By Megan Laser
Study, study, study is all that is on the minds of high school students this time of year. Late work is being done just before it’s too late, and the stress that comes with finals is just another reminder to seniors that we’re getting even older. Students already have a latte on their mind with finals just around the corner and you’ll begin to find them grinding through their studies in Starbucks stores providing the free wifi to do so. With the sound of the blender creating another frappuccino, the espresso machine pulling shots and baristas shaking the shakers like bartenders, it gets harder and harder to focus. The smell of the freshly brewed coffee and the familiar smells of peppermint and chocolate surround the store and compel you to get up and buy a cup of coffee. So why continue to procrastinate studying when you can procaffeinate with these holiday favorites?
PM (Peppermint Mocha)
What says Christmas than the classic combination of peppermint and chocolate together, from peppermint bark to Starbucks’ popular PM. The PM includes pumps from both Peppermint syrup and Mocha sauce, mixed with espresso shots and steamed milk and topped with whipped cream and dark chocolate curls. The drink can come as an iced drink, a hot espresso drink or a blended frappuccino. The drink is most commonly bought either iced or as a frappuccino, but nonetheless the flavors all come well together in this holiday beverage.
When making the frappuccino, baristas have to put whipped cream at the bottom of the cup, as well as on top. Calories stack up easy with this holiday drink. Still, this drink remains one of my favorite holiday drinks. In my opinion, I’d drink this coffee as an iced coffee. Although the hot drink provides the common warmth associated with winter and hot drinks, I feel like I get more flavors when I drink it iced. In my coffee, I typically order it with half the amount of syrup and an extra shot of espresso for that coffee flavor. And as always, no whipped cream in my coffees.
PWM (Peppermint White Mocha)
The PWM (Peppermint White Mocha) is a sweeter twist to the PM. The PWM is made with White Mocha sauce and Peppermint syrup, mixed with espresso and steamed milk and topped with whipped cream and dark chocolate curls. The drink can come as an iced drink, a hot coffee beverage or a blended frappuccino.
The same way it does with the PM, whipped cream is put at the bottom of the PWM Frappuccino. This is my usual go to drink, and I usually order it as a small frappuccino. I get it with no whipped cream and lightly sprinkled with dark chocolate curls. Again, it’s too sweet to drink with the regular amount of syrup, so I order it with half the amount of pumps. If not a frappuccino, I get it as an iced drink with light ice, an extra shot and no whipped cream.
Even as a barista, there are drinks I am still yet to try. The following are some other popular drinks:
EL (Eggnog Latte)
Eggnog is already a popular holiday drink that people think of when it comes to a Christmas-themed drink. This Starbucks-inspired drink is the simplest to make, yet all the flavors inside of it is what keeps customers coming back for more. The EL (Eggnog Latte) is made with espresso shots, steamed eggnog, and topped with nutmeg powder. It come as an iced drink, a hot espresso coffee, and even a frappuccino if you really wanted it. The drink is most popular as a hot espresso drink, and often times customers will ask for extra nutmeg powder or even whipped cream to make the already sweet drink even sweeter.
GL (Gingerbread Latte)
Gingerbread cookies are a classic Christmas cookie, and the GL is a classic Christmas coffee. The GL (Gingerbread Latte) is a sweet yet slightly tinted with spice Gingerbread syrup, mixed with espresso shots, steamed eggnog, and topped off with whipped cream and nutmeg powder. The drink is offered as an iced drink, a hot espresso coffee, and a blended frappuccino (both with coffee and without coffee). All the different components mix together to create what seems like you’re drinking a liquified gingerbread cookie, bringing you into the holiday spirit as winter approaches.
Just remember that after finals comes the holidays. Try not to completely dedicate your time to studying and find time to reflect on yourself. Meditate when it gets too stressful and take a second to breathe. Take a break, drink a cup of coffee and eat a snack.
Happy holidays from your local barista and good luck on your finals this year!