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.


Pep­permint Latte


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.


Maple Mocha 


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.


Eggnog Latte


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!