December has finally arrived and with it the unwarranted necessity for shamefully gluttonous binge eating and drinking, offensively garish jumpers, tacky decorations, "spiced" luke warm wine and if this wasn’t enough, a new trend has spread across the nation to fill us with Christmas cheer- the infamous Christmas coffee.
In this blog I will be exploring in depth what is on offer at competing coffee shops after extensive market research and much expense to my pocket and general health. These views are of course my personal views and do not reflect the views of Londonewcastle or any affiliated companies or employees so in the highly unlikely event you work in the legal department for Starbucks, Costa or Café Nero and are reading we would be grateful if you don't sue us. Thanks.
> Salted Caramel Cappuccino
Since time immemorial the exquisite marriage of salt and caramel has been one that has delighted taste buds of our ancestors. This salted caramel cappuccino is no exception. A delicious melange of salt, caramel and coffee dances on your tongue creating a mystifying combination of sweet, bitter and salty sensations. A must try for coffee enthusiasts and dessert fans alike.
> Tiramisu Late
According to Wikipedia, Tiramisu meaning "pick me up" or "lift me up" is a popular coffee-flavoured Italian dessert. It is made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone flavoured with cocoa. In other words its heaven on a plate. If ever there were an a list of reasons to believe in the existence of a benevolent deity I would imagine that tiramisu would be rather high up. Unfortunately Costas version of this infamous dessert drink fails to live up to my (albeit rather high) expectations. Costa have a moral responsibility to deliver a coffee that fulfils the reputation of its desserts namesake. That this coffee tastes nothing like tiramisu is a disappointment in itself. That it tastes of marshmallows soaked in baileys is perplexing, and whilst not unwelcome does make me question who actually tastes these coffees and comes up with the names.
> Spiced Orange Latte
Café Nero have outdone themselves this year with a coffee that contains a remarkable 455 calories, the equivalent of a six inch roast beef subway sandwich. The good news however is that after imbibing a sip of this insipid java there is no need to taste any more so it is unlikely that you will actually finish drinking it. At first it stings your nostrils with its peculiar rather pungent chemical aroma, then you are taken aback when upon tasting there is very little that actually can be described as “spiced orange”, what I tasted was watery paint stripper with an unwelcome portion of whipped cream and lightly dusted cinnamon.
> Winter Berry Latte
A “berry” good addition to Caffe Nero’s holiday coffee range. Unlike its cousin- the spiced orange latte, its flavours are subtle, warming and don’t overpower the coffee itself. Although this is certainly not a coffee for traditionalists such as myself it is maybe a tipple to indulge in if you feel adventurous.
> Toffee Nut Latte
This is a coffee that doesn’t hold back. Powerful like an ox yet sickly sweet like your grandmas relative whose name you can’t remember but knew you when you were a baby, if Toffee Nut Latte were a person it would be the secret lovechild of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Barbara Streisand. It comes with a health warning too, apparently it contains more calories than a Big Mac. Equally bitter and sweet, I am not too sure what to make of this. Delicious at first, the taste is overpowering after two sips.
My mouth felt as it was being violated by what can only be described as luke warm cinnamon water.