Let coffee warm the soul this holiday season


Lis Carlton prepares coffee beverages during her shift at Starbucks in Simi Valley, Calif. on Wednesday, Dec. 11. Carlton has been working for Starbucks from New York to Simi Valley for over two years. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Cailey Monroe

Starting on November 7, Starbucks began their holiday launch of fan favorite Christmas drinks. Customers from across the country look forward to the holiday beverages to put them in holiday spirit. The holiday drinks are more than just beverages, they’re a reminder that simple things, like a cup of coffee, can kick-start the holiday spirit no matter the location.

The most popular holiday drinks include the Caramel Brulée Latte, Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, Eggnog Latte, Peppermint Mocha and Chestnut Praline. All of these beverages are offered hot, iced or as a Frappuccino and can all be made with or without caffeine.

“Working at Starbucks during the holiday [season] is wonderful and stressful due to the high volume of customers,” Starbucks employee CJ Kephart said. “Seeing the joy on our customers’ faces when they drink our holiday beverages, makes the work that much more meaningful.”

Since the holiday season began, the volume of customers coming through Starbucks has grown significantly. Many cafes have run out of products periodically throughout the holiday season given the amount of people ordering holiday beverages.


Gaby Andrade takes an order at the Starbucks location in Simi Valley, Calif. on Wednesday, Dec.11. Andrade has been employed by Starbucks for about five months. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

A beloved favorite, pumpkin spice, normally lasts until January but due to high demand this season the favorite fall beverage has come to a halt early. The Starbucks company underestimated the sales of the popular Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew and ran out almost two months earlier than expected.

Although many Starbucks regulars will miss the Pumpkin Spice, Starbucks has just released the new Irish Cream Cold Brew. This new holiday beverage has the flavors of vanilla and cocoa which perfectly complement the smooth cold brew to create a deliciously festive beverage.

“It pairs so well with cold brew because of the chocolate flavor in the Irish cream and the cocoa notes from the coffee,” Erin Marinan, product developer for Starbucks said. “I think about that customer who’s in the middle of work or shopping, and this will help get them into the holiday spirit for the rest of the day.”

Cold coffee continues to be a hot trend, even in the coldest and rainiest weather. The cold beverage lineup now makes up more than half of U.S. Starbucks beverage sales according to Starbucks Stories & News. Since the cold weather hits Southern California a little later than most places in the state, the first cold day of winter usually causes an influx of customers ordering hot beverages.

“Even though the weather lately has been cold, I’m a consistent cold coffee drinker,” Starbucks customer Julie Ferris said. “The seasonal Caramel Brulée Frappuccino is my personal favorite, no matter the temperature outside, it’s always my go to drink.”

Starbucks is celebrating the season of giving in December with weekly Happy Hours in participating stores in the United States. Customers who buy one grande or larger handcrafted or holiday beverage can get one free on Thursdays in December between 2-7 p.m. The only way to receive this special holiday treat is by downloading the Starbucks app. In addition to Happy Hour, the app also gives you points for buying coffee that eventually lead to free drinks or merchandise.

For a limited time, Starbucks is brewing their Christmas blends everyday in light brew and dark brew for customers to enjoy. If customers want to sip in style, Starbucks has come out with various new holiday reusable cups. From red to pink to black to studded, these holiday cups are flying off the shelves at cafes all over the country. These cups make great holiday gifts for any coffee fan to enjoy or give the gift of coffee with a festive gift card.

Starbucks seems to bring out the holiday cheer in many people with a simple cup of coffee. From the Eggnog Latte to the Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino, Starbucks has something for everyone of every age to enjoy.