5 Coffee-Based Drinks You Need to Try This Winter

In which local coffee shops deliver the wintry drinks of our dreams. Birthday cake lattes, anyone?

Hey girl, how about you just hang out and we’ll bring you some gingerbread hot chocolate from Toast Coffeehouse?

“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” 

― Percy Bysshe Shelley

You’ve done it. You’ve survived the holidays! Now the only thing that lies between you and summer is – well, the entire rest of the winter. The snow keeps falling and the wind howls, only with the holidays behind us, it seems like the months ahead are just too long. My recommendation for survival? Since hibernation isn’t completely possible, I just drink lots of caffeine. Here’s my pick of delicious winter drinks:

Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Company
Patchogue

Peanut butter hot chocolate. Mmm ?

A photo posted by Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Co (@roastcoffeeandtea) on

Have you ever wondered what a melted peanut butter cup would taste like? Thanks to Roast, you don’t have to. This season, they are serving up Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate. In my husband’s words: “OMG!” (disclaimer: he didn’t actually use the acronym OMG — but he might as well have). It’s simply a sweet, smooth and indulgent treat made with real peanut butter syrup — just like the kind found on ice cream sundaes!

Gingerbread is kind of the quintessential flavor of winter and while coffeehouses everywhere are serving it up, I promise you won’t find anything like Roast’s version of the Gingerbread Latte. This cookie latte has real gingerbread cookies all ground up (yum!) and white chocolate, just in case that wasn’t enough flavor already!

*These beverages will be  available until March 19th

Tend
Shirley

What does Tend have in common with Elvis? They both have winter birthdays! Take yourself (or let someone take you, since if it is also your birthday) on over to Tend who celebrates their 4th birthday in January with a Birthday Cake Latte. This delicious latte has been a customer favorite with notes of vanilla, almond and caramel plus whipped cream because you can’t have cake without some kind of frosting! They’re also offering a drink inspired by the king himself: The Elvis. If you’re a fan you know that Elvis is as famous for his love of peanut butter and banana sandwiches as he is for music.  This latte flavorful layers of peanut butter, and made in-house banana and caramel sauces. Served both hot and cold, Tend can also most of their drinks kid-friendly by using hot chocolate or steamed milk instead of espresso or coffee.

Maybe you just really want that shortcut to summer and if so, you might want to try Tend’s take on a coffee version of a traditional Brazilian drink – the Caipirinha using a tangerine variation and Tend’s own homemade ginger syrup it will at least give you the feeling of summer.

North Fork Roasting Company
Southold

couldn't pass up a dirty chai ☕️

A photo posted by S ✖️ F (@shannenfusco) on

We all know how beautiful and cold it gets on the East End  of Long Island during the later winter months.  Why not mosey into NoFo RoCo with their cozy, rustic and let’s not forget funky atmosphere and reward yourself with the prefect winter beverage? This year NoFo RoCo has brought back their popular Holiday Chai made with their homemade chai blend and a holiday cheer tea (both from Serendipitea), and steamed milk poured over an espresso shot. This year, these creative baristas upped the winter ante with Chestnut Chai, made with their homemade chai blend and natural chestnut puree poured over an espresso shot. The nutty flavor of the chestnut pairs perfectly with the espresso which has notes of hazelnut and dark cocoa. Unzip your parka and grab a seat on the comfy sofa and maybe a homemade muffin and keep warm.

Southdown Coffee
Huntington

When your signature beverage is also the best seasonal beverage. ??? #maplelatte #fall #nationalcoffeeday

A photo posted by Southdown Coffee (@southdowncoffee) on

You made it to yoga after a hectic week, and if you’re like me, somewhere between finding your center and lying in shavasana, you’ve had a vision of a giant latte with your name on it.  After all, you’ve definitely earned it with last down facing dog (why did she say five breaths when clearly she meant twenty!?). Simplicity and less is more are the keys to better living so with that in mind, why not head over to Southdown Coffee for a simple latte with a shot of maple syrup in it? Owner, Mark Boccard’s, mission is to serve up high quality, single-origin coffee which means the beans in your latte or macchiato are sourced from one farm in one region. Think of these drinks as the “unplugged versions” of your favorite rock songs. The experience of drinking coffee becomes intimate – leaving you to taste the flavor of the coffee exposed and stripped down—the maple syrup serving as a natural sweetener. What better way to eliminate the stress of the holiday season? Coffee selections are on a weekly rotation with choices between espresso or drip.  Can I get a Namaste for the entire concept of Southdown Coffee?

Toast Coffeehouse
Port Jefferson & Patchogue

You’re off to go ice skating  at the Rinx in Port Jefferson Village — or if you’re like me, you’ll be hanging on to the railing and wondering if your insurance is as good as your employer promised.  Whether you’re a skater or just a spectator, Toast Coffeehouse has you covered.  These year’s winter beverages include Gingerbread Hot Chocolate with graham cracker crust — you read the correctly a latte with a crust — and whipped cream… and chocolate chips.  This is a drink that the whole family can enjoy.

Patchogue has become a hub of unique and modern eateries. It’s no surprise that Toast’s Patchogue location fits in so perfectly with its’ neighbors. If you haven’t yet visited, you really must stop in for a bite to eat and your daily caffeine fix with a Peppermint White Chocolate Cappuccino.  This drink is sure to give you the fuzzies and keep you warm this blistery winter.

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Carri Horner works, writes and lives in New York. She is a graduate of the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.