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It’s (finally) that time of year again; the Grinches of the world mooch grumpily around Sainsbury’s complaining about the Christmas section, which actually appeared before Halloween this year, mumbling about how it’s still November.
The more festive portion of the population however are audibly rejoicing at the return of their favourite part of the Christmas season; CHRISTMAS COFFEE. Oh how we have spent the year pining for a Gingerbread latte, somehow having a normal latte with gingerbread syrup just doesn’t taste right unless it’s November. So, for those of you who are already excited for Christmas, here’s my list of the best Christmas coffees around this year.
Taste – The Praline latte has been a Nero’s classic for a long time; it used to be praline and cream but now they’ve upped the praline flavour and the cream is optional. Just like Starbucks’ Eggnog Latte, it isn’t too sweet, it has a good balance between coffee taste and praline flavour.
Presentation – This coffee loses marks on its presentation. It has no gingerbread man or chocolate flakes. However, I have to admit, it’s refreshing to have a simple, understated Christmas coffee out there.
Level of Christmassyness: 3 – Praline isn’t particularly Christmassy, I must admit. But it does seem to have a little bit of a festive taste. Perhaps because it’s different from the usual flavours you can get in your Nero’s latte, there is definitely something special about it.
Mark out of 5: 4
Spiced Orange Latte
Taste – it must be the spice that makes this drink so perfect for me. It warms you from the inside, plus its super tasty but actually isn’t too sweet, which tends to be where a lot of Christmas drinks fall down.
Presentation – This coffee is presented fairly well, whipped cream with orange spice powder and chocolate drops. It’s nothing too festive, but the taste makes up for it.
Level of Christmassyness: 5 – The Spiced Orange smell is typical of Christmas decorations and candles. It’s exactly the smell and taste you want on a cold winter day in the run-up to Christmas.
Mark out of 5: 5
Taste – I don’t know what it is about this coffee; I have never had real eggnog so I couldn’t accurately say it’s like the real thing, but this coffee is just wonderful. It has exactly the right sweetness to coffee ratio. The eggnog has an oddly spicy flavour which makes it even more comforting as a winter drinks.
Presentation – Interestingly, this is the only Starbucks Christmas coffee that isn’t pictured with whipped cream; it doesn’t need whipped cream. The foam on top is enough, and it is a very simply drink. The important bit is the flavour.
Level of Christmassyness: 5 – This is my personal favourite Christmas coffee; it’s original, it isn’t done anywhere else, and it isn’t what you’d usually think of in a coffee. It is, however, something that comes to mind when you think of a cold Christmas evening.
Mark out of 5: 5
Toffee Nut Latte
Taste – This is an interesting one; it’s both sweet, but not sweet. This coffee comes across slightly nuttier than toffee-y, but it works well. The nuttiness stops it from being too sweet, and gives it that Christmassy feel.
Presentation – This coffee is very typical of Starbucks; a mountain of whipped cream and toffee flakes on top. It’s nothing special, but it’s comforting and familiar.
Level of Christmassyness: 4 – Nuts are Christmassy. We all know it, several Christmas songs preach it (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire). This coffee fits in perfectly with the Christmas coffee selection; the nuts make it festive whilst the toffee just adds that sweet edge.
Mark out of 5: 4
Salted Caramel Cappuccino
Taste – A little too sweet. It is difficult to get through the whole coffee I must admit, I would recommend ordering a small so you don’t get too overloaded with caramel.
Presentation – The Presentation of this coffee is as underwhelming as its flavour, caramel syrup on top of whipped cream is pretty standard in coffee shops.
Level of Christmassyness: 2 – It has to be said that salted caramel isn’t particularly Christmassy, you can get caramel coffees almost everywhere, all year round. The salted part makes it slightly more festive, but overall it isn’t very Christmassy.
Mark out of 5: 2
Taste – The Costa gingerbread latte made this list over the Starbucks version for one reason; it wasn’t too sweet! The Starbucks gingerbread latte was completely overpowering. It was almost impossible to drink the whole thing, so the Costa version was chosen, which had a perfect blend of gingerbread syrup, coffee, and, most importantly, whipped cream.
Presentation – This is my favourite of the coffees in terms of presentation. Not only do you get whipped cream with gold star flakes, there is also a tiny little gingerbread man sat on the top.
Level of Christmassyness: 5 – I think we can all agree that gingerbread is THE Christmas flavour. Okay, it isn’t too original, everyone does it. But it is a classic and it gets points for that.
Mark out of 5: 3
And the winner is… Starbucks’ Eggnog Latte! The sweetness to coffee ratio was perfect, it was a nice simple drink that allowed the flavour to do the talking, and is original amongst the caramel and gingerbread coffees. A clear winner!
(DISCLAIMER: This is just my opinion!)