The 11 Best Winter Coffees
As we head into the shorter days and cooler temperatures of the season, one of the best things we have to look forward to are winter coffees.
With so many specialty drinks available at coffee shops around the country, you might be wondering about some of the best ones to try.
With this list, you’ll be armed with the information you need to order the best winter coffee for your tastebuds.
And many of them are simple enough that you can make them at home with just a few key ingredients so that you can sip on the flavors of the season all winter long.
So, what are the 11 best winter coffees? You’ll want to try eggnog and gingerbread lattes, white chocolate peppermint lattes, peppermint mocha lattes, marshmallow and log cabin lattes, caramel brulée and toffee nut lattes, white chocolate and hazelnut mocha lattes, and winter spiced coffee.
If you’re looking for a caffeine-free winter beverage, then I’ve also got you covered with peppermint hot chocolate, spiced apple cider lattes, and chai lattes.
1. Eggnog Lattes
Eggnog is one of those drinks you either love or you hate, there doesn’t seem to be any in-between.
But if you love it, then you’ve likely been counting down the days until you can get your hands on an eggnog latte, either made at home or from your favorite coffee shop.
If you’ve never had eggnog before, it is generally a combination of milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg whites, and egg yolks.
Whipping the egg whites gives the eggnog its light texture while stirring in the egg yolks adds a richness to the milk and cream to create a truly decadent holiday beverage.
Some versions will also add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, or different alcohols depending on the brand or personal preference if you make your own.
An eggnog latte is typically a combination of steamed eggnog, espresso, and topped with a sprinkling of nutmeg.
This rich and creamy drink is sure to get you in the holiday mood! And if you want, you can even add a little splash of rum, brandy, cognac, whiskey, or bourbon.
2. Gingerbread Lattes
After eggnog, one of the most signature flavors of winter and the holidays has to be gingerbread. The rich, spicy flavor of this childhood classic makes a delicious and unique ingredient in a latte.
There are a few ways that you can enjoy this latte from a store or at home.
Typically, a Gingerbread Latte is going to include molasses as the sweetener (this syrup gives a distinct flavor to gingerbread), vanilla, cinnamon, and, of course, ginger.
You can combine it with some steamed milk or cream and espresso to make the festive gingerbread latte of your dreams.
If you want to take it up another notch, you can even make a Gingerbread Mocha Latte, which includes all the above ingredients plus some chocolate syrup to add that hint of decadence. And of course, some whipped cream is never a bad idea!
3. White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha Lattes
White chocolate isn’t a flavor that everyone enjoys, but when combined with peppermint it makes an absolutely delightful winter coffee.
You can make this amazing drink with white chocolate sauce, peppermint syrup or extract, steamed milk, and espresso.
To make it truly decadent, try topping it with whipped cream and white or dark chocolate curls or sprinkles. The combination of creamy white chocolate with the freshness of peppermint will help wake you up on those dark and dreary days.
4. Peppermint Mocha Latte
If you’re not a fan of white chocolate, you can also get a peppermint mocha latte made the old-fashioned way with regular dark chocolate syrup, espresso, peppermint extract or syrup, steamed milk, and espresso.
The combination of dark chocolate and peppermint is a little richer than white chocolate and will likely give you a little extra caffeine boost as well.
Like the white chocolate peppermint mocha, you can top it with whipped cream and more chocolate syrup.
5. Marshmallow Latte
There’s something so comforting and nostalgic about roasted marshmallows and the marshmallow latte capitalizes on those feelings to create a cozy winter coffee that hits the spot every time.
You can even get it as a Frappucino at some coffee shops.
This winter coffee combines espresso, white mocha syrup, vanilla syrup, and caramel syrup topped with delicious marshmallow or marshmallow flavored whipped cream.
Some coffee shops might even have a brulée torch on hand to crisp up the marshmallow for you.
6. Log Cabin Latte
I have to admit that I’d never heard about this winter coffee before I started working on this list, but once I discovered it I knew it had to take a spot.
To make this unique coffee you will need some espresso, 1-2 teaspoons of butter and maple syrup, and some sprinkles of cinnamon.
Using a milk frother or an immersion blender, you can whip all these ingredients together to make a creamy, mapley, spiced coffee. If you want, you can add some cream for a little more richness to cut through the coffee a bit.
Maple syrup is such a delightful winter flavor and this latte sounds like the perfect way to use it. The butter adds a little salty richness and I’m sure you will be converted to this simple, but delicious little winter coffee delight.
7. Caramel Brulée Latte
The word brulée means burnt or toasted in French.
This winter coffee has a delicious toasted caramel syrup that combines with vanilla, steamed milk, and espresso or drip coffee to create a decadent, sweet, and caffeine-packed treat for those cold winter days.
Some coffee shops will top it with whipped cream and little caramel pieces for a truly decadent way to enjoy your winter.
8. White Chocolate Mocha Latte
There’s something about white chocolate that just seems to go hand-in-hand with the holidays and winter festivities.
Using white chocolate syrup or even white chocolate chips is a delicious way to create a rich and creamy winter coffee.
You can get them are many coffee shops, but they’re also easy to whip up at home. You’ll just need to pick up some white chocolate syrup or chocolate chips.
Having a milk frother or immersion blender is another great way to get that coffee shop frothiness that is so typical of a good latte.
You can use your favorite coffee brand and then whip it together with some white chocolate syrup, a little bit of vanilla, and some milk.
