Starbucks Holiday Season 2016: Santa Hat Dark Mocha Frapuccino

As 2016 comes  to an end, Starbucks wouldn’t pass it by without a bang. By the bang, I meant their holiday specials. Christmas season starts at November here so that’s when the holiday special starts. Once it does, Filipinos line up to earn them stickers for their holiday planners.

But I’ll be honest. That planner ends up in three different fates: sold to another, barely filled in, or just untouched.

(For the record, Halloween season needs more recognition. Anyone saying it starts during September to October needs Jesus or whichever deity would bring them to their senses.)

I took this photo on November 12. Yeah. The queue that afternoon reached beyond the door.

In case my sidebar bio and about page missed it: I love green tea. I prefer it to coffee, as I get less anxiety and acne. My tea doesn’t include sweeteners, because too much sugar grows pimples on my forehead. On a daily basis, I drink a Starbucks grande-sized serving of Twinings or two. Sometimes I’d add another tea bag to pump up the effect. Green tea serves as my caffeine source and metabolism pump.

Often times, I forget to bring my box of Twinings Green Tea & Mint to work when I used up the last bag in the old box. When that happens, I go to the nearest Starbucks to buy the venti-sized green tea for my daily dose of tea. (Not often though, I do not want to burn a hole in my wallet.) Starbucks trips don’t often happen unless in such situations. But since it’s the holidays, I gave their holiday specials a try when my cousins and I went there.

Nothing says home-like Christmas spirit like a Starbucks store. They dressed each section to the 9’s. Even their beans get the yuletide treatment.

Starbucks’s holiday specials also includes changes in branding. Red cups with fancy white illustrations replaced their signature white cups for hot drinks. The illustrations captured Christmas perfectly with their candy canes, Christmas balls, and snowflakes. White-on-red is always a good, appealing Christmas aesthetic without two contrasting colors clashing for dominance.

Merchandise are no exception from the holidays.
These illustrations are so refined and intricate. The illustrator of these graphics is the real MVP.

They even redesigned their Starbucks cards to feel the December spirit! Too bad I had a (barely used) Starbucks card already. Besides, it’d make a perfect Christmas gift for family or friends who need their weekly Starbucks fix. You can get two cards at PHP1000 in two designs: a winter-ready squirrel and a polar bear. Had I not gotten a card before, I’d pick the polar bear design!

かわいい, です ね? (Cute, isn’t it?)

And now, for my main point: the drink I had. (Thanks again to my cousins for the drink. X)

In every holiday season, Starbucks serves peppermint mocha frappes and toffee nut lattes. But this year, Starbucks debuted a new drink called the Santa Hat Dark Mocha frapuccino. They named it Santa Hat after the very thing the whipped cream resembles. Starbucks describes the drink as the following:

Dark mocha topped with a crafted Santa Hat made with classic and strawberry whipped cream, strawberry drizzle and a dollop of snowy white whipped cream on top.

When your online order arrives and it looks way different from the picture

For the entire year, I greatly reduced my sugar intake because of my skin / diet. I only reward myself with a tall vanilla frapuccino every few months. The less I consume sweets, the sweeter the frappes get.

At first, I sipped the strawberry-flavored ingredients. I almost thought it’d take forever, based on the whipped cream’s thickness. The further I drank, the more I tasted chocolate instead of mocha. I’ve never had dark mocha before so I didn’t know if it’s supposed to taste like that. Size wise, grande is the best when ordering the Santa Hat. Tall servings leave one craving, but venti servings of Santa Hat are too much. Would I order again? Maybe when I really need my sugar fix, I would.

You can get the Santa Hat Dark Mocha in either hot or cold form. The drink costs P170 for tall, P185 for grande, and P200 for venti. The drink is available in all Starbucks branches from November 2 until January 8, 2017.


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