As a commuter working in the City, most of my days are sponsored by caffeine; Caramel Macchiatos, White Chocolate Mochas, Gingerbread Cappuccinos, in fact anything that doesn’t actually taste like coffee! It is no lie that I have never been a huge fan of the taste. Since a young age I have always had a tendency to overload my coffees with sugar and milk to mask its distinct and bitter flavour.
Syrups are one of the main reasons I love shops like Starbucks and Costa so much – I enjoy a sugary sweet beverage which tastes remotely of something else with a hint of coffee. The fact that they have seasonal syrups makes it all the more exciting. Knowing that some of my favourite coffees are only available at certain times of the year means that I enjoy them more when I can get hold of them. Christmas is no exception!
There is such a wide range of flavours released by these shops at Christmas that I decided to review the ones I have tried so far. Here are my top picks;
Gingerbread Latte (Starbucks)
Sweet and subtly spiced, the Starbucks gingerbread latte is a festive cup of joy. However, the gingerbread cream advertised appeared to be just standard whipped cream and I would have liked a stronger gingerbread flavour from my coffee. Perhaps the gingerbread cream is only available in certain shops? Let me know if you have the answer as I’d like to try it! (2.5/5)
Gingerbread Latte (Costa)
A slightly stronger flavour overall, with what tasted like more caffeine and a more distinct gingerbread flavour than Starbucks’ version. Costa’s version was beautifully presented; the cream was covered in gold stars and there was also the addition of a cute gingerbread man. Overall, a very festive affair and certainly recommended if you like a biscuit to dunk in your cuppa! (4/5)
Honeycomb Latte (Costa)
A smooth, creamy, sugary delight. This latte was very sweet but the honeycomb flavour itself, was quite subtle. The cream was topped with chocolate covered honeycomb; unfortunately the chocolate melted and the honeycomb sunk and stuck to the bottom of the coffee cup. For a sugar addict such as myself, this was pleasing but unfortunately did not live up to its name. (3/5)
Salted Caramel Cappuccino (Costa)
The best thing about this coffee was the shimmery salted caramel fudge crumb, because it sparkled. This was disappointing – unfortunately I could not taste the salted caramel and found this coffee very bitter. I had to add a ton of sugar before I could enjoy what tasted like a very pretty but standard cappuccino. (1/5)
Amaretti Latte (Costa)
Amaretto is one of my tipples of choice at Christmas and this coffee certainly tasted amarettoesque! Presentation-wise it was nothing special but it had all the flavour of an Italian Coffee minus the alcohol. The Amaretti Latte had a good depth of flavour and tasted very much as I would expect. (4/5)
Eggnog Latte (Starbucks)
Christmas in a cup! Literally amazing! Starbucks use Eggnog (non-alcoholic unfortunately) instead of milk to create this festive beverage. If you ever need a hug, this drink will give you one. It’s sugary, sweet, rich, vanilla eggnog flavour compliments the coffee so well. There’s no need for cream or décor – it’s highly calorific enough but with the festive season in full swing, who cares? (5/5)
Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate (Costa)
Although this drink does not contain caffeine, I felt that I should add it in as it’s another item that I’ve tested from the festive menu.
It was slightly sweeter than your usual hot chocolate with a hint of vanilla which I guess would be from the ‘Toasted Marshmallow Syrup’. Costa hot chocolate always goes down a treat – it’s smooth, rich and chocolatey (as it should be!). Decorated with cream and golden marshmallows, this was a truly beautiful sight as far as drinks go, although I’d prefer a stronger marshmallow flavour for full marks. (4/5)
There are so many festive drinks editions to choose from – I really recommend that you try different variations from different coffee shops if you’re fed up of your usual! Let me know which drink is your favourite!