November marks the beginning of the holiday season and the introduction of the year’s seasonal flavors. Companies including Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, 7-Eleven and McDonald’s offer a wide variety of seasonal flavors and festive cups.
Starbucks’ line of seasonal drinks, like their standards, can be ordered hot, over ice or blended, and customers can substitute and add ingredients for further customization. This year’s seasonal flavors at Starbucks include Chestnut Praline, Peppermint Mocha, Peppermint White Mocha, Salted Caramel Mocha, Caramel Brule, Eggnog, Gingerbread, Pumpkin Spice, Holiday Spice Flat White and Spiced Sweet Cream Cold Brew, the latter of which is a new flavor introduced this year.
Starbucks’ Chestnut Praline-flavored beverages are a good option for those who prefer a less intense coffee-based drink. The intensity of the coffee flavor in the Chestnut Praline Frappuccino is toned down by the milk and sweetened by the praline flavor, which adds a light nutty taste. A tall (the smallest size available) Chestnut Praline Frappuccino costs $4.51 including tax at Starbucks.
7-Eleven offers three seasonal flavored drinks this year, including Pumpkin Spice Latte, Caramel Macchiato Latte and Peppermint Mocha Latte. 7-Eleven’s Hot Chocolate, which is offered all year, may be a good alternative for those who want to warm up with a drink that’s not coffee.
The Pumpkin Spice Latte is full of flavor. The spice flavors compliment the pumpkin without creating too harsh of a contrast between sweet and spicy. A small Pumpkin Spice Latte costs $1.48 including tax.
Dunkin’ Donuts offers three seasonal flavors: Crème Brule, Peppermint Mocha and Pumpkin Spice, which all can be ordered hot or over ice. The iced Crème Brule is sweet and full of flavor, just enough to sweeten, but not overpower, the flavor of the coffee. A small Iced Crème Brule cost $2.11 with tax.
McDonald’s only offers two seasonal drinks this year: McCafe Peppermint Mocha and McCafe Peppermint Hot Chocolate. The peppermint flavor in both the McCafe Peppermint Mocha and in the Peppermint Hot Chocolate is balanced with the chocolate flavor and does not overpower the drink. A small Peppermint Mocha costs $2.11 after taxes.
For those who prefer tea over coffee and don’t mind brewing a drink at home, Celestial Seasonings tea offers an extensive collection of seasonal teas that are full of flavor and are completely customizable since they are brewed at home by the consumer.
Celestial Seasonings offers tea flavors that cover the common seasonal coffee flavors. Sweet Harvest Pumpkin can be substituted for Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Candy Cane Lane is a good alternative to peppermint-flavored coffee and Caramel Apple Dream is reminiscent of apple cider. Celestial Seasoning teas are sold in tea bags and in K-Cups at grocery and convenient stores. Depending on the store and the tea’s flavor and form, Celestial Seasoning teas range in price from around $3 to $5 per box.