Smile Politely

A Latte Holiday Coffees

It’s that time of year again. We’re all busy finding gifts, wrapping gifts, making delicious holiday foods and all the while still maintaining our usual workload. The holiday season can be more than a little intense, and I know how hard it is to keep going and keep yourself in the holiday spirit. Luckily for us, coffee shops all around the area are combining the holidays with everyone’s favorite pick-me-up, coffee. Holiday themed coffee drinks can be a hit or a miss, so took it upon myself to go ahead and review a couple of the local and popular spots for you.

Espresso Royale’s Gingerbread Latte: Miss. Now, if there are two things I love, they’re a good latte and gingerbread cookies. Naturally, I thought it would be excellent to try Espresso Royale’s gingerbread latte, but unfortunately, I was incredibly underwhelmed by the drink. The smallest size came out at around $3.25, and it was less than worth the cost. The drink was made with steamed milk, espresso, and ginger flavoring which overpowered everything else in the drink. While I love gingerbread, I just really don’t want to drink it. Espresso also failed to impress with their lack of style for the drink. At many coffee houses, the holiday lattes come with the choice of whipped cream on top, and for a Gingerbread flavor, they sprinkle nutmeg on top. Not only did the drink not come with whipped cream, which would have toned down the ginger taste, but I wasn’t even given the option.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ Iced White Chocolate Latte: Hit. For those of you who like to be even colder during the winter, Dunkin’ Donuts has iced holiday lattes, and the White Chocolate flavor is wonderful. The drink I ordered was made with skim milk, espresso, and white chocolate flavoring Dunkin’ Donuts achieved the perfect balance of all of the flavors you could want in the drink as there was an even mixture of both the chocolate and the espresso. The medium sized latte was only $3.25, and it is a 24 oz. drink, a huge improvement over Espresso Royale for quantity versus price. Dunkin Donuts also failed to offer me the festive look I desired, but that is forgivable given the fact that the iced flavors only ever come in plastic cups. I was offered both whipped cream and chocolate drizzled on top of my drink, but I politely declined the offer.

Starbucks’ Peppermint Mocha: Hit. Starbucks is known as being incredibly over-priced, but in their defense, that is damn good coffee. This drink was also made with espresso and steamed milk, and mocha sauce, along with peppermint flavoring, was mixed in. The drink came topped with both whipped cream and small chocolate shavings. A 24 ounce cup was $4.10, and I wasn’t at all unhappy with the product. The peppermint mocha is everything you could ever want in a holiday drink: it’s nice and warm, the flavors dance in your mouth, and they even present it in a festive red cup. The peppermint and chocolate flavors are both equally present and not at all overpowering. This drink provides a piece of holiday heaven.

All of these coffee shops are easily accessible when you’re in a hurry because they have drive-through windows, and they feature late hours for you college kids during finals week. Now when you’re running around shopping or hitting the books, and you feel yourself losing steam, treat yourself to one of these delicious beverages to keep you going.

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