic sword against inflammation, turmeric has been used in Ayurveda, the Indian system of holistic medicine, for nearly 4,000 years,” says Hament Chavda, a pharmacist and co-founder of Nature’s Harvest with his wife, Sonal. The Australian company produces a Turmeric Latte Mix in both concentrate and powder for retail and foodservice. “In Sanskrit, turmeric has at least 53 different names including jayanti (one that wins over diseases),” explains Chavda. “I spent many years as a pharmacist dispensing medications, now choosing to promote and encourage a more holistic approach, dispensing food as medicine.” Researchers estimate the overall turmeric market will experience combined annual growth of 6.4 percent during the five years ending 2021.

Ready for Retail

Residents of the United Kingdom also are familiar with the spice. A small family business run by Maggie Howell and her husband, Phil, in Farnham produces the ready-to-blend Turmerlicious. “We officially launched at the Natural and Organic Food Fair at Excel in April,” Maggie told the Hook Herald. “At the show, we were picked from over 90 innovative companies to pitch in a live dragon’s den style," Maggie said. "After six live pitches, we were announced one of the two winners automatically listed in the 1,100-store health food chain Holland & Barrett.” The instant turmeric lattes are packed in single-serving sachets. The latte is made from a blend of coconut milk, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, a hint of black pepper to aid with the absorption of curcumin—the active component in turmeric—and coconut blossom nectar to add a touch of sweetness. She told the Herald that Turmerlicious is dairy free, gluten free, nut free and caffeine free. To maximize the health benefits of the drink, each serving contains approximately 1.5 grams of turmeric powder. In Australia, “The turmeric latte, aka 'golden latte' or 'dirty golden,' was 2016's 'It' tonic by a mile, comprising either juiced or chopped turmeric root or turmeric powder, and typically teamed with variety of spices and trendy dairy-free milks,” Katherine Scott writes for Kitchen Nine.

Cafe-born Packaged Product

“Most cafes in Australia and the U.K. serve around 350 cups of turmeric lattes a month then steadily increase to more than 900 to 1,000 cups a month based on location and number of customers," Chavda said. "Colder months see a 30 percent rise in consumption compared to summer. Turmeric lattes can be served iced or hot. Most people prefer hot. Turmeric Lattes can also be poured over a single or double shot of coffee, termed a 'dirty' turmeric latte," he explained. Chavda recalls that when one of his team proposed serving a “turmeric latte” at the family’s health food café in Cottesloe, Western Australia, “we laughed remembering how our mothers used to give us turmeric and milk when we were children. We were unaware of the health benefits back then.” Taking up the challenge, Chavda decided on a blend of seven spices so the otherwise pungent taste of turmeric is balanced by the citrusy character of cardamom, the sweet aromatic flavor of cinnamon and spicy, peppery, lemony flavor of ginger. The slight chili adds a little heat, he said. There is no caffeine, no sweeteners, no additives or preservatives. The blend grew in popularity among customers “until one demanded that we package the mix so she could make it at home,” he said. “We have since found the Turmeric Latte Mix to be preferred even more by health-conscious females, young to middle aged, urban and rural, across ethnicities. However, once a health-conscious individual purchases the pack, others in the house quickly follow,” he said. “They like the fact that we buy organic ingredients direct from farmers and donate $1 from every 70 gram pack and $3 for every 250 gram pack to support youth globally,” he said. Since May 2016 the company has sold 1.6 million cups of the latte, generating $46,000 for Magic Moments Youth Leadership. The company’s products are sold at the company’s headquarters in Sydney, at Whole Foods Markets in the UK, at Huggs Cafés in Singapore and soon in the U.S. EMBED: www.turmericlattemix.com