Penn State news by
Penn State's student blog



Ranking Penn State Starbucks’ Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Lattes

It’s that time of the year, folks.

It has hit the point in the year where the holiday spirit is lingering in the air as Thanksgiving approaches and December is right around the corner. For me, the Christmas season starts on November 2, the glorious day that Starbucks officially releases its holiday menu.

Back by popular demand, Starbucks kept the notorious Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte on the menu for the third year in a row. I took an adventure to a few Penn State Starbucks to compare which one truly put me in the Christmas spirit.

The ranking is simple. I’m not going to compare how long each one took to get or how far the walk happened to be. I am comparing the drinks and the drinks themselves. However, spelling my name right may be worth a little bonus.

No modifications will be made. Since I’m lactose intolerant, I am truly grateful this drink is already made with almond milk or else I don’t think I could get through this whole article.

The Order

  • Venti iced sugar cookie almond milk latte (go big or go home)
  • Per the Starbucks website, the venti version of the latte has almond milk, six pumps of sugar cookie syrup, red and green sprinkles, and three shots of espresso.
  • The drink has a total of 220 calories and costs $6.65.

With all of the logistics out of the way, let’s get into the rankings.

No. 4: “All I Want For Christmas Is A Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte” From Pugh Centre Starbucks

After walking into a very empty Pugh Centre Starbucks, I was ready for the last stop on my list to pick up my final iced sugar cookie almond milk latte. However, all I got was a big fat lump of coal in the form of “We’re all out,” from the employee behind the cash register.

After my early morning Spanish class, all I wanted was my latte, but I still needed my daily sweet treat, so I attempted to order another holiday drink but was told by the same employee that it wasn’t worth it, and I appreciated the honesty. I ended up ordering my normal drink.

My time there was not a waste as this is the one and only Starbucks on the list that asked me whether I was an Ericka with a “c” or a “k” and I was able to tell them “ck.”

Even though my day was made by this interaction, the drink I wanted was unavailable, so until it restocks (which is an indefinite amount of time because Starbucks didn’t know), it’s at the bottom of my list.


No. 3: “I Want A Better Latte For Christmas, Only A Better Latte Will Do” From HUB Starbucks

After a 20-minute wait in line and another 10-minute wait for my drink, I finally had my hands on the latte. At first glance, I was already disappointed. I could count the amount of red and green sprinkles on top of the drink with one hand. If the sprinkles are a part of the drink description, I would like to see them.

I didn’t want to be too much of a hater, though, so I went into my first sip with a clear mind. Maybe a little too clear, because this drink tasted like nothing. Even after mixing the drink one too many times to try to taste something, the flavor just wasn’t there.

I wouldn’t say the latte was bad, but it wasn’t great. After waiting half an hour in line, I was hoping for more. At the end of the day, it just tasted like milk.

This doesn’t factor into the ranking, but my name is Erica, according to the HUB.


No. 2: “We Wish You A Merry Christmas & A Happy First Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte Of The Year” From W. College Ave. Starbucks

Walking into the W. College Ave. Starbucks bright and early on November 2, I was ready for my favorite drink to be back on the menu. Unlike Pugh Centre, I was met with the best Christmas gift of all. My first sugar cookie almond milk latte of the year.

It didn’t disappoint.

The sugar cookie flavor was strong throughout the drink, and that was a plus for me. If you aren’t someone with a sweet tooth, this probably wouldn’t be the drink for you as I genuinely couldn’t taste the espresso at all.

The drink tasted like one too many pumps of sugar cookie flavoring and almond milk, but that comes with getting a larger size, and I wasn’t opposed to the taste whatsoever.

The sprinkles, however, were severely lacking but still more than the HUB.

I truly believe that if I could’ve added just one more shot of espresso, this drink would’ve been first on the list.

Also, according to Starbucks, my name is Erika.


No. 1: “It’s The Most Wonderful Latte Of The Year” From Paterno Library Starbucks

Completing a full 180 from the pumpkin spice latte debacle, the Paterno Library Starbucks redeemed itself and made genuinely the most wonderful latte I have ever had. This drink hit all the marks on my list.

Per my notes app: “Sprinkles ATE, literally so many.” This was before I even had my first sip of the beautiful concoction, too. It only got better from there.

The balance of flavor between the almond milk, espresso, and sugar cookie syrup was something I don’t even think Santa Claus himself could make.

Maybe it was just my day because I went to the library at 10 a.m. on a Friday prepared to wait in the worst line imaginable, but it must’ve been a Christmas miracle because the line was nonexistent. From ordering to picking up my drink, the whole venture only took three minutes.

The drink itself gets a perfect score, but in true Starbucks fashion, my name was spelled incorrectly. I am now having an identity crisis and going by Erica.


Final Thoughts

I normally like to modify this drink a bit. I also usually order it in the grande size (to not break the bank), and I add an extra shot or two depending on the day. However, I would officially like to start a petition to make the sugar cookie almond milk latte a year-round menu item.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Ericka Apolskis

Ericka is a freshman broadcast journalism major, from Tomball, Texas. She loves to spend her money on overpriced iced coffee and vintage PSU merch from Ebay. If you want to reach out to her, follow @ericka_apolskis on Twitter and Instagram.

Staff Predictions: No. 11 Penn State vs. No. 3 Michigan

Our staffers are mixed over whether or not the Nittany Lions pull off the upset.

Teaching Tailgating Tradition: Penn State Communion

“Be respectful of the visiting team, no need to use vulgarity, and remember, we’re just pro-Penn State.”

Penn State Football’s Run Defense Prepped To Avenge Last Season’s Dismal Showing Against Michigan

“We’re a little bit bigger across the front, specifically the D-line, [but] not to the point where it’s affected our ability to move.”

Follow on Another Platform