On the 4th day of Christmas Starbucks gave to me (roundup!)

     Who doesn’t love seasonal treats that only come out once a year? Everyone has their favorite Christmas Guilty (or, not so guilty) pleasures. Mine, as well as a host of others, love Starbuck’s seasonal offering. As displayed by my Halloween Coffee post, I love Holiday drinks! So of course, I took myself to Starbucks to try each of their seasonal brews!

Caramel Brulee

     This is my number one pick from the current line up over at Starbucks. I love sweet things, and by that logic, I love caramel. Which definitely accurate. This drink is a great substitute if you’re tired of the same old peppermint. I never thought I’d be tired of the peppermint mochas, despite loving them so so so much. 

     This drink has a nice smooth finish, the majority of the flavor is caramel but that tapers off into a mellow espresso flavor. It’s a delicious winter drink that I can’t recommend enough if you fit these two requirements:

  1. You love any and all things Starbucks
  2. You’re like me, and you love sweets

This would be a great drink to sip as you hang out with the girls, or a relaxing night in by the fire with your partner!

Toasted White Chocolate Mocha 

      This one, I didn’t manage to grab a picture of. But as you’d imagine, that’s far from a travesty being that so many of the drinks look the same and taste so different. This one, to me, was not really -good- different. I generally don’t enjoy fruity flavors in my coffee, I’m cream all the way. This latte has a dusting of cranberry sugar on top, and the mingling flavors of caramel and mocha. Strangely, this one is actually too sweet for me and the surplus of sugar comes across bitter somehow.

If you’re really, and I do mean really into sweet coffees and enjoy a touch of fruitiness in your coffees for the holidays, this might be for you. And I think I’m going to let you guys have this one.

Gingerbread Latte

One of the ones I was excited to try this year was the Gingerbread latte, despite not being too huge on gingerbread. I did try this as a frappe a while back, which you can see below. I made the mistake of thinking that I liked Gingerbread a lot. Oh boy was I was wrong. It was too much. During a raining evening after work, I decided to give with the hot variant a try for this post! 

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Really feeling festive here lately! It’s not quite time yet, but why not break out the #gingerbread ? . . #coffeelover #coffeelife #coffeeholic #caffeine #coffeebreak #instacoffee #coffeelovers #coffeeaddict #coffeelove #coffeeoftheday #coffeetime #coffeecup #coffee #morning #yummy #drink #starbucks #gingerbreadfrappe

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While this isn’t my usual thing, it’s not bad at all. Each sip has a nice spice to it that is brought down by the somewhat harsh espresso. I’m not sure that I’ll be getting this one again, because I really don’t care for ginger. It’s pretty true to what it’s based off it. I think it’s a loving homage to a traditional Christmas treat. It’s not my favorite thing on this list, but it’s also not my least favorite. It’s squarely in the middle. If you guys want to enjoy a Gingerbread cookie without the hassel of… y’know, eating it, this is for you! I will add really quick, that I did really like the frappe. I would not recommend pairing it like I did, unless you love ginger.

Juniper Latte

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It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas! I was finally able to drag myself over to @Starbucks to try the #juniperlatte that I’ve been so curious about! Look for it in one of the upcoming posts for the #12daysofchristmas . . #coffeelover #coffeelife #coffeeholic #caffeine #coffeebreak #instacoffee #coffeelovers #coffeeaddict #coffeelove #coffeeoftheday #coffeetime #coffeecup #coffee #morning #yummy #drink #holidaycoffee

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I know this post is a little late to the party with the Juniper Latte, but guys, life. That’s all I have to say. Times is hard, in the immortal words of Ms. Lovett.

via GIPHY

    Anyway, I did make it in to taste this unique brainchild. Of course, I sniffed it first to see what the smell was like. It smelled almost savory, which is not a thing I associate with my coffee. The overall flavor is woodsy. It’s sprinkled with sage, so it has a bit of an herbal taste as well. I made the mistake of taking a large swallow, thinking it was coke, and holy. crap. Immediate regret. It has a sharp, earthy aftertaste and not even the good bite of espresso. My question to Starbucks is this: why. Why would you market this? Come on. I guess I understand, it’s a unique idea. “Hey, let’s make a coffee that tastes like a tree,” because of course, we have to try it.

I’m a little rusty on my coffee reviewing skills, and guys, I took a sip and that aftertaste hits hard. I don’t think I’ll be getting this again. Literally, all I can say now that I couldn’t say before is “I drank tree flavored coffee”. And is that a bragging right I really want to have?

I was really hoping to wrap this post up on a positive note. I was hoping it was going to have more a piney, vaguely evergreen vibe. How wrong I was. If you guys took one for the team, what were your thoughts? Will you be buying it again? 

