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Column: Starbucks has taken over winter, and I’m okay with it

A+delicious+peppermint+mocha+in+Starbucks%E2%80%99+latest+holiday+cup.+The+drink+is+topped+with+whipped+cream+and+chocolate+curls.
A delicious peppermint mocha in Starbucks’ latest holiday cup. The drink is topped with whipped cream and chocolate curls.

A delicious peppermint mocha in Starbucks’ latest holiday cup. The drink is topped with whipped cream and chocolate curls.

Photo by Scarlet Levin

Photo by Scarlet Levin

A delicious peppermint mocha in Starbucks’ latest holiday cup. The drink is topped with whipped cream and chocolate curls.

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The holidays are fast approaching, ladies. And do you know what that means? It is time to say goodbye to good ol’ 2017.

Whether it was an easy-breezy sort of year for you or maybe a little tough, 2017 was undoubtedly eventful. Through all the craziness of this year, I have had the support and love of friends, teachers, family and my dog, Bella (of course she gets her own category, isn’t my love of dogs obvious?), and for that, I am truly grateful. However, there was one unsung hero who got me through. No matter how hard life was, it brought up my spirits with every, delicious sip.

I love Starbucks, and I know I am not the only one. Words can barely describe the pure bliss of that grande peach tranquility tea after a long day at school or that warmed everything bagel, smothered with cream cheese, while doing homework. Let’s be honest, do we not all aspire to be a junior or senior: the glory of walking across the street to that enticing green and white siren logo?

Sirens are mysterious women of the sea, whose beautiful voices sing with the intent of luring sailors to their deaths. Slightly creepy, the idea of a siren behind the Starbucks logo makes sense.

According to the Starbucks Blog (yes, a blog), the Siren of Starbucks is, “Inviting all of us in to explore, to find something new and to connect with each other…urging all of us forward to the next thing.”

In this light, no wonder there is such hype around the arrival of new Starbucks drinks. People love exploring the taste, while sharing photos on Instagram for others to see, thus inspiring them to try the drink too. It is a genius money making cycle. As much as I love new additions to the Starbucks family, my all time favorites are those tried (by me!) and true classic flavors.

The holidays are arriving soon, but Starbucks began celebrating on Tuesday, Sep. 5, with the arrival of the pumpkin spice latte [PSL]— a tradition since 2003.

Starbucks describes the delicious drink as their, “signature espresso and milk [drink]…highlighted by flavor notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove to create this incredible beverage that’s a fall favorite.”

By Friday, the Sep. 8, I already got four PSLs. Although that sounds pretty crazy, I’m not the only person obsessed with this drink.

Photo by Scarlet Levin
The peppermint brownie cake-pop is another deliciously festive treat Starbucks currently offers, yum! Starbucks has an entire holiday menu.

According to “Why do we like pumpkin spice so much? The weird science behind PSL,” the Pumpkin Spice Latte craze can be narrowed down to three things: smell, the past and sugar. When people smell cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin, scents prevalent on Western holidays, we think of joyous memories. In addition, the high sugar content gives humans a delightful sugar high. According to Authority Nutrition, American women should not consume more than 25 grams of added sugar per day. But each PSL contains about 50 grams, yikes!

One of the main reasons I drink pumpkin spice lattes so early and so frequently during the fall is because the end of Halloween marks the beginning of Christmas. Thus, peppermint mocha time! There is nothing quite like coffee and chocolate, paired with, you guessed it, peppermint.

According to Leaf.com, “while the origin of peppermint candy is unclear, historical accounts show that peppermint oils have been used since ancient times to calm the stomach and for other remedies. Farmers in Europe began commercially growing the plant, which is a natural cross between watermint and spearmint, in the late 1700s.

Some believe that the modern day candy originated with an Indiana Christian. The white and red coloring allegedly represents Jesus and his blood, with the “J” shape standing for Jesus.  However, Smithsonian disagrees, emphasizing that this candy originated in the 17th century, long before Indiana even existed. Whatever the origins, peppermint — especially in Mocha form —is delicious.

And don’t forget about the adorable holiday cups, a tradition Starbucks has maintained for 20 years. Have a wonderful holiday season, and warm up with some delicious mochas or lattes. Here’s to a Starbucks filled 2018.

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