Review: Starbucks wins peppermint coffee competition

Lydia Urice
Junior Editor

Peppermint Mocha

Kaldi’s Mint Mocha Latte. Photo by Lydia Urice

Starbucks Peppermint Mocha is the best peppermint coffee drink this season. Here’s why…

I rated four drinks based on six categories on a scale from one to five, one being the worst, five being the best. The first category was presentation, how cute is the drink, does it look good?

The second category was peppermint to coffee ratio, one being mostly coffee and five being mostly pepperminty.

The third category was customer service, how friendly were the baristas? One means they were rude, five means they were friendly.

The fourth category was temperature, one being too hot or too cold and five being just right.

The fifth category was location, how close to the high school is it? The final category was price, how expensive is the drink?

Kaldi’s
I got an eight oz mint mocha latte at Kaldi’s. The subtotal was $4.50 and with tax and a 15% tip; the total was $5.64. For presentation, the mint mocha latte was awarded a five. It had whipped cream with crushed peppermint on top– so cute.

The peppermint to coffee ratio was very heavy on the coffee side– which is not my favorite. It gave an overwhelming coffee taste with a faint minty aftertaste. I gave it a two for that category. Customer service at Kaldi’s got a five, the people were friendly, even though I came in during a busy time.

The temperature was a little off as well. It was too hot the first time, but since it was a mug, the drink grew cold very quickly. By the time I got to the second sip, the drink temperature was already colder than I would have liked so it got a three.

The closest Kaldi’s is in Kirkwood, so I gave it a three for that category. The price was in the lower end of all the drinks, so I gave it a four. In the end, with all the points tallied, the Kaldi’s mint mocha latte got 22/30.

Starbucks
I got a tall Peppermint Mocha at Starbucks, which is 12 oz. The subtotal was $4.85 and with tax; there was no opportunity to tip when paying with a card. The total was $5.30.

Starbucks is a to-go coffee company and does not offer drinks in mugs, only to-go cups. It does, however, have holiday-themed cups with red, white and green designs. They also included whipped cream, but it was hidden by the opaque cup and lid. I gave Starbucks a four for presentation.

While there wasn’t much interaction with the baristas, they were very friendly despite being busy (because coffee shops are always busy), so I gave the customer service a five. The peppermint to coffee ratio was heavier on the coffee but not completely pepperminty. It was more creamy than pepperminty but more pepperminty than coffee-y, so I awarded the drink a four.

The temperature upon the first sip was too hot, but after that, it was a perfect temperature for a long time before it got cold. I gave it a temperature rating of four. Starbucks is right down the street from the high school, definitely walkable, for location; Starbucks gets a five.

The price was on the high end at $5.30, but I gave it a four since it was for a 12 oz drink, while most places have 8 oz as their small size. All in all, the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha got 26/30.

The Annex
I got an eight ounce Peppermint Mocha at the Annex. The subtotal was $5 and with tax and a $1 tip, it was $6.46, very pricy for eight ounces of product. I rated it a two for price for this reason. The Annex is located just own the street from the high school, a walkable distance, so I gave it a five for location.

The drink was in a to-go cup, but there was a little foam art design on the drink, so I rated it a four for presentation. The baristas were very friendly, so I gave the customer service at The Annex a five. The temperature was just right, which I was very glad of because it was so expensive! I gave the drink a five for temperature.

The drink was, however, very strongly coffee tasting, and if I hadn’t ordered it myself, I would have wondered if it was a peppermint flavored drink at all. I gave it a two for peppermint to coffee, since I couldn’t taste any peppermint. All in all, the drink got a 23/30.

Dunkin Donuts
It was awful on all accounts. I ordered my drink in the drive through, then I pulled up to the window, and they had completely forgotten my order and made me give them my whole order again- Peppermint Mocha Latte, yes I’d like it hot please.

I was on the phone with a friend while ordering, and he informed me that they always ask for your order twice. This annoyed me, and I gave their customer service a two.

The drink itself was underwhelming as well. They had neglected to ask what size, and I had neglected to specify, and they defaulted to a large. It was in a to-go cup, and there was no decoration- no whipped cream, no foam design, no candy canes. I gave it a three for presentation as there was nothing special about its look, nothing festive.

The drink was already close to cold when I received it, which I found surprising, as they only made it after my second time ordering. I gave it a three for temperature. The drink was more pepperminty than coffee-y, but more creamy than pepperminty. It was less pepperminty than Starbucks; I gave it a three for Peppermint to coffee.

The subtotal for the drink was $4.39, and with tax and no opportunity to tip, it was $4.80. I rated it a four for price since it was a large (20 oz), and it was on the lower end of the price range. I gave Dunkin a three for location since it’s right on the edge of Webster. I went to the one on Manchester.

All in all the Peppermint Mocha Latte at Dunkin Donuts got 18/30.

Conclusion
Despite the fact it got the lowest overall rating, the best price award goes to Dunkin Donuts. The best presentation was Kaldi’s; no one could beat candy canes and whipped cream. The best location, at least relative to the high school, would be Starbucks. The best drink temperature was at the Annex. The drink with the most peppermint was Starbucks’ Peppermint Mocha.

The overall best peppermint drink is the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha. It’s the best taste and best bang for your buck.

Lydia Urice – Junior Editor

This will be Lydia Urice’s second year on ECHO staff.  Last year, she was podcast editor, and this year she is junior editor.


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