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We Tried It: Are Starbucks' New Holiday Drinks As Good As Their Old Standbys?

Starbucks released two brand new holiday drinks — the chestnut praline chai tea latte and the Americano nuevo — we tried them both

Try all the holiday drinks this week because from Nov. 9 to 13, between 2 and 5 p.m., seasonal beverages are buy one, get one free.

It’s already holiday season at Starbucks (even if most of us are still recovering from Halloween). And stores across the country are playing have switched over to Christmas carols, and baristas are serving up eggnog, gingerbread and peppermint mocha lattes in the coffee chain’s signature seasonal red cups.

Starbucks has also released two brand-new holiday drinks  a chestnut praline chai tea latte and an Americano nuevo so, naturally, we had to try them both.

Chestnut Praline Chai Tea Latte in a red mug on a black background

Chestnut praline chai tea latte

The chai latte was up first. I was expecting it to be sweet, since both the chestnut praline syrup and the chai concentrate are laden with sugar. But I wasn’t prepared for the sugar bomb that exploded in my mouth (a grande chestnut praline chai tea latte contains 42 grams of sugar; a can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar). Thankfully, the spicy chai balanced the drink out a bit. If tooth-melting sweetness isn’t your thing, but you still want to enjoy this drink’s rich, nutty flavour, consider ordering it half sweet. (Or, get it as is because it is the holiday season, after all.)

Starbucks Americano nuevo in a red mug

Americano nuevo

The Americano nuevo fared better. The simple espresso-based beverage is an Americano misto (espresso, hot water and steamed milk) with hazelnut syrup. It felt a lot less indulgent, and overall more drinkable, than the chestnut praline chai latte. (Essentially, it tastes like a humble, hazelnut-flavoured cup of coffee.) This one was definitely more coffee break than dessert. Consider it if you want to add some festive flavour to your Monday morning or mid afternoon snack.

The bottom line: I won’t be abandoning my beloved peppermint mochas anytime soon, but it’s always fun to test out the trendy flavours Starbucks promotes each year as it searches for its next PSL.

Staying in? Learn how to make a hot butter chai latte at home