Coffee Break: Trying Holiday Drinks from Starbucks By: Triana Devaux, Brynn Baker, and Rebekah Lindsay

Around the holidays, Starbucks reveals a variety of drinks to enjoy as the weather becomes chilly. However, some of their drinks tend to be better than others, so we decided to pinpoint the very best Starbucks holiday drinks of 2018. We gave each drink a grade using three criteria: overall taste, how much it reminded us of the holiday spirit, and whether or not we would order it again.

Peppermint Mocha:

The peppermint mocha is a go-to holiday beverage that has a nice chocolate-coffee taste with a kick of peppermint. The chocolate is rich, but not too sweet, as the coffee and peppermint seem to balance it out. The peppermint mocha is the perfect combination of flavorful and simple, and is definitely not a holiday drink you want to miss out on.

Snickerdoodle Hot Chocolate:

Although the snickerdoodle hot chocolate earned points for originality, it unfortunately attempted to incorporate too many flavors into a single drink, and ultimately ended up failing. The distinct flavors didn’t mix as well together as many of the other drinks did, and the sugar was just too much.

Chestnut Praline Latte:

The chestnut praline latte can only be described as “a holiday in a cup.” With a warm and soothing aroma, this coffee is subtle yet tasteful. The coffee and the chestnut praline combination creates a fascinating balance of sweet and savory, which was very impressive.

Eggnog Latte:

The eggnog latte was the most disappointing of the drinks. The eggnog flavor did not mix well with coffee. Overall the taste was hard to describe but was vaguely reminiscent of gas or rotten eggs. None of us could stomach more than two sips, but everyone’s taste buds are different. If you are feeling adventurous, this may be the drink for you.

Salted Caramel Mocha:

The salted caramel mocha reminded us of the blonde caramel brûlée latte, except with a darker taste and rich chocolate undertones. We found that this drink had an excellent flavor, but it was overwhelmingly sugary, a recurring theme. While this drink was not our favorite, we would still recommend it; however, you may consider asking for fewer pumps of flavor to reduce the sweetness.

Blonde Caramel Brulée Latte:

The blonde caramel brulée latte had strong coffee undertones without the dark, bitter flavor of black coffee. We agreed it was a good holiday option specifically for those who like the taste of coffee. It was, however, very sweet. After a few sips, it became overpowering, so keep that in mind when ordering this drink. Nevertheless, we definitely enjoyed this drink, and would recommend it.

Gingerbread Latte:

The gingerbread latte was a unique surprise, with distinct and bold flavor combinations. The coffee flavor was very prominent; however, we noticed that the latte could have perhaps been creamier. We agreed that if you’re in the mood to be bombarded by the holiday spirit (in the best way possible), this is definitely the choice for you.

Signature Hot Chocolate:

A Starbucks classic, the signature hot chocolate is definitely not a drink you want to miss out on this holiday season. Despite being served year round, it is a holiday drink by nature. It’s both warm and comforting, but is not excessively sweet. This drink is perfect if you’re looking for an enjoyable and simple drink that’s well worth the price.

Pumpkin Spice Latte:

The pumpkin spice latte is one of the most infamous holiday drinks, and seems to be everyone’s favorite around the fall. We wanted to know if it is truly worth all of the attention it gets. Upon trying it, we noticed that it had a nice pumpkin flavor, but it was far too sweet. The spices were very fall-esque, but were hidden because of the overwhelming sweetness which seemed to be the drink’s primary downfall.

If these holiday drinks intrigued you, take this quiz to find out what drink you would be, and if you want more specialized food reviews, check out this article on Bay Area boba tea!

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