Lauren Bryant / Daily Nexus

Tenaya Market & Eatery at the Santa Catalina residence hall and San Joaquin villages provides a one-stop shop for to-go fresh meals, and for the holiday season, they are offering seasonal items such as the sugar cookie latte, peppermint mocha latte and sugar cookie. 

The aromas of peppermint and sugar cookies waft through the cozy market. I sampled both of the drinks on their holiday selection: the sugar cookie latte and the peppermint mocha latte. My drinks were made with whole milk and the full sugar amount, but the baristas can substitute for non-dairy or low-fat milk to your preference and can change the sugar amount if it is not a pre-made mix.

My favorite of the two was undeniably the sugar cookie latte. The taste and smell were exactly its namesake: it tasted like a diluted sugar cookie, but the overall taste of a milky sweet coffee was slightly more powerful. The drink transported me to a winter paradise without being overly sweet or giving me a headache, the fault of many fall and winter sweet treats. The aftertaste was simple and syrupy but light. For dark roast coffee lovers, this might not be the drink for you, because it had bright and mild acidity and was far more fragrant and sweet than bitter. The drink earned a solid 8/10. 

The peppermint mocha latte was less enjoyable. I am more partial to the mixing of chocolate and peppermint than coffee and peppermint, and the latte solidified my opinion, presenting a drink where the flavors fought each other, with none providing an appetizing victory. The peppermint was overpowering, and the aftertaste lingered, leaving a metallic, slightly artificial taste. However, the drink became more palatable as I progressed, as the intensity of the peppermint became more subdued. The drink, in short, tastes like a dissolved Altoid in a vanilla latte. I rated this holiday drink as a 6/10. 

Despite the drink menu being a hit or miss, Tenaya Market & Eatery will always be there for a quick fix. I recommend checking out their other beverages and what the rest of the shop’s seasons have in supply.