Natalie Wei

Now that it’s that time of year, the Starbucks holiday menu is out. We each picked up the holiday drinks and gave them a taste to see which drinks were actually good and which ones genuinely made us sad.

A comprehensive review of this year’s Starbucks holiday drinks

November 19, 2020

Ever wanted to know which Starbucks holiday drink to try but just never wanted to buy it because it could turn out to be a waste of money? Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore. This year, The Talon decided to help you. We each picked up the holiday drinks and gave them a taste to see which drinks were actually good and which ones genuinely made us sad.

5. Eggnog Latte

Last year, the eggnog latte disappointed. This year was no different. Simply awful. The taste was bitter, not in the pleasant coffee bitterness, but in bitterness similar to the aftertaste of vomit (I’m sorry, it had to be said). An alcohol bitterness without any actual alcohol. It was a fairly bland mixture of flavors, but that eggnog flavor only truly showed itself in the punchy aftertaste. And boy, did we hate that punch. The more we drank it, the more we disliked it, which was the direct opposite of every other drink we tasted. In short, it sucked.

4. Caramel Brulee Latte

Okay, we have zero idea why this is a holiday drink. It’s more of a “winter season” drink, which is fine, but it wasn’t super tasty either. Honestly, it was caramel toppings on top of a slightly sweeter latte that contained the same coffee-ness as a normal latte just with a tinge of caramel. The reason it ranks lower than the others is just that: It’s meh.

3. Chestnut Praline Latte


This was a nice, nutty latte. Like the Caramel Brulee Latte, this felt more like a winter drink than a holiday drink. The aroma of the latte was lovely, a comforting brew of chestnuts and general nutty flavor. It was reminiscent of Downtown Los Altos’ roasted chestnuts (which happen to be our only real experience with chestnuts) and had a gentle taste. Generally, it wasn’t super sweet, which made it less holiday-like in our opinion. It’s worth it if you like the taste of nuts and not-too-sweet winter flavor.

2. Peppermint Mocha

If you’re looking for a strong burst of caffeine, we wouldn’t suggest this one. The sugar content’s pretty high, so we predict a sugar high for sure. Regardless, it’s delicious. More of a peppermint hot chocolate than a real “mocha,” the taste is similar to Ghirardelli’s dark chocolate peppermint squares, a lovely holiday treat. The chocolate is rich and bold, so don’t go in expecting something overly sweet, despite the high sugar content. It’s nicely decorated as well, with a lovely dollop of whipped cream and little chocolate flakes. Overall a solid drink for 4 p.m. on a cold day during the holiday season.

1. Toasted White Chocolate Mocha

This drink ranks first for a couple reasons. First, it was holiday-like. While it didn’t have any overtly Christmas-y notes, it reminded us of the holiday season and made us feel cozy inside. Second, it was a perfect balance of sweetness. The chocolate tasted dark and rich. It was as though your childhood hot chocolate had matured into a twenty-something journalist who is on the road to success, enjoying coffee but not drip coffee and was ready for a great life ahead. For those reasons, we would rank this as a perfect holiday drink, fit for both kids and adults alike. Overall, we loved it.

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