Best (And Worst) Christmas Hot Drinks To Grab On-The-Go From Costa Coffee, Starbucks And More

10/11/2015 08:56 GMT | Updated 10/11/2015 17:59 GMT

It's that time of year when coffee shops unleash their festive-inspired concoctions for unsuspecting customers to buy.

And this year, they seem to be sticking to the rule: the sicklier, the better.

For those who haven't got the money, time or inclination to try all of the Christmas-inspired coffee and hot chocolate drinks out there this month - we've done the hard part for you.

christmas hot drinks

Three HuffPost UK Lifestyle journalists - Amy Packham, Rachel Moss and Natasha Hinde - have taken on the high street coffee shops and eateries (we're talking Starbucks, Costa, Caffè Nero, Eat and Pret) in a bid to find out who has mastered Christmas in a cup this year.

We also managed to discover who has completely and utterly failed (believe us, there were some shockers).

Here are the results...

Caffè Nero

Spiced Orange Latte

Rachel Moss: "It smells like nail varnish remover. Actually, it tastes like it too."

Score: 1/10

Amy Packham: "Horrible. It's just wrong."

Score: 1/10

Natasha Hinde: "Oh dear lord. There are some very strong flavours here (mainly cinnamon) but I can't really taste any orange. Plus the texture is really watery. I'm not a fan at all. In fact, you'd have to pay me to drink it."

Score: 0/10

Winter Berry Latte

RM: "It's sweet but not overly so and the berry flavours really come through. I'd say this is a good Christmassy drink for people who dabble with coffee. It's not so much for the hardcore coffee drinkers out there. You know who you are..."

Score: 9/10

AP: "It's a bit too sweet for me, I'm afraid. Especially if there's a whole cup of the stuff." *Screws up face*

Score: 6/10

NH: "It's basically the love child of raspberry ripple ice cream and a cup of coffee. There are some seriously nice flavours going on here."

Score: 8/10

Starbucks

Toffee Nut Latte

RM: "Flipping heck, it smells strong doesn't it? It's like being kicked in the throat by a giant toffee."

Score: 4/10

AP: "I like the fact the nutty flavour is quite prominent. And you get the coffee flavour coming through too."

Score: 7/10

NH: "It tastes sickly (So. Much. Toffee) and then leaves a massively bitter aftermath in your mouth. My tongue is not happy."

Score: 4/10

Gingerbread Latte

RM: "I'd say this tastes more like cinnamon than it does ginger. You can't really taste any coffee and it seems quite sweet - even for me."

Score: 5/10

AP: "This is SO sickly. But I feel like cinnamon fans would love it."

Score: 6/10

NH: "One word - meh. There was so much cinnamon in this drink and not much else. Plus mine had bits in it! WTF?!"

Score: 3/10

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Pret A Manger

Orange Spiced Hot Chocolate

RM: "Umm, it's pretty awful. Almost floral in taste because the orange is so synthetic. Like chewing potpourri."

Score: 3/10

AP: "This actually tastes like it's got orange cordial in it. It's very artificial in flavour. I could not drink that."

Score: 4/10

NH: "Eek this tastes like some kid has come along and dropped orange-flavoured smarties in your vending machine hot chocolate. Naaaaht good."

Score: 3/10

EAT

Chocolate Brownie Hot Chocolate

RM: "I'd say this doesn't really taste like brownie, it tastes more like cinnamon. I wouldn't say it tastes bad, it's just not what it's advertised as."

Score: 6/10

AP: "I like it, it's not overly sweet for a hot chocolate and it's nice and creamy. The only downfall is that there's a bit too much cinnamon and not enough brownie."

Score: 6/10

NH: "It tastes like those lebkuchen German Christmas biscuits. It's quite nice, not overbearing for a hot chocolate, however I'd agree that there's a bit too much cinnamon in there. I'd definitely buy it again though. Thumbs up!"

Score: 7/10

Costa Coffee

Salted Caramel Cappuccino

RM: "This is nice, but ideally I would like more salted caramel. It's one of the better hot drinks we've had and not overpowering. It doesn't feel that Christmassy, however that isn't necessarily a bad thing."

Score: 8/10

AP: "It's not too sickly either which is great - because a lot of the time Christmas drinks can be! I can't necessarily taste that it's salted caramel, though. But regardless, I'm a big fan."

Score: 9/10

NH: "You can really taste the coffee, which is quite a nice change from the other drinks. Ideally I would like to taste more salted caramel flavours in there."

Score: 7/10

Tiramisu Latte

RM: "Very bitter, not much more to say really."

Score: 4/10

AP: "It's bitter and not very sweet, which isn't what I'd expect. The tiramisu flavour is really strong, so you can't really get away with buying it if you don't like tiramisu flavours."

Score: 5/10

NH: "Meh. It tastes like it might have nail polish remover in it. Not a fan."

Score: 4/10

Caramel Fudge Hot Chocolate

RM: "This is sooooo good and the best hot chocolate we've had. It's creamy and it doesn't taste cheap either. It would be lovely with a dollop of cream."

Score: 9/10

AP: "It's quite rich but really tasty and not sickly at all. The fudge part is quite strong but works well with the chocolate flavours."

Score: 9/10

NH: "My all-time favourite. This hot chocolate tastes like an absolute dream. It's rich, creamy and I could drink them regularly. It's restored my faith in Christmas hot drinks."

Score: 10/10

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