I recently stumbled upon the joys of kinako latte at a miniscule cafe in Arashiyama, Kyoto called kyo no cha no nagomi. We had stopped to taste their fluffy little squares of fat-free green tea and soy milk cakes (incidentally, our toddler, T adored their strawberry version). And since I was slightly obsessed with tasting matcha lattes on this trip (mostly thanks to my culinary goddess of a sister-in-law’s frequent mentions of how she loves having them at Starbucks in Tokyo), I decided to be adventurous and try a kinako latte. Before I knew it, I was hooked!
Kinako (黄粉) is roasted whole soy flour and has a gorgeously nutty flavour. I really enjoy it in warabi mochi (especially from the stall at Nishiki Market in Kyoto which sells it), in ice cream and sprinkled over Japanese parfaits. Simply a combination of kinako, milk and a touch of sugar, kinako latte contains no coffee and is caffeine free (a boon for expectant mothers trying hard to eliminate caffeine from their diets). It tastes almost like a malted drink; just the thing for a cold Spring morning or a rainy day in the tropics.
You can choose to substitute whole cows milk with skimmed cow’s milk or soy milk, but I find that this recipe, as is, comes closest to the kinako latte I had at kyo no cha no nagomi. The hint of sugar is key as it really accentuates the nuttiness of the kinako.
120ml (½ cup) whole cow’s milk
2 tbsp kinako
sugar to taste (I use about ½ tsp cane sugar syrup, agave is a good substitute)
Combine milk and kinako in Nespresso Aeroccino. Froth milk. Or, you can just heat the milk and kinako in a small saucepan over the stove or in a microwave, then blend or whisk. Pour into cup. Add sugar to taste, stir and sprinkle with additional kinako if you wish. Serve immediately.