A Guide to Melbourne's Colourful Non-Coffee Lattes

Because what even is a blue algae latte anyway?
Ellen Seah
Published on September 08, 2016

One of the only cities in the world where all the colours of the rainbow can be ordered in the form of a hot drink, Melbourne is obsessed with bright-coloured lattes. Rather than a standard latte made from boring old coffee beans, we're now seeing the hot milky (or, sorry, mylky) drinks being made with anything from beetroot to ground tea leaves to algae. If you don't understand how blue algae could possibly be made into a drinkable substance — you're not the only one. To help you navigate this brave new world where ordering a latte doesn't necessarily mean you're ordering a coffee, here's your guide to Melbourne's non-coffee lattes.


The blue algae latte at Matcha Mylkbar.


We predicted algae would be a think this year, and Melbourne has proven us right. The blue algae latte — which is most recognisably served up by St Kilda's Matcha Mylkbar — is lovely shade of Smurf blue thanks to the addition of active blue algae. Like other superfoods of its kind, algae is said to support immunity and health. To turn algae into liquid form, MM convert it into powder and mix with ginger, lemon and warm frothed coconut milk. It's definitely an acquired taste. Real Food Organic also do a similar algae-based pale Blue Majik Latte.

Where to get it: Matcha Mylkbar, Real Food Organic.

The golden latte at Serotonin Eatery.

The golden latte at Serotonin Eatery.


There are several ways to approach golden latte making, from using juiced turmeric root to boiling dried turmeric and straining it to create what some health nuts refer to as liquid gold. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, so these golden mugfuls are good for settling tummies. Over at Organica Cafe, they use an organic blend to create a mild, Indian-spiced flavour — they also sell their latte blend so you can try your hand at making it at home. Street Organics in Malvern make a turmeric latte, which boasts plenty of aromatic, immunity-boosting ginger, while part-gym, part-restaurant, Serotonin Eatery infuses their coconut milk-based golden turmeric with ginger, cinnamon and black pepper.

Where to get it: Organica Café, Street Organics, Serotonin Eatery.

Beetroot lattes at Happy Place.

Beetroot lattes at Happy Place.


Made from beetroot juice or powdered beetroot derived from the dried vegetable, these neon lattes are famed for their high antioxidant properties — so it's a perfect order if you can feel a cold coming on. You can get one at healthy haven Happy Place and, over at Abbotsford's Kitty Burns, they do an epic red velvet beetroot cacao latte. It's a sweet, healthy alternative for those who prefer their lattes caffeine-free.

Where to get it: Kitty Burns, Le Petite Prince, Happy Place, Matcha Mylkbar.

The red latte at Fresh Organic Goods.

The red latte at Fresh Organic Goods.


No, the flavour is not actually 'red' — these concoctions are actually made from ground rooibos tea. At Prahran's Fresh Organic Goods, their red lattes are a slightly sweet, slightly bitey version of your morning coffee, but with a whole slew of vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron and potassium.

Where to get it: Fresh Organic Goods.


The matcha latte at Matcha Mylkbar.


Go rogue on your usual local with Melbourne's favourite non-coffee order: the matcha latte. Matcha is a finely ground powder of green tea leaves and has sort of transcended the health food hysteria to become a part of normal, everyday fare. One of the best places to find it? Little Rogue. Tucked behind a vintage blue door on Drewery Lane, they serve up an addictively rich, gloriously green matcha latte — and in summer they do smooth iced matcha lattes. SMAK Food House's thick and creamy matcha soy latte is also a front-runner in Melbourne's green scene, while Trei Café was also one of the first to serve some much-needed winter-warming green tea lattes in Glen Waverley.

Where to get it: Little Rogue, SMAK Food House, Trei Café, Matcha Mylkbar. 

The rainbow latte at Too Many Chiefs. @butterbingmelb via Instagram.

The rainbow latte at Too Many Chiefs. @butterbingmelb via Instagram.


This one's a little ridiculous. At Brighton's Instagram-famed Too Many Chiefs, they don't like to restrict your colour choices. Their rainbow coffee is a mixture of their four other non-caffeinated choices – beetroot, matcha, turmeric and blue algae. If you're looking to hit peak rainbow, this is where to go.

Where to get it: Too Many Chiefs

Published on September 08, 2016 by Ellen Seah
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