Consumption of gourmet coffee beverages is up, driven by seasonal innovation and millennial consumption trends.
For the winter months, Dunkin’ Donuts, Canton, Mass., has launched a sugar cookie latte, featuring the flavor of frosted sugar cookies topped with red and green sugar crystals; and the snickerdoodle cookie latte, which combines flavors of sugar and cinnamon with a whipped cream and cinnamon topping. Peppermint mocha coffees and lattes also are returning for the season.
Starbucks Corp., Seattle, has unveiled its first new holiday beverage in five years with the introduction of a chestnut praline latte, featuring a blend of espresso and flavors of caramelized chestnuts with steamed milk, topped with whipped cream and spiced praline crumbs. Also returning to Starbucks this season are the peppermint mocha, made with mocha sauce and peppermint-flavored syrup and topped with whipped cream and dark chocolate curls; the gingerbread latte, which contains gingerbread-flavored syrup and a spice-infused whipped cream topping with a molasses drizzle; and the caramel brulee latte, with caramel brulee-flavored syrup, whipped cream and a caramel brulee sauce and caramel pieces. Starbucks’ eggnog latte, which originally wasn’t featured among this year’s holiday lineup, is set to return nationwide after customers complained of its absence.
Another restaurant chain launching seasonal coffee varieties is McDonalds Corp., Oak Brook, Ill. The company’s new McCafé white chocolate collection includes a white chocolate mocha and a white chocolate latte, joining the returning peppermint mocha. The drinks are made to order with espresso from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and white chocolate flavor, plus a choice of milk and optional whipped cream.
At Caribou Coffee Co., Minneapolis, customers may order a gingersnap cookie mocha drink that is made with hints of ginger, allspice and clove. Returning this season to the coffee chain is a spicy mocha coffee, featuring ancho and chipotle chilies, and a mint mocha variety, topped with candy cane pieces.
The Einstein Noah Group, Lakewood, Colo., is offering a cinnamon caramel latte at its Einstein Bros. and Noah’s New York Bagels stores for the season. The beverage combines cinnamon and sweet caramel with a whipped topping and caramel drizzle and is available hot, iced or frozen.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Los Angeles, has introduced a holiday beverage menu that includes a toffee nut latte, flavored with caramelized sugar and a hint of nut, a peppermint mocha latte, a winter dream tea latte blending black tea, rooibos and sweet spices mixed with French vanilla powder. The chain also is offering a red velvet hot cocoa topped with sweet cream.
Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Emeryville, Calif., introduced a cinnamon hazelnut latte, which pairs baked cinnamon notes with roasted hazelnut and bittersweet espresso.