Olivia Hewang

‘Tis the season to be caffeinated. A comprehensive review of Peet’s holiday treats.

A comprehensive review of Peet’s holiday treats

December 10, 2021

’Tis the season to be caffeinated. As the holidays roll around, they’re ushered in by arguably the best part of the season: seasonal treats. After trying five holiday offerings from Peet’s, we’ve given them a definitive score, so you can see how they stack up.

5. Holiday Spice Cold Brew Oat Milk Latte

Unfortunately, this drink brings out the worst in the Holiday Spice blend — so much so that we didn’t even want to finish it. The depth of the coffee and hints of spice that we loved in the Holiday Spice Blend are absent, and the initial flavor and texture is watery, probably due to the brand of oat milk Peet’s uses. The aftertaste is initially pleasant and reveals more spice flavor, but it quickly becomes bitter. However, we still give this drink a passing grade, because those who enjoy regular oat milk drinks at Peet’s won’t have the same complaints that we did, and it’s a refreshing alternative to the hot version of the Holiday Spice latte.

4. Iced Gingerbread

The iced gingerbread loaf is the exact opposite of its cookie counterpart. While the gingerbread person struggles with the texture but excels in taste, the iced gingerbread is wonderfully moist and tender, yet sorely lacks that quintessential gingerbread flavor. The cake itself tastes more like molasses than anything else, and we were missing the zing of ginger or punch of spice expected in a gingerbread loaf. While the icing adds some visual contrast and the crystalized ginger sprinkled on top is a nice touch, we were overall underwhelmed.

3. Peppermint Mocha

While mocha lovers might love this drink, the unpleasantly rich and heavy dark chocolate overpowers the rest of the flavors. That said, the mint is perfectly balanced: present and sweet, but not aggressive as some peppermint mochas can be (looking at you, Starbucks). Still, though it tasted great, the richness made it hard to imagine having anything other than a small, and even that might be difficult to finish. That said, this drink is probably perfect for a mocha-lover who’d like to add some holiday flair to their morning pick-up.

2. Gingerbread Person

As soon as we saw it in the display case, we knew that we had to try this adorable, humanoid cookie. Hand-decorated with snowy white icing, the gingerbread person feels like it was made with love and instantly evoked memories of class holiday parties from elementary school. As we took our first bite (the head, of course), we were pleasantly surprised by the strong, warm notes of cinnamon and ginger this cookie packs. While the gingerbread person is a bit too chewy, the flavor and presentation mostly compensate for that deficit.

1. Holiday Spice Latte

Featuring a pleasant but not overwhelming fusion of cloves, ginger and cinnamon, the holiday spice latte is a refined festive drink that we honestly loved. While it is made with Peet’s signature dark-roast holiday spice blend, the coffee flavor is not overbearing, so it would definitely hit the spot even for a medium or light roast drinker. The latte highlights the spices — the best part of the blend — while not being overly complicated. It pairs perfectly with either of the gingerbread offerings.

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