Are Starbucks holiday drinks overrated?


Cameron Ho

Starbucks Holiday launch features several festive cups. The holiday drinks are available until the middle of January.

Sia Lele, Staff Writer

Every year when the holidays roll around, companies start spewing out Christmas-themed advertisements and products, even changing packaging to cater to the holiday frenzy of buying specialty items.
Starbucks is no exception.
Starbuck’s Stories & News announced on Nov. 2 the coffee giant was releasing holiday beverages and themed foods, such as cake pops shaped like reindeer, cookies that look like snowmen, and cranberry and sugar plum flavored pastries.
But instead of creating new flavors and recipes for their drinks, Starbucks has brought back into rotation the holiday cult classic drinks, such as the peppermint mocha, caramel brulée latte, iced sugar cookie almond milk latte, toasted white chocolate mocha, Irish cream cold brew, and the chestnut praline latte.
All of these drinks cost $5.75 for a grande, which is a medium. Many of these drinks are worth it for their unique tastes and fun packaging, but there are some much better than others. Here’s our list.
The Irish cold cream brew is a cold brew with a whipped cold foam topping and notes of vanilla and Irish cream through adding these syrups.
The drink is on the bitter side, but the topping provides the perfect amount of sweetness to cut through the bitterness of the cold brew. It’s a good beverage, but it’s not very festive.
Customers can get this same drink year-round with different flavors of whipped cold foam, so it isn’t as exclusive as the rest of the drinks. For that reason, I would say this drink is overrated. Rating: 4 out of 10.
The caramel brulée latte is a latte with caramel brulée sauce, topped with whipped cream and caramel brulée bits. It’s almost sickly sweet and it hurt my teeth, but it has a nice caramel flavor. Caramel lovers will definitely enjoy this drink, but I’m not one of them. Rating: 5 out of 10.
The chestnut praline latte features espresso, steamed milk of choice, and whipped cream. This was the most interesting one by far, as it includes notes of caramelized chestnuts and praline bits sprinkled on top of the whipped cream.
I had high hopes for the drink based on the name, but the whipped cream mixed with the praline bits was far better than the actual drink itself, making this drink overrated. Rating: 6 out of 10.
The iced sugar cookie almond milk latte is a dairy-free drink that comes iced ot hot. It features a seasonal sugar cookie syrup, steamed blonde espresso, and steamed almond milk.
I tried both the iced and hot lattes for the sake of research. The iced version is a bit too sweet for my taste, but the hot version tastes a lot like a sugar cookie fresh out of the oven. Rating: 7 out of 10 (3rd place).
The peppermint mocha has been around for 20 years and features peppermint syrup, shots of espresso, and a rich mocha sauce. It’s not overly sweet, silky smooth, and reminiscent of a nice peppermint hot chocolate. Rating: 8 out of 10 (2nd place).
But the top drink is the toasted white chocolate mocha, which includes a festive caramelized white chocolate mocha sauce. This drink has notes of marshmallow and warmed chocolate and reminds me of a cozy time.
This is easily the best holiday drink that Starbucks provides, but it’s still underrated. The holiday-themed sugar that goes on top of the whipped cream makes me want to rate it even higher. It’s not super sweet, still has a strong white chocolate flavor, and is Starbucks’ gift to the holiday season. Rating: 9 out of 10 (1st place).
Now if only customers can get this drink offered all year.