‘Tis the season: Winona coffee shops begin offering holiday beverages

‘Tis the season: Winona coffee shops begin offering holiday beverages

Allison Mueller

Kaysey Price/Winonan

With finals week approaching, local coffee shops may soon be bustling with more activity, as college students try to get their caffeine fix before heading to the library or meeting with friends in the Smaug to study. Now, students can enjoy the winter drink specials several coffee shops in Winona are beginning to feature.

This season, Starbucks is featuring a classic peppermint mocha, a chestnut praline latte and a caramel brulée latte as a few of their holiday drinks.

The chestnut praline latte contains espresso, steamed milk and caramelized chestnut flavors.

The caramel brulée latte consists of espresso, steamed milk, caramel brulée flavoring, garnished with whipped cream and a caramel brulée topping.

Across Winona, Caribou Coffee has begun to feature their festive indulgences as well. This year, Caribou Coffee will be featuring the “spicy mocha,” the “fa la latte,” the “chai nog latte” and the “ho ho mint mocha.”

The “spicy mocha” is a combination espresso, steamed milk, cinnamon, chili and the customer’s choice of chocolate—they can select from dark, milk or white chocolate.

The “fa la latte” consists of espresso and steamed eggnog, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with nutmeg.

The “chai nog latte” is an alternate of the eggnog based drink, consisting of eggnog and chai tea instead of espresso.

Similar to Starbucks’s peppermint mocha, Caribou Coffee offers the “ho ho mint mocha,” a variation of the minty beverage that is topped with whipped cream and crushed candy canes. The customer also gets to choose from dark, milk or white chocolate.

If you are someone who would rather support a local coffee house over a chain coffee shop, you may want to check out Blooming Grounds on East Third Street or Acoustic Café on Lafayette Street.

Blooming Grounds is not currently featuring any winter special drinks, but the barista assured they would be available soon, within the next couple of weeks.

You can keep an eye out for their seasonal beverages on their website: bgcoffeehouse.com.

While Acoustic Café doesn’t feature winter drinks, the baristas can still make them.

The Acoustic Café barista was quick to comment on their ability to make a variation of your favorite winter drink.

“We can make any kind of mocha you want. We have the flavors,” he said.

The barista added they recently started featuring an “Almond Joy” and “raspberry crème” drink, which may be considered winter specialty drinks.

There are plenty of coffee-based holiday drinks available this season, whether you are looking for a cup brimming with peppermint mocha and topped off with candy cane pieces from Caribou Coffee, or homemade mint mocha from a local coffee shop to get you through finals week and in the mood for the holiday season.