Ranking Holiday Drinks from Popular Coffee Stops | Way of life

With the holiday season, new festive drinks are returning to cafes like Peet’s Coffee and Tea in Lake Forest, California. (Maria Marquez/Daily Titan)

With the holidays come trees, lights and festive drinks. Whenever this season rolls around, cafes release their best and worst interpretations of a signature holiday drink. Flavors ranging from peppermint to sugar cookie and a spice mix ring the holidays. Starbucks, Peet’s, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and even McDonalds have plenty of options for those looking for a festive taste. Here’s a breakdown of what’s worth trying.


The coffee bean and the tea leaf have reached the top with their holiday drinks. This year’s return of their peppermint drinks came with a happy twist. The Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew – a mix of chocolate, peppermint, and cold brew – is a perfect holiday pick for me.

All of their peppermint drinks came by sled. The classic peppermint mocha remains a holiday staple and can be enjoyed hot, iced, or blended. Peppermint is minty and sweet with no artificial taste and pairs well with mocha for a holiday treat. Beverages may be modified based on dietary restrictions.

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Peet’s Coffee Iced/Hot Holiday Spice Latte is described as a blend of holiday baking spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg mixed with espresso and steamed milk. A tasty drink that has all the spices to think about the holidays. Hot or iced, this drink can be modified with alternative milk and won’t lose its tang.

The Holiday Blend is also available as a Keurig Roast and Pod blend for a holiday spice at home or as a gift.


Starbucks Peppermint White Hot Chocolate is a perfect hot drink for the holidays. With the warm feel of hot chocolate, but with a hint of white chocolate, peppermint syrup and steamed milk topped with whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings make this hot chocolate a must. Starbucks holiday drinks may have fallen short, but this one still tops.


Joining the holiday drink contest is McDonalds with its Peppermint Mocha. A cheaper alternative to the big coffee chains, this drink can be a party favourite. McDonalds describes it as a peppermint mocha made with espresso beans and steamed with milk topped with a whipped topping and a drizzle of chocolate. While the flavors don’t quite match the coffee chains, McDonalds knows how to stir coffee, which pairs really well with peppermint mocha.


Starbucks’ Caramel Brulee Latte missed the holiday-themed mark. Although marketed as a holiday drink, the only difference between this and a caramel macchiato is the burnt topping. Too much milk and not enough caramel and espresso, there was no party except being in a red holiday mug.


Starbucks’ new Almond Milk Iced Sugar Cookie Latte doesn’t land on top. The sugar cookie flavored syrup was lacking and tasted more like butter and almond milk, the best part was the red and green sprinkles. Considering it’s supposed to be a holiday drink, there was little to no festivity in this drink.

Keeping your spirits up over the holidays can be tough with all the shopping and festivities that come with it, but a great cup of coffee can make it fun and joyful when you discover a new holiday favorite.

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