Starbucks 2022: So Much Effort, So Little Reward


Consumerism at its finest, the world’s largest coffee chain has released six new flavours of coffee, disguising caffeine’s authentic taste under a mask of whipped cream and syrups. But unfortunately, while some Starbucks drinks are to die for, not all of this holiday collection is worth your time and money. Here is your guide to the 2022 Starbucks holiday menu.


#1: Toasted White Hot Chocolate- 9/10

Surprisingly, the only non-coffee-based drink is crushing it at number one, even kicking its mocha version’s butt. This hot chocolate isn’t too sweet but still satisfies that sweet-tooth craving, while an undertone of peppermint perfectly balances the whole drink and wraps everything up in a neat little bow. 


#2: Caramel Brulee Latte- 8/10

While caramel macchiatos are one of Starbucks’ most popular caffeinated drinks, this caramel brulee latte easily tops it. It takes the best aspects from the caramel ribbon crunch frappuccino and adds two espresso shots to give you that much-needed morning kick. My only recommendation: get it half-sweet unless caramel masking coffee is your jam. 


#3: Irish Cream Coldbrew- 8/10

You can’t go wrong with a sweet cream cold brew from Starbucks; this Irish cream coffee is no exception. For those individuals who are brave enough to order iced drinks at -20℃, the Irish cream-flavoured drink is absolutely delicious: it’s creamy, bold, and for sure worth the frozen fingertips it might give you.


#4: Peppermint Mocha- 6/10

Here’s where the drinks quickly go downhill. Even though this peppermint mocha and hot chocolates are year-round drinks, they’re nowhere worth ordering more than once. The peppermint syrup cools down the drink and overpowers any other flavour, particularly the mocha. The first few sips are fine, but it quickly ruins the rest of the drink. 


#5: Chestnut Praline Latte- 6/10

This drink sounds incredible: with caramelized chestnut flavours, holiday spices and spiced praline crumbs, my expectations were sky-high. Unfortunately, Starbucks went a little overboard. Too many syrups and flavours resulted in a fake-tasting coffee-ish flavour that reminds me of crappy college cart coffee. If someone gave it to me, I’d drink it, but it definitely isn’t worth the 6$ they charge for it. 


#6: Sugar Cookie (Almond Milk or Oat Milk) Latte- 3/10

More high expectations; it was described as a sugar cookie melting in your mouth, which sounded like a warm, drinkable Christmas hug. Unfortunately, not only was this drink not up to standards, but I’m surprised they even sold this. The non-dairy milk made the latte too creamy, gave it a strange aftertaste and overpowered whatever other flavour there was. The sugar cookie syrup tasted nothing like nostalgic baking, and the whole latte came together as an overload of fake flavours in mediocre coffee. One of the worst drinks I have ever tried at a coffee shop. 


Cranberry Bliss Bar- 9/10

While most Starbucks snacks and bakery items are usually a rip-off (i.e. 4 dollars for two bites of uncooked cake on a stick), this cranberry bliss bar is ecstasy and needed a special feature. A blondie base with white chocolate chunks, a zesty cream cheese frosting and, of course, dried cranberries come together for a melt-in-your-mouth must-have. Their menu describes it as “a holiday extravaganza of undeniable yum,” which perfectly sums up this delicacy. 


Overall, this menu was hit or miss. While some drinks- like the caramel brulee latte- I wish were stuck on the menu year-round, some should’ve stayed in the idea book. My biggest complaint: so many drinks are ruled with fake flavours and syrups. Couldn’t we get different roasts of coffee and more natural additives to bring us this holiday cheer? That being said, the next time you’re feeling down over the holidays and need a warm hug, grab yourself a cranberry bliss bar and a peppermint white hot chocolate- it will make the next hour of your life infinitely better.