While the pumpkin spice latte rules the school during fall, it's the peppermint mocha who's king during the holidays. But with so many peppermint mochas out there, which is the best? I certainly don't want to waste my time or yours with flavorless or too flavor-full peppermint mochas — which is why a peppermint mocha taste test was in order. I needed answers, fast, so I did what had to be done. I decided to put my sociology degree to use, sample them all, and report back with my findings. This is field work at its finest.
They (my mom) said it couldn't be done. "You'll get sick," she said. "Or at least have too much espresso and I just can't deal with a hyper Corinne right now," she claimed. But the holiday spirit prevailed as it always does, and off I went, carrying the burden of this challenge with me.
The beautiful thing about peppermint mochas is that you can't really go wrong, no matter where you go to get your fix — they're always going to be delicious. I hit up a Dunkin' Donuts drive through, an indie coffee shop called Starbucks, tried a K-cup, and a homemade peppermint mocha. Then I ranked them according to flavor, peppermint/mocha balance, and presentation, resulting in an overall score out of 10.
Let's get started!
I sampled this first one while I was home for Thanksgiving. My mother insisted on taking a photo of me while sipping it and, well, here we are. Does this look candid and natural? Because it's not.
My mother was with me for this sample too. After she tried it, her only comment was "I don't understand why she has fish hands." She was talking about Starbucks' logo, not, as I had assumed, about the flavor of the drink. This drink does not taste like fish hands.
Why I chose this boring white mug over any of the fun ones to the left, I'll never know.
Flavor: This K-cup has been sitting in my apartment for a very long time. I was saving it for the winter months, and finally decided it was time to use it. The flavor wasn't my favorite, but oh my god, it smelled so good. I left it out so its chocolaty minty scent could waft through the apartment and it would smell like Christmas. My roommate came home and didn't notice, breaking my heart.
Homemade By A Boyfriend
Well obviously when your boyfriend makes you a peppermint mocha and puts it in an I Love You mug, it's going to taste pretty damn good. And it did. This was a good one. He followed this recipe by Don't Waste The Crumbs.
And the winner is:
Please start pounding on your desk to simulate a drumroll ...
Starbucks! Are you shocked?
While a homemade PM is excellent, it's not something I'm going to do everyday, let's be real. I have a feeling an indie coffee shop's concoction would have also been amazing, but the small shops in Bushwick — or at least by me — are way too cool for peppermint mochas. I was too intimidated to even ask. To Starbucks I go!
Image: Sonya Cheney/Flickr