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This may be old hat to a lot of you bacon maniacs – baconiacs? – but I’ve been wanting to try a bacon maple latte since I first heard about the Pirate Cat Radio version from Anthony Bourdain. Alas, it’s not something you see on every cafe menu. But this weekend we hit a new favorite breakfast spot here in Santa Barbara, Scarlett Begonia. I’m a sucker for niceties, and Scarlett Begonia just kills me with their complimentary amuse bouch, their super fresh, everything’s homemade attitude, and their lemon ricotta pancakes. Holy hell. And on Sunday they gave me another reason to love them: a maple bacon latte.

I tasted the latte before asking any questions. First, it was topped by crumbles of their perfectly cooked bacon (I love their bacon) and the foam had an immediate flavor of maple. When I asked where the maple came into play, they confirmed that it was drizzed on top, but it was clear that the maple made its way past the foam and into the latte itself, as it was definitely sweet. About halfway through as the foam dissipated, I noticed that there seemed to be some bacon grease floating on top, suggesting that they follow Pirate Cat’s lead in using some grease in the espresso. I found the combination of sweet coffee, maple foam and salty bacon just beautiful. In a full-sized latte cup, it was a bit much…I could only drink half of it. But it was totally worth ordering just to drink that half. If I hadn’t had pancakes (yes, and a side of bacon) for breakfast, I probably could have finished it as dessert. I’ll have to remember that next time. Mmm…next time.


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