There’s nothing quite like a quality coffeehouse latte. Whether you get it from Starbucks or your locals-only cafe, the drink is equal parts comforting and caffeinated. The only problem? It’s difficult to make at home. The drink’s signature frothy microbubbles are traditionally created with the help of a high-powered jet of steam that emanates from a clunky espresso machine. Not exactly something you’d fiddle with in your rush to get out the door. That’s where International Delight comes in. The creamer company recently rolled out a new product, the One Touch Latte. Its shtick: The creamer will turn drip coffee into a frothy latte with the touch of a button.
Does the product deliver? I grabbed a can of International Delight’s Vanilla One Touch Latte Creamer, bellied up to the company coffee station and began my investigation.
At first glance, the creamer looks much like a can of whipped cream and, taking a look at the ingredients list, I could see why. The One Touch Latte is powered with the same propellant as whipped cream: nitrous oxide. Yes, that’s the laughing gas you’d get at the dentist. In whipped cream cans, we know nitrous oxide works a little like this: The gas is trapped under lots of pressure. Once released, it interacts with the fat (cream) to create trillions of tiny bubbles. This is what gives whipped cream its fluffy texture.
Takeaway: Did International Delight just sell me whipped cream? (Quick PSA: Don’t buy that canned junk! Make our homemade whipped cream instead.) There’s only one way to find out…
The Latte Test
Eager to try it, I poured a cuppa drip coffee for the big reveal. The creamer’s instructions read: Leave room for froth. Fill cup 2/3 with coffee. Check. Shake it! Double check. Press and hold 5-7 seconds. I held my breath as I pressed down with panache. The creamer started to spray into my mug.
Out of the thin nozzle came a thin string of condensed cream and a rapid rush of air. In the blink of an eye, my coffee developed a thick, fluffy cloud of froth and the coffee turned pale brown. I was shocked. It looked exactly like the latte advertised on the bottle.
Takeaway: It’s lookin’ a lot like a latte. (Bet you can’t say that 10 times fast!) But how does it taste?
The Taste Test
I was wary of sampling the drink in front of me. When it comes to coffee, I’m more of a milk-no-sugar kind of girl-and International Delight is known for its sweet, candylike flavors. I took a small sip.
I was assaulted with hypersweet vanilla flavor. I realized then that the foam is actually concentrated creamer in bubble form. I took a deeper sip to taste the coffee itself. This was better. The black coffee had been only slightly sweetened. (I fear that most of the flavor collected in the foam on top.) The coffee alone was smooth and tasted as if it had a touch of coconut.
Takeaway: I wasn’t a fan of the foam’s flavor. Luckily, the coffee beneath worked well as a chaser.
Shortly after that first sip, I noticed that the foam started to deflate. I didn’t mind this, as I usually drink my latte drinks pretty quickly. However, after serving up a second and a third latte to co-workers, the product’s frothing strength began to dwindle. A day later, the creamer looked more like silly string flowing from the can, curdling into the coffee in an unappetizing fashion.
Takeaway: At first, International Delight’s new product worked like a charm. After that? Well, let’s just say I’d prefer traditional creamer.
The initial shock value of this product is pretty cool. I was definitely impressed by how frothy the faux-latte (flatte?) became. To me, the creamer tasted way too sweet, but I know a handful of people who wouldn’t mind that intensity. Psst! It’s the same people who’d enjoy an over-the-top dessert, like this. The big disappointment here was that the creamer had a super short lifespan. For that reason, I’d recommend passing on this product. You’re better off with traditional creamer. Better yet, learn to make your own specialty brews with our tested-and-perfected coffee shop drink recipes, here.