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Aug. 17, 2022

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Vancouver coffee, tea shops offer variety of beverages for holiday season

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Autumn Spice Latte at Thatcher's Coffee.
Autumn Spice Latte at Thatcher's Coffee. (Rachel Pinsky) Photo Gallery

Starbucks took eggnog lattes off the menu this year, leaving us as bewildered as Whoville after the Grinch snatched all the town’s Christmas presents. Fortunately, fans of this creamy, nutmeg-sprinkled concoction can find solace at several local spots offering their versions of this Yuletide favorite.

In addition, baristas at some of Vancouver’s best coffee and tea shops are pulling, swirling and steeping steaming mugs of coffees and teas spiked with seasonal flavors to bring holiday cheer to even the biggest Scrooges.

Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters (703 Grand Blvd., Vancouver; 360-553-7900) offers a subtly flavored eggnog latte made with Dairygold’s eggnog.

Compass Coffee Roasting (817 Washington St., Vancouver; 888-723-2007) uses Alexandre Family Farms’ eggnog, which is made with A2/A2 milk that has the same primary protein as human milk, theoretically making it more digestible for humans. The drink is topped with a gingersnap crumble. The Alexandre Family Farm eggnog makes Compass’ Nog latte the most expensive of the holiday crop at $7.50.

Other Compass holiday drinks include: Peppy Van Mocha, a peppermint leaf dark chocolate mocha topped with a toasted candy cane marshmallow; Chestnuts Roasting, a cayenne-spiced drink with muscovado brown sugar syrup in a chestnut latte; and, Sugar & Spice, a latte flavored with orange, lemon peel, clove, nutmeg and allspice.

Instead of an eggnog latte, River Maiden (5301 E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver; 360-694-7500) offers a Holiday Spice Latte with nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and a touch of ginger but no dairy so that customers can add the milk of their choice. This drink will be available in December. For now, River Maiden makes a pumpkin spice syrup and maple cardamom syrup for lattes and a cranberry orange ginger syrup for the layered boba drink with matcha green tea called Boba Fett.

Relevant Coffee (1703 Main St., Vancouver; 971-319-5773) includes an eggnog latte on its holiday menu alongside winter-flavored drinks like peppermint mocha and orange mocha. Fall combinations included smoke spice cardamom, autumn maple, pumpkin pie spice and spiced apple cider.

Kimberly Becerra, formerly of Shoofly Vegan Bakery in Portland, serves as Relevant’s flavor maker. Becerra creates each drink with vegan possibilities and blends flavors that complement the notes in Relevant’s carefully roasted coffee.

Relevant teamed up with Bull Run Distillery for a special barrel-aged coffee. To make this limited release, the roasters age green coffee beans in whiskey and then roast them to their fullest flavor potential. This brings forth notes of whiskey cask and hazelnut that pair well with a holiday pie.

Other coffee shops have brought back old standbys. Thatcher’s Coffee (104 Grand Blvd., Suite 100, Vancouver; 360-258-0571) is again offering its popular autumn latte, this fall made with vanilla syrup spiked with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Kafiex (720 Esther St. and 100 Waterfront Way, Vancouver) is serving a peppermint mocha, as well as its year-round favorite Mexican mocha with brown sugar, dark chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg.

A long list of subtly sweet, soothing, whipped-cream topped tea drinks fill the menu at Dandelion Teahouse (109 W. Seventh St., Vancouver; 360-718-7642). Until December, the drink list includes concoctions like Apple Spice and Everything Nice with apple spice tea, brown sugar spice syrup, and milk and Gettin’ Figgy With It, a cinnamon fig black tea with fig syrup and milk.

In December, the Gingerbread Matcha Man, a gingerbread tea latte with matcha, gingerbread syrup, and milk topped with whipped cream and sprinkles remains and a chocolate mint drink shows up along with a new menu of drinks for the month.

Until the end of the year, eggnog latte drinkers, chocolate peppermint fans, maple syrup obsessives, and lovers of everything sugar and spice have plenty of hot drink options that are like fuzzy hand-knit sweaters for their insides.

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