With the holiday season just around the corner and Mariah Carey defrosting at last, the ever-popular Starbucks is bringing back holiday drinks. These may provide a nice change to students’ normal coffee routines or even become new favorite caffeinated drinks. Either way, here is a quick overview of where to go for these beverages and recommendations.
Although the Tech Café in the Campus Center sells Starbucks items and coffee, it does not, unfortunately, provide seasonal flavors. This means that, as NJIT students, holiday drinks require a short walk to the Rutgers-Newark Paul Robeson Campus Center.
On Thursday, Nov. 17, Starbucks hosted a national event called “Red Cup Day,” during which people who bought a holiday drink would receive a free reusable red cup. I talked to several students who visited, asking them what flavors they preferred.
Chestnut Praline has “the flavors of caramelized chestnuts and spices, topped with whipped cream and spiced praline crumbs.” Although this is off-limits for those with tree nut allergies, it is served hot, cold, or as a Frappuccino blended with ice, making it otherwise quite versatile. Karolin Rezk, a first-year general engineering major, commented, “It was good, but it has a strong aftertaste.”
Another tree nut-based — and vegan — drink was the Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte, although it did not seem to be as good. First-year general engineering major Karen Iskander commented with a friend, “We thought we were getting cookies, but we got straight expresso.” She mentioned, however, that this issue could have been mitigated by a little bit of sugar.
The Caramel Brulée Latte was generally well received; the drink mixes milk, espresso, and caramel brulée sauce. First-year general engineering majors Lisbeth and Lissette Azcona-Rodriguez agreed that the holiday drink was delicious, both hot and cold. For those who have not heard of crème brulée, it is a custard with caramelized sugar; therefore, the drink may be too sweet for some.
The final novel holiday flavor was the Peppermint Mocha. Nikita Nair, a first-year law, technology, and culture major, outright disliked it, as she does not like the taste of peppermint combined with chocolate.
For those still unsure about trying these drinks, or who already have a go-to Starbucks order, Nair provided a tip that only requires a few extra cents. While ordering your regular drink, you can ask for a holiday flavor shot to be added. This will reduce the risk of a bad drink yet still allow you to try seasonal flavors.