I toyed with the idea of naming this article ‘I Tried All Of The Christmas Coffees And Now I’m Never Going To Afford A House’, as a topical nod to the theory that all millennials are idiots for spending money on caffeine instead of saving for a home. But the way I see it, a mortgage isn’t going to happen for me either way, so I may as well enjoy a Gingerbread Latte while I rent, forever and ever and ever.
So I have spent the past week or so trying out every single one of the Christmas coffees from Starbucks, Costa, Caffe Nero and Pret, just so I can tell you all about them. “Why on earth would you do such a thing, Georgie?”, I hear you ask. Well, folks, it gave me a bizarre sense of purpose as I handed over £3.75 every morning to these Coffee Giants, thus fuelling their Christmas campaigns and encouraging our lovely elders’ opinions of 20-somethings as “the idiots who spend more money on pointless things, rather than investing in their futures”. I hold my hands up. I am the stereotype. I simply cannot resist a good Salted Caramel Latte and I will not be shamed.
12. Costa’s Billionaire’s Latte, 2/10
Firstly, the woman who made me this drink called it a ‘lart’, and if I’ve learnt anything from writing this article—besides the fact that I really should have spent my money more productively—it’s that you should never trust anybody who calls a latte a ‘lart’ to make you a latte.
I thought I’d mistakenly been handed a regular latte with a bit of whipped cream on top, and it wasn’t until I reached the end of my drink that I realised, nope! The caramel had in fact just drooped to the bottom of the cup. 2/10, had its chance and blew it.
11. Caffe Nero’s Clementine Latte, 2.5/10
I didn’t have high hopes for this one to be fair. Clementine? In a coffee? But, you know, I had to try them all in order to make a fair judgement. And hey! Don’t worry! I drank it so that you don’t have to. And seriously, don’t.
10. Pret’s Minced Pie Flat White, 3.5/10
Of course it’s a flat white. “Oooh, we’re Pret and we’re trying to be edgy”. Doesn’t taste anything like a mince pie and didn’t even come in a festive cup – CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT?! About as Christmassy as lying on a beach in the Maldives wearing a Hawaiian shirt, 3.5/10.
9. Costa’s Salted Caramel Cappuccino, 4.8/10
The epitome of ‘meh’. Not a latte love for this one. (Also it’s literally not a latte – maybe that’s where it’s going wrong?).
8. Starbucks’ Gingerbread Latte, 6/10
This is a fine, festive drink… until you’re swallowing lumps of soggy biscuit and questioning your life choices. I’ll give it a 6/10, but ditch the biscuit.
7. Caffe Nero’s Hazelnut Latte, 6.5/10
Not quite as good as the Starbucks one, but there’s nut much in it.
6. Starbucks’ Toffee Nut Latte, 7/10
Sweet as a nut. Think Nutella mixed with coffee… and you’re kinda, sorta, nearly imagining what this will taste like.
5. Starbucks’ Eggnog Latte, 7.5/10
To be honest, I didn’t even know what eggnog really was until about 20 seconds before I wrote this (don’t judge me, I never had it as a child). But whatever it is, I now feel happy, toasty and really bloody festive! Nice work, eggnog. You really eggcelled yourself.
4. Costa’s Gingerbread Latte, 8/10
This one gets a solid 8/10, mostly because it comes with a cute lil gingerbread man.
3. Costa’s Honeycomb Latte, 8.5/10
Just the right balance of caffeine and Christmas. 8.5/10, would drink all year round.
2. Caffe Nero’s Gingerbread Latte, 8.7/10
A proper gingerbread latte. As a wise man once said, “it’s like Christmas in a cup”.
? And the winner is… ?
1. Caffe Nero’s Salted Caramel Latte, 9/10
Caffe Nero’s Salted Caramel Latte ain’t no average Joe. Caffe Nero, if you’re reading this, can we please go for a coffee and discuss you getting this put on the menu permanently? Ta.