Spotlighting Creative Winter Café Drinks Around the World

From Los Angeles to Kansas City all the way to the Philippines, there’s no shortage of creative beverages this winter season—and we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites.

BY EMILY JOY MENESES
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE

Whether or not the area you live in is experiencing a “real” winter (it’s still 75 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny here in Los Angeles!), there’s always a way to incorporate the cozy feelings of the season into your café beverages. Around the globe, shop owners are spotlighting tried-and-true winter ingredients—think nutmeg, peppermint, dark chocolate, and more—in new and exciting ways. Read on to uncover some of our favorites this season!

The Christmas Saigon: traditional phin-brewed Vietnamese coffee, dressed up with peppermint for the holiday season. Photo courtesy of Cafe Cà Phê.

Cafe Cà Phê: The Christmas Saigon

Known as Kansas City, Mo.’s first and only Vietnamese coffee shop, Cafe Cà Phê serves up The Christmas Saigon. This traditional Vietnamese coffee brewed on a phin filter is dressed up with peppermint, condensed milk, and a splash of oat milk.

 A warming sugar plum latte, made with apricot, star anise, and other ingredients. Photo courtesy of Union Coffee Co.

Union Coffee Co.: Sugar Plum Latte

New Hampshire favorite Union Coffee Co. is making all of your sugar plum dreams come true! Their house-made “sugar plum syrup” is made with prunes, apricots, cranberries, and star anise.

Minty, sweet, and decadent, the Minty Mochaccino is a standout on Kumquat Coffee’s winter menu. Photo courtesy of Kumquat Coffee.

Kumquat Coffee: Minty Mochaccino

As always, we’re impressed by Los Angeles-based Kumquat Coffee’s seasonal menu. The star is the Minty Mochaccino—a decadent, chocolate-y coffee drink topped with house-made mint whipped cream.

Not into coffee? Check out this dark chocolate and nutmeg oolong tea infusion in Davao City. Photo courtesy of Paramount Coffee.

Paramount Coffee: Dark Choco Nutmeg Tea Infusion

With two locations in Davao City, Philippines, Paramount Coffee serves up Christmas vibes with its holiday special: a cozy blend of oolong tea, dark chocolate, and nutmeg.

The Bicerin Alla Menta is a traditional Italian drinking chocolate updated with whipped peppermint cream. Photo courtesy of Mr. Espresso.

Mr. Espresso’s The Caffè: Bicerin Alla Menta

Oakland, Calif.’s Mr Espresso has created a tribute to an Italian classic this holiday season. “Bicerin” (beech-eh-reen) means “small glass“ in Italian, and is a drinking chocolate native to Torino, Italy. The Bicerin alla Menta consists of a TCHO drinking chocolate recipe, a double shot of Mr. Espresso’s Signature Neapolitan Blend espresso, and a top layer of lightly whipped peppermint cream, served in the traditional small glass.

This drink was created in collaboration with Craig Stoll, owner and executive chef of San Francisco’s Delfina restaurant. Ten percent of the drink’s sales will go to Community Kitchens Oakland and their work toward food justice in Oakland’s underserved communities.

The Southern Comfort is No Free Coffee’s latest signature drink. Photo courtesy of No Free Coffee.

No Free Coffee: The Southern Comfort

Nashville, Tenn.’s No Free Coffee recently announced its newest signature drink, and it has all of the warm, comforting feelings you want from a winter beverage. The Southern Comfort is infused with molasses, cinnamon, clove, and allspice—the perfect blend of sweet and spicy.

Introducing the Gingersnap Capp, Pinhole Coffee’s winter-inspired take on a typical cappuccino. Photo courtesy of Pinhole Coffee.

Pinhole Coffee: Gingersnap Capp

Pinhole Coffee, which has a café in San Francisco and a coffee van in Ojai, Calif., created a fantastic drink for the holidays. Cue their Gingersnap Capp: a typical cappuccino, holiday-ified with an infusion of ginger, brown sugar, molasses, clove, and cinnamon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily Joy Meneses (she/they) is a writer and musician based in Los Angeles. Her hobbies include foraging, cortados, vintage synths, and connecting with her Filipino roots through music, art, food, and beverage.

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