The coffee chain drops its holiday menu on Nov. 2
Starbucks is ready for everything merry and bright!
The coffee chain announced a new holiday drink to kick off cozy season: the iced gingerbread oat milk chai. It joins the menu on Thursday.
The flavorful confection is mixed with oat milk and black tea infused with cinnamon and warming spices. For those who prefer a warmer beverage, the gingerbread oat milk chai is also available in a hot version.
PEOPLE got a first taste of the new tea-based drink and it's festive flair definitely delivers.
At first sip, it tastes like a gingerbread house in a cup, and yet isn't too overpowering. The sprinkle of spice topping plus the gingerbread flavor enhances the taste of the chai. Rich but not too dense, the iced drink is the quintessential (yet subtle!) holiday drink.
All the deliciousness will be served in a new holiday cold cup, which is the first new one introduced since 2021. It’s decorated with whimsy baubles and sparkles, all dressed in a uniform white color.
This season at Starbucks, the menu is filled with gingerbread galore: fans can also snag the gingerbread latte, gingerbread loaf and – at select locations – the Oleato gingerbread oat milk latte.
Other Starbucks’ holiday drinks are making their grand return to the menu this month, including the peppermint mocha, caramel brulée latte, chestnut praline latte and the iced sugar cookie almond milk latte.
The bakery will also re-introduce holiday dessert favorites: the cranberry bliss bar, snowman cookie, peppermint brownie cake pop and the sugar plum cheese danish.
The holidays at Starbucks mean new hot cup designs, too. This year, all feature a touch of pink.
For starters, the party plaid cup is inspired by cozy wool apparel. “I was thinking about a classic plaid scarf, but I wanted it to feel a bit more modern,” said Bridget Shilling, the designer of the 2023 cup collection. “So, I played with an unexpected palete and added geometric sensibility for elevated flair.”
The second design, dubbed peppermint mocha, was inspired by the festive Starbucks drink of the same name. Etched with swirly green, red and pink waves, this one is meant to look like the “design comes to life,” per the release.
Evoking the giving spirit of the season, the ribbon spool design is clad in red, green and pink ribbons wrapped around the holiday cup. “I wanted it to feel joyful and a bit imperfect, similar to how you might store your ribbons for holiday wrapping,” Shilling said.
Rounding out the hot drink designs is the bauble wrap, which consists of several ornament shapes reminiscent of a “uniquely wrapped gift,” per Shilling.
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