Lunch Break Quiz: Holiday Drinks at Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Caribou Coffee, and Au Bon Pain

How do the chains' holiday mochas, lattes, and hot chocolates compare? Take our quiz.

Those unmistakable red Starbucks cups have been out for a week now, and Dunkin’ Donuts recently debuted its red velvet latte. In other words, the holidays are in full swing, America. 

But how does one coffee chain’s peppermint mocha compare nutritionally to another’s? That’s the question in this week’s Lunch Break Quiz, which pits various holiday drinks against one another. Test your knowledge and find out which drink is the healthiest to order next time you’re in the mood for some liquid holiday cheer. 


Peppermint Mocha

Espresso, steamed milk, mocha sauce, peppermint-flavored syrup, sweetened whipped cream, and dark chocolate curls.

Caribou Coffee

Ho Ho Mint Mocha

Melted dark chocolate, steamed milk, espresso, mint flavoring, whipped cream, and crushed candy canes.

It has fewer calories and fat grams, and you’ll save even more if you opt for nonfat milk and no whipped cream.
Even the small (a 10-ounce cup) has almost 100 more calories than the Starbucks version and nearly double the fat (24 grams).

Au Bon Pain

Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate

Chocolate mix, whipped cream, and milk.

Corner Bakery Cafe

Truffle Hot Chocolate

Chocolate, milk, and truffle.

Yikes! This contains 550 calories—which amounts to a small meal—plus 66 grams of sugar.
The 16-ounce version with whole milk has 480 calories and a whopping 72 grams of sugar, but at least you can opt for the nonfat milk to slash some calories and fat.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Red Velvet Latte

Skim milk, espresso, red velvet syrup, sweetened condensed skim milk, and food dye.

Caribou Coffee

Berry White Mocha

Melted white chocolate, steamed milk, espresso, raspberry flavor, whipped cream, and chocolate chips.

A 16-ounce serving is still lower in calories, sugar, and fat than Caribou Coffee’s mocha.
The 10-ounce small has 390 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 63 grams of sugar. Even switching to skim milk and skipping whipped cream won’t redeem this drink.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Caramel Swirl

Whole milk, espresso, and caramel syrup.


Caramel Brulée Latte

Espresso, steamed milk, caramel brulée sauce, sweetened whipped cream, and caramel brulée topping.

The medium option has 350 calories and 54 grams of sugar. Opt for a small (10 ounces) with skim milk to get it down to 190 calories.
It’s pretty similar nutrition-wise to Dunkin’ Donuts’ option, but still 80 calories more.

Photographs by Melissa Romero and Flickr users mastermaq and winn*, and courtesy of Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Au Bon Pain’s Facebook page.

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