It's the most wonderful time of the year! With Halloween firmly in the rearview, the wait is over for Starbucks' festive seasonal beverages. But as any Sbux fan knows, these tasty cups of cheer are only available for a limited time. "How long does Starbucks have holiday drinks for?" you ask, Peppermint Mocha firmly clutched in bemittened hands. Sadly, we only get a few short months with these merry lattes, so coffee fiends should be sure to enjoy them before Santa hops off his sleigh.
Starting Nov. 1, 2016, all holiday beverages are available at participating U.S. locations, so let it snow whipped cream and nutmeg! As the days get shorter and fall turns to winter, Starbucks welcomes back such long-time favorites as the Gingerbread Latte, Caramel Brulée Latte, and the Eggnog Latte. Indeed, the only thing that can put a smile on my face when it gets dark before 5 p.m. is one of these sweet, sweet coffee delights. But don't put off your festive coffee craving too long, as holiday drink season will only last through the, y'know, holiday season itself while supplies last. Starbucks hasn't released the exact end-date for their seasonal drinks, but judging from past years, we can assume the holiday beverages will disappear around mid to late January. Saying goodbye to the PSL was hard enough — I don't even want to imagine what it's going to be like to bid farewell to all my fave festive lattes!
The holidays can be a hectic time, full of traveling, gift shopping, and family get-togethers. A caffeine boost is certainly helpful when powering through gift wrapping and turkey basting. Most of the holiday beverages, including the Chestnut Praline Latte, Eggnog Latte, Gingerbread Latte, Caramel Brulée Latte and Skinny Peppermint Mocha, have 75 mg of caffeine apiece, which is equivalent to about one shot of espresso. A Tall Peppermint Mocha has slightly more caffeine than the rest of its seasonal brethren at 95 mg. For comparison's sake, a Tall Pike's Place coffee has about three times the caffeine of these drinks. If you sip on one of the lattes in the afternoon it should give you a pleasant burst of energy, but not one that will keep you up all night.
If you are trying to fit the cost of these holiday drinks in your gift budget (they're really just a gift to yourself, right?), prices range from $4.25 to $4.75 for a 12-ounce Tall, depending on the market. And although our beloved red cups haven't yet made a return, right now, you can get your wintery beverage in a special green cup designed by artist Shogo Ota. This new cup, which also debuted on Nov. 1, is a symbol of peace and connectivity, representing "humanity and connection, serving as a symbol for bringing people together as a united community," according to a statement from Starbucks. While I kind of miss my cheery red paper cups, I can certainly get behind Starbucks' oh so topical message. (And hey, who says the red cups are gone entirely? No one, that's who. I suspect they'll be back soon enough.)
With only a few months left before these drinks disappear yet again, start celebrating the holidays early by connecting yourself with your fave seasonal treat. 'Cause who doesn't like chocolate curls and whipped cream?
Images: Starbucks (2)