Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf turned 50 this year, and instead of toasting the years with its namesake beverages, it’s celebrating like everyone else: with birthday cake.
Later this month, the L.A. coffee chain will debut a new beverage, the Birthday Cake Ice Blended, for sale through September.
Michelle Stene, director of product development for Coffee Bean, said the cold drink has been two years in the making and counts neither coffee nor tea in its ingredients. It’s made of nonfat milk, crushed ice and – yes – birthday cake-flavored powder. The festive drink is topped with whipped cream and multicolored confetti sprinkles.
“We thought that if we’re celebrating, we may as well celebrate with birthday cake,” she said. Plus, “it’s caffeine free, so it’s fun for the kids.”
Baristas can add coffee, on request, to the yellow-cake beverage, which costs $4.15 for 16 ounces. Coffee Bean shops will also sell small birthday cakes for two and birthday-cake cake pops.
Stene said she thinks the drink will sell well, considering the flavor has popped up lately in other unexpected places, including for ice-cream bars and vodka. “Birthday cake is a flavor that is resonating with the consumer right now,” she said.
– Bethany Firnhaber
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