Why Peppermint Mochas Are So Delicious

Halloween has come and gone, and now it's time to usher in my personal favorite time of the year: Starbucks' red cup season. That's right — Starbucks' holiday beverages are back, meaning I can once again purchase a drink so delightful that it immediately makes me feel like I'm Christmas shopping in a snow globe. But, what's in the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha, exactly? Now that I am an official "adult" who should probably think a little about what I consume on a daily basis, I was curious. What makes the Peppermint Mocha so unbelievably delicious? Why am I very much willing to drink it every single day until it's no longer available for drinking? More importantly, how do I make this dream beverage myself? These are all good questions, so let's find some answers.

As any good detective does, I went immediately to the source: Starbucks itself. Or, more specifically, the Starbucks drink menu breakdown that is available online for any person interested in learning what goes into their favorite beverages. The coffee chain has always made its ingredients super accessible, and this was no exception. Looking for the 411 on your favorite holiday beverage? Here is what makes up your beloved mocha.

There's milk!

And it's steamed, which brings out the natural sweetness. The standard, unmodified Peppermint Mocha uses two percent milk, but you can also go with skim, whole, or if you're lactose-free, soy.

There's espresso!

Rest easy knowing that this holiday beverage comes stocked with caffeine — 175 milligrams, to be exact. You can ask for decaf espresso, although there is still about three milligrams of caffeine per espresso shot.

There's mocha sauce!

Which is chocolate-and-coffee flavored. Yes, please.

There's peppermint-flavored syrup!

It tastes like Christmas in a bottle, and I'm going to be adding it to every beverage I consume between now and Dec. 26.

How is it made?

While all of this information was very helpful and informative, I wanted to know more. How, exactly, is the Peppermint Mocha made? I reached out to a former Starbucks barista pal of mine, who texted me specific instructions that were not at all peppered with emojis.

According to my insider source, a grande Peppermint Mocha consists of: two shots of espresso, four pumps of mocha sauce, two pumps of peppermint syrup, and two percent steamed milk. The delightful concoction is then topped with whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings.

And just like that, the holidays are upon us!

For more coffee ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.

Images: E'Lisa Campbell/Flickr; Giphy (6)