Review of Starbucks Holiday Drinks: Great or Gross?


Fatimah Khan

A warm mug on a cold winter’s day.

Tista Goswami, Features Page Director

As soon as the clock strikes midnight on November 1st, the transition from spooky Halloween to the wintery holidays is almost instantaneous. Simultaneously, Starbucks released their holiday menu, which consists of various festive drinks. What better than a hot cup of holiday goodness to brighten up an otherwise cold winter day?

With Starbucks right next door to MHS, many students run in and out throughout the day, drinks in hand. To assess which drink on the holiday menu is the best and how the others compare, Tista Goswami (‘22) set out to taste test the holiday drinks at Starbucks.

Five drinks were selected: Peppermint Mocha, Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, Caramel Brulee Latte, Chestnut Praline Latte, and the Eggnog Latte. Each drink was rated on a scale of 1-10 which was based on flavor, taste, and presentation. A score of 1 was the lowest score and a score of 10 was the highest. 

The lowest scoring drink was the Eggnog Latte. Advertised with a “dusting of ground nutmeg,”the latte lacked the flavor and spice that one would anticipate upon drinking the latte. Not only did the drink lack flavor, but it tasted bitter and slightly sour, which was unexpected. Thus, the Eggnog Latte scored 1/10.

In fourth place fell the Chestnut Praline Latte. Given its name, the drink had a strong chestnut flavoring. For someone who is not used to nutty coffee, the flavors were a bit overwhelming. However, the spiced praline crumbs as a topping were a nice touch to the drink’s exterior. This earned the Chestnut Praline Latte a 4/10.

Following in third place was the Caramel Brulee Latte. This latte had a unique caramel flavoring rather than more common flavors such as chocolate or vanilla for instance. While the caramel flavors were quite subtle, the drink’s overall sweetness was a bit overbearing.  But the drink did get points for the delicious crème brûlée bits sprinkled over the top. The Caramel Brulee Latte scored 6/10.

In second place was the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha. This drink had just the right amount of sweetness and the white chocolate and espresso were perfectly balanced. The whipped cream coupled with the red sprinkles were very cute and matched the promotional photos. However, the sprinkles were the only difference between this drink and the White Chocolate Mocha, which is available all year long. This earned the drink an 8/10.

The last drink, the Peppermint Mocha, is the ideal addition to your winter routine. The iconic Peppermint flavor was strong, reminiscent of York Peppermint Patties or Peppermint Bark. The espresso flavoring was weakened, but in a way that complimented the peppermint’s naturally strong flavor. The fresh minty flavor mixed with the smooth flavor of chocolate flawlessly. The Peppermint Mocha is the holiday season packed into one drink, which earned it a perfect score and the number one spot.

These drinks, among other holiday-related foods, will be available at Starbucks until early January 2021. Go get your festive drink today!