O sacred Peppermint Mocha!

Everyone has their own favorite holiday drink. As someone who has spent thousands of hours in coffee shops (on both sides of the counter), you would think that I’d have a pet theory about why some people get Eggnog lattes while others settle for triple grande non-fat, extra-whip, gingerbread lattes. I don’t. I have no idea why people drink either. When you steam eggnog, it’s loud and it splatters all over your apron, even if you are holding the pitcher just so. As a barista, I used to wish that I could wear earplugs to cut down the noise. Just to cut it down, mind you. I’m pretty sure that the people in line at the DMV a few doors down could still hear the roar of the eggnog. To greet the season, I would raise a glass of cold eggnog in salute to the hoards of eggnog aficionados and chug it. Once it was done, I was done with eggnog for the season.

Gingerbread lattes just don’t do anything for me. I must confess, I don’t really care for gingerbread in general. It may have something to do with the spices that go in or that when I was a little girl, I tried to make gingerbread and the dough was so thick that it broke our mixer and we had to wait a few weeks before we could get a new one. That wasn’t a happy memory. In fact, I still feel a little bit of guilt about that.

The final holiday drink is my absolute favorite – the Peppermint Mocha. Well, to be exact a tall two-pump mocha, four pump peppermint, EXTRA whip, EXTRA red sprinkles, EXTRA hot Peppermint Mocha. I am not high maintenance no matter how that sounds*.

Around this time last year, I tried two new holiday drinks from indie coffee shops around town. The first one was a lavender mocha. It sounds lovely, doesn’t it? It sounds as if you’d be warm and cozy by a fire, stretched out with a delightful book, sitting in a very expensive house. A comfortable luxury. It was terrible. I don’t know what possessed me to get it. Actually, that’s not true. I was standing in line thinking of all sorts of delightful combinations (twice as much peppermint? or thrice?) when I saw the lavender option. I believe my reasoning was thus: lavender is lovely. It smells nice. Maybe it tastes nice too. Hmm. They wouldn’t sell it if was yucky. The small size would be best, that way I don’t waste too much money if it’s terrible. But think of the value for only 50 cents more! It was horrible logic. After my first sip, I wanted to chuck it in the garbage. But…instead, I kept trying to acclimate my taste buds. I don’t know what I was thinking.

The second drink was similar. I was at another coffee shop with some friends and it was crowded. The barista had a nice smile and was pretty cute. When I told him to surprise me with a drink, he did. He presented me with his newest concoction: a rosemary mocha. It too was terrible. Very terrible. In fact, I actually went so far as to ask the barista to make me something else. But he looked so sad that I said nevermind, took a healthy sip, and when he wasn’t looking, gave it to my cousin who had happened to come in. Thats when I decided that cousins make good wingmen.   

Every time that I cheat on my peppermint mocha, I regret it. When I stray, I get burned. It’s just not worth the hassle. I’m staying faithful this year.

* Honestly. I’m just a barista who knows exactly what I like. There is a difference. Once you start making a living making sure the espresso isn’t too sweet or too bitter, you get to know your way around the coffee bar. A barista does not ask for 145 degree lattes or 200 degree cappuccino. Those people are high maintenance. A barista will ask for milk steamed right and a creative mix of syrups and espresso that make their taste buds happy.

2 Responses to “O sacred Peppermint Mocha!”
  1. PhotogNica says:

    Haha. Love it. I personally love egg-nog, but cold, with spiced-rum. No coffee.

    I like caramel, but not caramel mochas. I adore gingerbread (it’s the spices!) and don’t really LOVE gingerbread lattes. I do like pumpkin spice lattes, but only for the specific season they’re usually found in.

    I miss toffee nut lattes. I love peppermint mochas, though. Peppermint+Chocolate is good in almost every form. Almost like Peanut Butter+Chocolate, but I wouldn’t want it in a drink.

    I know I’m high maintenance, and I like it that way. 😉

  2. Fig says:

    Ooo… lavender and rosemary are some dangerously strong flavors/smells. A little goes a long way! Don’t accept a bay flavored drink either. 😉

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