Are you someone who eagerly awaits fall and winter for the spicy, sweet, fragrant, warm holiday drinks that arrive on menus at local restaurants and coffee shops?
To answer your craving for a delicious pumpkin spice latte or other warm and sweet holiday drinks, I set out to find the best sippers in Sonoma County.
I visited eight coffee shops across the county to sample each shop’s most popular or beloved holiday drink and bring you my findings. To be sure, it’s no scientific survey, but a good holiday drink is about more than the ingredients — ambiance and latte art get points, too.
Now for the holiday drink smackdown results:
Plank Coffee, Pumpkin Spice latte, rating: 10/10
Imagine all the best fall flavors in one cup. This latte is lightly sweet with a dash of invigorating spice. It includes organic pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, espresso and milk. 175 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg. $5-$8. For more information: bit.ly/2ZjT3CC
Cotati Coffee Company, Brown Butter Bourbon Caramel latte, rating: 9/10
Take a sip of this buttery caramel goodness. It includes brown butter and bourbon caramel syrup, espresso and milk. Get it served in a unicorn cup! 8225 Old Redwood Highway, Cotati. $4.75-$5.75. For more information: bit.ly/3oV12yR
Brew Coffee and Beer House, Pumpkin Spice latte, rating: 8/10
This fall classic has actual pumpkin in it. Yes, you read that right. It includes real pumpkin puree, espresso, milk and nutmeg on top. The spacious tented patio is a pleasant place to sip on sunny, or even cloudy, days. 555 Healdsburg Ave., Santa Rosa. $4.25-$6.25. For more information: bit.ly/32vVqUe
Crooks Coffee, Pumpkin Pie Chai latte, rating: 8/10
Spicy chai and pumpkin pie? Talk about heaven. The drink includes spicy chai, pumpkin pie syrup, espresso, milk and a sprinkling of cinnamon on top. Check out their take-a-book-leave-a-book library, shelves full of games and local art on the walls. 404c Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. $4.50-$5.25. For more information: bit.ly/3r5Uy2M
Taylor Lane, Peppermint Mocha latte, rating: 7.5/10
This latte is the sweetest of the bunch. This holiday classic includes in-house organic peppermint syrup, Tcho dark chocolate, espresso and milk. Enjoy your warm cup on the second floor or outside the shop. 6790 McKinley St., Sebastopol. $5.50-$6.50. For more information: bit.ly/2ZqbAgM
Honey Badger Coffee House, Tuxedo Peppermint latte, rating: 7/10
Take a bite into peppermint bark as you sip on this tuxedo latte. It includes dark and white chocolate, vanilla and peppermint and is garnished with whipped cream and homemade peppermint bark. Say hello to the owner’s dogs, Chaz and Lady, when you visit. 101 Golf Course Drive A-3, Rohnert Park. $4.25-$5.10. For more information: bit.ly/3FNU05Y
Retrograde Coffee, Minty Mocha latte, rating: 6.5/10
If you’re a mint lover, this one is for you. Lightly sweet, but heavy on the mint. It includes organic cane sugar, mint extract, Tcho dark chocolate, espresso and milk. Explore the vibrant local art inside this quaint shop, too. 130 S. Main St., No. 103, Sebastopol. $5.50-$8. For more information visit: bit.ly/3r36LFv
Avid Coffee, Peppermint Mocha latte, rating: 6/10
Avid’s peppermint mocha includes peppermint syrup, homemade dark chocolate, espresso and milk and is topped with something you’ll only see at the holidays — candy-cane sprinkles. 21 Fourth St., Petaluma. $5-$6. For more information: bit.ly/3p0wNXc