Top it with whipped cream and white chocolate sprinkles to enjoy the most festive white chocolate mocha latter possible.
9. Toffee Nut Latte
This winter coffee latte is truly special. It tastes buttery and has a toasty roasted nut flavor that is guaranteed to warm up your belly from the inside out.
Many coffee shops make it by blending espresso with a toffee nut syrup, and steamed milk.
You can top it with whipped cream and little pieces of toffee since that seems to be the theme with all winter coffees: lots of whipped cream and tasty toppings!
To make your toffee nut latte at home, you’ll need to buy a toffee nut syrup, which you can pick up on Amazon. You can get some here so you can be fully stocked up with toffee nut lattes all winter long.
10. Winter Spiced Coffee
Finally, if you want to add a little kick to your coffee for those lazy holiday mornings, this winter spiced coffee is definitely a great choice.
This coffee is typically made from a strong, bold roasted coffee bean and the process is somewhat like making mulled wine or cider.
On the stove, you’ll simmer about 1/4 cup of coffee beans, with some crushed cardamom pods (about 10 or so), 2 bulbs of star anise, and 2 cinnamon sticks with 1/2 a quart of water.
Let it simmer until it reduces in volume by about 1/2, then strain out the coffee beans and spices.
Whisk in brown sugar and Kahlua (as much as you like). Pour into mugs and top with some whipped cream, cocoa powder, and cinnamon.
You can use different spices if you’d like and you could also try making it with brewed coffee that you simmer with the spices to infuse the flavor before adding your Kahlua and sugar.
Whatever you decide there are endless varieties to play with when it comes to your winter spiced coffee.
11. Hazelnut Mocha Latte
There’s something about hazelnuts that just screams winter. Maybe it’s because every year someone gets a little package of those gold foil wrapped chocolates that never seem to make it to January 1st.
The hazelnut mocha latte can be made with either hazelnut flavored coffee, syrup, or creamer depending on your preference and what you have. You can add different flavors such as vanilla and chocolate syrup.
If you want to make a simple hazelnut latte, you can brew up some hazelnut coffee, froth in some steamed milk and vanilla, and top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.
You could also purchase a hazelnut flavored creamed to use with your regular coffee, warm it up, and whip it into your coffee before topping it with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.
You don’t have to add the chocolate syrup either if you prefer just the flavor of hazelnuts. Adding the syrup does make it taste like a certain delicious chocolate spread popular on breakfast tables across the country.
Regardless of how you want to enjoy it, the hazelnut mocha latte is a delicious winter coffee that is sure to invoke memories of the holidays.
Bonus Caffeine-Free Drinks
If you’re looking for a caffeine-free alternative to coffee that still packs a festive holiday season punch, then make sure you try one of these options.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
You can’t go wrong with a classic hot chocolate. But, why not take it to another level by adding in the seasonal flavor of peppermint?
It’s easy to take your regular, delicious hot chocolate and turn it into a festive treat with just a couple drops of peppermint extract.
You can use either white or dark chocolate to make your drink.
If you’re using a powder, I like to combine the cocoa powder with my milk of choice (coconut goes really well with peppermint!), some maple syrup, and peppermint extract before adding the hot water.
Combining the dry ingredients with some liquids before adding your boiling water is a great way to prevent those pesky little balls of dried powder from ruining the consistency and experience of your decadent hot chocolate.
You can also use white, milk, or dark chocolate chips to make an extra creamy and rich hot chocolate.
Just pour boiling water over them, give a good stir, add your favorite milk, a drop or two of peppermint extract and enjoy the taste of the holidays!
Spiced Apple Cider Latte
This drink is a bit on the experimental side, but if you’re looking for a non-caffeinated and tasty addition to your winter beverage menu, then I highly suggest giving it a try.
There are a couple of options you can try- one with just apple cider and one that combines apple cider and tea.
If you’re just using apple cider, you will want to warm about 2 cups up on the stove with a stick of cinnamon, a pinch of ginger, allspice, cloves, and cardamom.
Let it simmer until the spices infuse into the cider, then remove the cinnamon stick.
Add a 1/4-1/2 cup of your favorite milk and gently heat until the tiniest bubbles form and steam begins to rise from the pot.
Remove from the heat and use a milk frother or immersion blender to buzz it up. Pour into your mug, top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and enjoy.
If you want to add some tea, throw one of your favorite tea bags into the cider (I like Earl Grey since the bergamot complements the apple cider and spices) and remove it at the same time as you remove the cinnamon stick.
Then follow the rest of the instructions.
Chai Spice Lattes
A final option for a cozy and warm winter beverage that doesn’t have any caffeine is a chai spice latte. You can find them at many coffee shops, though they may be made with black tea, so there could be a bit of caffeine in them.
If you want to make one at home, you can fill a small saucepan with 2 cups of water and simmer cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice for about 20-30 minutes.
Once the water has been infused with the spice mix, strain them out.
I like to return my infused liquid to the saucepan and heat it up with my favorite milk, some sugar or maple syrup, and vanilla.
Once the liquid has come to a gentle simmer, remove it from the heat and froth with an immersion blender or milk frother. Pour into your mugs and enjoy with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
As you can see, there is no shortage of winter coffees for you to try and this list just starts to scratch the surface.
Whether you’re looking for caffeinated, chocolate, peppermint, winter spice, or caffeine-free drinks, there’s sure to be something for everyone on this list.
Do you have a favorite winter coffee? Let us know in the comments.
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