Every year, coffee shops roll out holiday-themed drinks, and even Mr. Scrooge can’t help but look forward to the winter flavors. Most coffee shops offer the same general flavors when it comes to holiday drinks (every cafe offers some form of the peppermint mocha), but each brand adds its own twist to the drink. Read on for details on holiday drinks offered by four national chains, including details on what’s unique about each.
Starbucks — You can’t go wrong with Starbucks holiday drinks, although you will pay a pretty penny for even a tall. Starbucks refers to their holiday specials as the “Holiday Trio.” Probably the most famous of the trio is the Peppermint Mocha, which is a mocha (espresso, steamed milk, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream), plus peppermint flavor and shaved chocolate curls. Their Peppermint Mocha also comes as a Frappeccino (yum!), and there’s a skinny version for those counting calories. The Gingerbread Latte is a basic latte (espresso and steamed milk) with gingerbread flavor that tastes just like grandma’s cookies. This drink is topped off with whipped cream and nutmeg for a drink that’s sweet and spicy. The third member of the trio is the Caramel Brulee Latte, which is a latte plus carmel syrup, whipped cream, and shreds of caramel on top. Some say this drink is the least tasty of the three, but those who have a sweet tooth and love caramel will appreciate it.
Dunkin’ Donuts — Dunkin Donuts holiday lattes are less expensive than Starbucks, but still tasty. This season they’re featuring the Gingerbread and Peppermint Mocha Lattes, which are both returning favorites. They also have a new tasty drink this year called Cinnamon Swirl. All three lattes are available iced. Many customers love Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, and it’s fans will defend it against all other coffee. Others aren’t so keen on it, saying Dunkin’ Donuts’ focus is too much on milky flavor and not quality beans.
McDonald’s — Probably the most affordable of all is McDonald’s new Peppermint Mocha. Some rave about this drink, saying not only is it less expensive than Starbucks, but tastes just as good. Others complain that McDonald’s coffee isn’t up to par and that their mochas are mostly sweet milk with a splash of coffee.
Seattle’s Best Coffee — Seattle’s Best also offers a version of the peppermint mocha with their “Peppermint Mocha Trio.” They add the tasty touch of crushed candy canes on top. Their Gingerbread Latte is said to be just like biting into fresh gingerbread, and many claim their version is better than Starbucks. Unique to Seattle’s Best is their Sugar & Spice Latte, which tastes like brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
With so many holiday drinks and not enough time, use these rules of thumb when deciding where to get your next coffee treat:
If you ‘re looking to save money, visit McDonald’s or Dunkin’ Donuts.
If you’re looking for clever twists on holiday drinks, go to Seattle’s Best.
If you want classic and quality holiday drinks, go to Starbucks.
Image courtesy of Starbucks.com
Author bio: Sarah Heckle is an editor from Indianapolis who looks forward to spending time with family and relaxing this holiday season. Her wish list this year includes bifocal sunglasses, a leopard print scarf, and a new coat!