This true blue coffee brew has algae in it

Besides live blue algae powder, the drink also contains lemon, ginger agave and coconut milk.
Instagram screengrab @matcha_mylkbar

You know you've hit latte jackpot when customers order the drink not by pointing at the menu, but at your Instagram pictures.

This is the story of a newfangled brew of latte emerging from the hipster capital of the world, Melbourne, which makes for an Instagram-worthy picture.

At first glance, the blue latte looks like it has been diluted with a laundry detergent that kills bacteria and probably algae, but the drink actually contains a teaspoon of E3Live blue algae powder.

Yes, you read that right: Live blue algae powder.

Aptly called "smurf latte", the drink can be found at a vegan cafe called Matcha Mylkbar in Melbourne.

According to Mashable Australia, the drink also contains lemon, ginger agave and coconut milk, which begs the question: Why is it called a latte?

"It's been crazy. Over the weekend we've sold well over 100 of the lattes, and considering we're a small 40-seat cafe, it's a lot," the cafe's co-owner, Nic Davidson told Mashable Australia.

"It's like our beetroot and mushroom lattes. We even have people who don't speak English ordering by just pointing to the photo on Instagram."

The funky algae powder is safe for human consumption, E3Live - the brains behind the algae powder - said on its website, adding that it has been cleared by all government regulatory departments in Australia, including the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

However, the powder has not been approved the US Food and Drug Administration, reported Mashable Australia.

According to E3Live, the algae is Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), an edible freshwater plant that is harvested from Klamath Lake in Oregon, which is similar to your green vegetables, albeit in a rarer form.

While Matcha Mylkbar is the first cafe to introduce an algae latte, it isn't the first cafe to have a blue drink.

Closer to home, Dapper Coffee at 73A Amoy street launched a glittery blue drink called "Unicorn Tears" in Sept 2015, and has sold over 1,000 bottles during the recent four-day Singapore Coffee Festival, The Straits Times reported.

Ms Christine Seah, 25, Dapper Coffee's business leader declined to reveal the contents of the drink, insisting that it's made from the cafe's blend called Mongolian Unicorn.

That's another blue drink worthy to be posted on Instagram.

grongloh@sph.com.sg