Starbucks vs. Second Cup vs. Tim Hortons Holiday Drinks: I Compared Them So You Don't Have To

One café was a clear winner.

Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
Person drinking Starbucks holiday drink. Right: Holiday drinks from Starbucks, Tim Hortons and Second Cup.

Person drinking Starbucks holiday drink. Right: Holiday drinks from Starbucks, Tim Hortons and Second Cup.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

The holiday season brings about loads of magical moments from Christmas markets, cold and snowy weather and of course, holiday drinks. Oh, so many holiday drinks.

Starbucks, Tim Hortons and Second Cup have all gotten in on the festive action with their own holiday menus — obviously, I had to try 'em out. And let me tell ya, I am still nauseous over the abundance of gingerbread, peppermint and white hot chocolate flavouring that I consumed.

Considering each café offers a handful of Christmassy drinks and snacks this season, I went with the most similar choices from each spot to make the comparison as fair as possible.

As for flavours, I decided to try out the White Hot Chocolate and Gingerbread Latte from Timmies, the Peppermint Mochaccino and Candy Cane White Hot Chocolate from Second Cup, and a Peppermint Mocha and Toasted White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks.

Verdict? They were all pretty terrible. But, if I had to choose a winner — Tim Hortons would be the standout café for best holiday drinks.

Second Cup’s Candy Cane White Hot Chocolate ($4.55) was a decent choice and offered just the right peppermint flavour with the creaminess of the hot chocolate. As for the Peppermint Mochaccino ($5.25), you may as well have mixed chocolate syrup and Listerine together.

Starbucks was also disappointing. The Peppermint Mocha ($5.54) tasted like a blended cup of After Eight’s while the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha ($5.54) fell flat and lacked flavour.

Now, from Tim Hortons, both drinks were reasonably priced and tasted good. That doesn’t mean I’ll be rushing to get ‘em a second time around. However, I was delighted with the sweet flavours of the White Hot Chocolate ($2.33) and the subtle gingerbread taste in the Gingerbread Latte ($4.43).

So, if you’re in the mood for a mix of festive flavours, Tim Hortons just might be your best (and cheapest!) bet.

Mike Chaar
Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
Mike Chaar is an Assistant Editor for MTL Blog focused on recalls in Canada and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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