It’s that time of year. Christmas cheer and holiday decorations are thrown at us from every convenience store and gas station radio, and we haven’t even gotten to Thanksgiving. But instead of fighting over turkey versus ham, might as well take advantage of all the holiday’s classic drink selections that have made their seasonal debut in the popular coffee roasting chains. Grab your iPhones and wallets and let’s get insta-happy with caffeine.
Coffee Bean Tea Leaf is a very well-known coffee chain in San Diego. When it comes to classic holiday drinks, they are known for their Winter Dream Tea Latte which is a blend of black tea, Chai robles with vanilla and milk. It is a smooth, light drink with not too much caffeine. Perfect for a cold night out. The Winter Dream Tea Latte would land a solid 8.5/10 on the taste scale. As for the Instagram-worthy factor, the holiday design on its cup is a solid 6/10. The drawn holiday lights on a purple background is a simple, yet classic holiday style that could pass for a notable social media photo, but would need a bit more flare to really bring their cup on top.
Peet’s Coffee is a great coffee chain with a shop conveniently located a few minutes away from PLNU campus. The holiday drinks offered at Peet’s this season are very few but they do offer a classic holiday staple, the Peppermint Mocha. The peppermint mocha is a regular espresso mocha infused with peppermint extract and topped with whipped cream. This drink is great for early mornings because the espresso sure will wake you up before that 8 a.m. class. This drink would rank a 7/10 on the taste scale mainly due to the need for more peppermint flavor to balance out the strong mocha. Even though the quality of this drink is good, the cup is not one you would consider Instagram-worthy, giving it a 4/10 on that scale. The cup itself is brown with a white sweater design on the bottom. It’s not very holiday like and you would most likely not take the time to post it on Instagram.
Better Buzz is a local coffee chain that is becoming increasingly popular. They have many holiday drinks to choose from this holiday season, but the barista from the Better Buzz in Point Loma recommended that I try the Iced Dolce De Leche Latte, which turned out to be a great recommendation. This iced latte had the perfect amount of sweet, light caramel flavor which is what Dulce De Leche consists of, perfect for a casual afternoon pick-me-up. This drink deserves a 9/10 on the taste scale. This seasonal latte has a great holiday-themed cup to go with it as well, scoring a 8/10 on the Instagram-worthy scale with its holiday-themed slogan “’Tis the season to get buzzed” along with the yellow and white Christmas trees, snowflakes and reindeer.
Starbucks is easily one of the most well-known coffee chains, and they are especially well known for their variety of holiday drinks, including the Gingerbread Latte. The gingerbread latte consists of Espresso, steamed milk and gingerbread spices, topped with whipped cream. This drink has a perfect balance of the sweetness and the spices to make it a light and enjoyable beverage, plus a decent amount of espresso to make a great morning drink for the holidays. This coffee would score an 8.5/10 on the taste scale. However, this cup takes the cake when it comes to an Instagram-worthy photo. The design and color use is definitely a bold, attractive holiday look with a message behind the design to “Give Good,” encouraging people to do good things and share a BOGO drink deal that was offered Nov. 9-13. This cup is definitely Instagram-worthy and lands a 10/10 on that scale.