I’m back for another tour de Penny’s.
Now that it’s December, even the most miserly *can’t* refuse my holiday cheer. I came up with all things Christmas coffee and am taking you along for the ride.
Cinnamon Roll Latte
Formerly one of Penny’s specials, this is just like it sounds: Liquid cinnamon roll with a much-needed kick of caffeine. Which means it was also very sweet. I asked for two-thirds of the cinnamon sweetened condensed milk blend they add to the coffee and it was perfect. Because the cinnamon flavor was good, but I had to make personal adjustments to the recipe, I would give it a 3.5 out of 5.
I couldn’t do a Christmas piece without a peppermint-flavored drink. I tried to avoid doing too many chocolate drinks, so instead of a classic peppermint mocha, I just got the peppermint straight. Warning: This is very minty. If you’re not a big mint fan, you might want chocolate in there to balance it out. However, I personally liked the minty-ness in the coffee as it kept the drink from being too sweet. I would give it a solid 3 out of 5.
This was a good blend, as the maple flavors complimented the bitter cocoa and coffee combination. I worried that it would be too sweet, but the barista went light on the chocolate and it was perfect. She also added some cocoa powder on top, which brought out the bitter tones. This warm, very foamy drink was comforting on a cold workday, and I’d definitely try the experimental blend again. I’d give it a 4 out of 5.
Holiday blend drip coffee with peppermint syrup
The holiday blend combines three different coffee beans for a medium drip coffee that has notes of dark chocolate, roasted hazelnut, brown sugar, and cinnamon — notes that are “reminiscent of favorite holiday treats,” according to the blend label. I think the description is accurate for this drip but only if you add some half and half and a splash of peppermint syrup. A good Christmas coffee option that is lighter, and cheaper, than any of the specialty drinks. I would also give this one a 4 out of 5.
This is Penny’s latest special — a classic latte with a blend of eggnog and milk for the milk component. The barista added whipped cream and cinnamon on the top, which was a happy accident. I was hesitant about this one because I’m usually not a fan of eggnog. This drink definitely tastes eggy, like a custard, but it actually has enough cinnamon and nutmeg that the coffee isn’t lost in the dairy blend. And, considering it is very Christmas‑y, I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5.
If you want to be in the holiday spirit while studying for finals but you’re tired of the classic peppermint mocha, I’d recommend the holiday drip coffee or the eggnog latte. Or maybe you could ask for some eggnog in the drip coffee. That might be the best of both worlds.
Well, this coffee connoisseur is signing off for the semester and returning to paper writing. Happy caffeinated studying and Merry Christmas!