With that trainwreck, we wrap up another day of our countdown! We still have more on the schedule, so be sure to check back tomorrow! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find some coffee to hold me over til tomorrow!

Winter Wish; A New Take on Thin Mint

      Hi there, everyone! Welcome back to another very special Winter Wish with one of my all time favorite haunts! Today, I visited UniqExpressions once again, for something a little different from my usual fare from them. I tried their Dark Chocolate-Mint latte, as my Girlscout cookie fans may remember, the Thin Mint combo.

    I know I covered a Peppermint Mocha already, from our very own Midtown Coffee. But I really felt like this one stood on it’s own as a separate thing, mainly due to the presence of the biting darkness from the dark chocolate.

Picture borrowed from UniquExpressions!

Like with the ever-popular Thin Mint cookies that Girlscouts faithfully peddle to those of us with a love for mint, the mint chimes in with a pleasant, subtle, cooling sensation. That same refreshing coolness tempers down the bitterness from the dark chocolate. If I may be bold, I almost feel like I prefer the drink version to the original. 

     Hear me out, guys. With the cookies, I know that I, for one, am prone to just devour the entire supply. No worries of that here! This latte is a great bit of portion control, but it did leave me with a “where did it go?” feeling.

    I really feel like Peppermint Mochas are a staple of he holiday season, more so than the controversial Pumpkin Spice of Thanksgiving and Fall. I really love what UniquExpressions did by adding Dark Chocolate instead of the usual sweet mocha. 

     This one may be more for people who are getting used to a little bit of bite in their coffee, because this one does have a little bit of roughness around the edges. There’s an earthy undertone that complements the bitter-sweet balance going in with the rest of the drink.

    I can see this particular drink being enjoyed during the heart of Winter, held in mittened hands. I kind of wish I had asked for whipped cream (and sprinkles!). That would have made this drink more perfect for hanging out around the fireplace!

     If you live nearby to UniquExpressions and haven’t gone, what are you doing? If you’re looking for a charming and homey coffeeshop experience and some of the nicest Baristas I’ve met, come try any one of their Signature Lattes.

     

Check the map above to see their location! They’re located in a small, charming little town. Blink and you’ll miss it! For being a more under-stated town, they have their fair share of gold. From the Gardens to the treats, Pine Mountain is definitely worth the trip! 

If you would like to see some of the photos I’ve captured in my favorite sleepy little town, check out my photography at Live in Colour Photography!

Taste; /5

   I know I throw out a lot of 5 Ratings for taste, especially to this specific shop. Rest assured, it’s only because I love it so much. Seriously, all the times I’ve been and I’ve never tasted anything that was a disappointment. I highly, highly recommend them!

      

Winter Wishes: Midtown’s Peppermint Mocha

 Is it getting cold, or is it just me? The temperature is dropping and prompting us here at Java and Jeans to don our winter wear and start enjoying hotter options to warm our frozen hands. For the last couple months, I’ve been wishing it would get colder, and my wish has been granted. But, truth be told, winter is just getting underway. To save you the trouble of seeking favorable warm drinks in this upcoming Winter Wonderland, I’ve decided to share my findings with you! My first treat of the season, I ducked into Midtown Coffee House, the winner of my Most Wanted distinction in April. 

They recommended either the razzle dazzle, or a peppermint mocha. I want to preface this with the fact that I am a fiend for some peppermint mocha. All year long I lie in wait for one of my favorite seasonal drinks to return. I’m on the lookout for some unique selections this season, but since I hadn’t written on this one before- I figured why not!

 

When they sat it down in front of me, I was so excited that I picked it up and immediately burnt my hand on the cup. After giving it it’s space for a few more minutes, I could at least take a sip and guys- it’s fantastic.

The scent reminds me of dark chocolate, sweet and rich. Much like their spectacular razzle dazzle, their Peppermint Mocha is so unbelievably smooth. The peppermint is but a whisper over the chocolate that lingers on my tongue. 

It has a hint bite to it, but not an overbearing amount. The drink is invigorating with peppermint backing up the warm mocha with a refreshing hint of coolness. This choice is for people who enjoy a nice, risk-free beverage experience. It’s pleasantly mild, with a rich aftertaste that mimics the scent. This is one drink that I can confidently say tastes almost exactly like it smells.

If you’re here from out of town, or have been here for years, I can’t recommend Midtown Coffee House enough. They consistently exceed my expectations and give just the most fantastic service. They deserve all of the the appreciation they can get for serving up such delicious treats!

Be sure to follow them on facebook by clicking here! And of course, like and follow Java and Jeans on facebook and Instagram to keep in the know about our hijinks!

taste; /5

I have nothing bad to say about this drink! There goes Midtown Coffee blowing me away again!