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Is Starbucks' Newest Coffee Drink Worth a Shot? Axl Rose Loves Taco Bell

Plus other food news from around the world.

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Happy 2016. In the spirit of kicking off the new year on the right foot you should probably have a cup of coffee. It's supposed to be full of health benefits — so beneficial, in fact, that scientists are extracting derivatives from its chemical makeup for use in baked goods. And it might be getting even better as one scientist has enhanced coffee beans with the antioxidants found in red wine. (Yes, yes, tea good for you too.)

In related news, Starbucks released a new espresso beverage for the new year called the Latte Macchiato. How does it differ from a latte or a macchiato? Read on to find out. Meanwhile, experts are warning that a coffee bean crisis could be coming.

In other news, the minimum wage — which affects a large portion of the hospitality industry — is going up in a handful of states this month; Axl Rose professes his love for Taco Bell; and Chick-fil-A's New York City location suffered an embarrassing DOH disaster over the holiday weekend, and it's still closed.


Starbucks' New Latte Macchiato

Tomorrow, Starbucks launches a new drink called the Latte Macchiato. According to a release, the drink is the newest addition to Starbucks' espresso menu. It joins the Flat White, which the coffee giant released around this time last year. Composed of espresso and milk, Starbucks explains that unlike a latte, where steamed, frothy milk is poured over espresso, a latte macchiato sandwiches the espresso between two clouds of aerated milk which "allows the espresso to temporarily suspend between the steamed milk at the bottom and the foam on top." Visually, the drink looks like an inside out ice cream sandwich. It will be available at all stores in the U.S. and Canada, and at participating stores in Latin America. In other new coffee news, California-based The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is also introducing a few new drinks this month. Instead of reinventing the latte, it's revamping the Americano by offering guests the ability to add flavors to their milk foam-free espresso drinks.

Image credit: Starbucks/Official


Chick-fil-A's DOH Disaster

Chick-fil-A suffered an embarrassing Department of Health incident over the holiday weekend. The company closed its highly anticipated and high traffic New York City location after the DOH slapped it with a report containing 59 violation points. As Eater NY notes, this was enough for a "C" grade; the report included four "critical" violations for things like food held at the wrong temperatures and evidence of filth flies. Ew. Though the DOH gave the restaurant a "grade pending" sign, and would allow it to continue operations in advance of a re-inspection, Chick-fil-A voluntarily closed the location for five days "to ensure we continue to provide our guests with the best possible service and experience." The location was expected to reopen for breakfast this morning, but it has been delayed.

Image credit: Chick-fil-A


The Minimum Wage Also Rises

Thousands of food service employees are getting a bump in their paychecks this month thanks to new locally mandated minimum wages. Here's everything you need to know. Here's the TL;DR: As of January 1, the minimum wage rose in Washington, DC (to $10.50), California and Massachusetts (to $10), for fast food workers in New York (to $9.75), Alaska (to $9.75), Washington (to $9.47), and Oregon (to $9.25).

Image credit: Stephen Finn/Shutterstock


A Specialty Coffee Shortage Looms

According to the Telegraph, increased specialty coffee consumption and "finer tastes have created a structural imbalance" between single origin, or micro-roasted coffee supply and demand Analysts predict this will lead to a shortage of high quality coffee within three years time. Though data was recently reviewed for the UK market specifically, this predicted shortage has been in the news for several months.
But could there actually be a shortage? What's more likely is for coffee prices to rise. $7 single shot latte anyone?

Image credit: Shutterstock


Axl Rose Is a Taco Bell Fan - Who Knew?

Axl Rose, the only remaining original member of Guns N' Roses, side swiped comments about a possible Guns reunion by professing his love for Taco Bell on Twitter this weekend. On New Year's Day he wrote, "The only thing I know "confirmed" is my LOVE of Taco Bell! Mmmmm.... Taco Bell!! Happy New Years!!" followed by a champagne emoji, party hat emoji, and taco emoji. Taco Bell tweeted back, "You're not the only one," with a wink-y face emoji. We pegged him as more of a McDonald's/McDougals fan.

Image credit: Wikipedia