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Rose Latte, Love Latte

I’m on a rose kick. It started two years ago when I visited Carmel by the Sea with Sophie and we wandered into a store where I sampled the most beautiful charcoal rose lotion. I surprised even myself when I plunked down the $25 for the bottle as that was over my budget for a luxurious lotion but I had to have it. More surprisingly was the idea that I thought rose, be it hand lotion or face cream, as strictly the signature of older, more mature women. Like Grandmas?

Now that I’m older, and a Nonna, I have succumbed to a new appreciation of the woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, in the family Rosaceae. That’s straight from Google and the botanical way of describing one of this delicate and lovely scent.

Recently Regi and I went to San Clemente, CA while on a weekend to see our son. The first morning we woke up, we were on a mission for anything other than hotel coffee. A quick punch into our phone garnered quite a few five star recommendations. How we chose High Tide Coffee Co was pure luck–a great gamble that paid off.

I’ve never had a Rose Latte but I was on vacation and why not? After reading their specials for the day hand written on the white board, I asked the gentleman to describe the latte. I mean, as nice as le parfum of rose is, I’ve never had that craving other than to slather it on my skin. But as soon as the barista told me that they make their simple syrup in-house using fresh rose petals, I stopped him.

“I’ll take it.”

The end product was a tasty fragrant experience. Similar to how the smelling of a fine wine prepares your brain for what you’re about to taste, this rose scented latte did the same. A bouquet hit my nose the minute I brought the cup to my mouth. I couldn’t bring myself to sip it just yet in order to enjoy the waft a little longer. Even Regi could smell it from across the small round table we shared. His lavender honey latte wasn’t all that bad either.

The visual was amazing too. Dried rose petals floated on top of light pink froth (made possible by beet powder) and almost convinced me that it would be more beautiful than it would taste. I was wrong. The simple syrup did not overtake the rich coffee nor was it too sweet since I don’t like adding sweetener to my coffee. After the first sip, I quickly Googled whether or not rose petals were edible so that I knew whether to spit them into my napkin or gulp them down like a pro. I know, why would they serve something toxic, but to be honest, I’ve never had occasion to order a side of rose petals with my food. I had no idea they were edible.

Cheers to the best latte I’ve ever had (we went back the next three mornings as well). Maybe I’ll even try  making my own rose simple syrup soon. If I don’t succeed, I’ll guess I’ll have to head back to San Clemente because taking a trip for a good latte is just as good of excuse to get away as any for me.

“Of all the flowers, methinks a rose is best.” William Shakespeare

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