Peppermint Mocha vs Peppermint White Mocha

Peppermint mocha and peppermint white mocha are two of the most cherished holiday beverages that have earned Starbucks quite a number of fans.

So, what is the difference between these two popular holiday drinks?

Peppermint Mocha vs Peppermint White Mocha

The two drinks are flavored with peppermint syrup, which combines well with chocolate, espresso, and coffee. The mixture of bittersweet mocha sauce, espresso, and sweet Peppermint, when brewed together, creates a heavenly taste.

1. Mocha sauce

The main difference between peppermint mocha and peppermint white mocha is the type of sauce used.

The traditional peppermint mocha uses the regular mocha sauce with natural flavor, cocoa processed with alkali, sugar, and water. The peppermint white mocha, on the other hand, is brewed with white chocolate mocha sauce containing monoglycerides, potassium sorbate, salt, natural flavor, cocoa butter, coconut oil, condensed skim milk, and sugar.

In a nutshell, mocha is made with chocolate syrup or just chocolate powder in some cases, which is designed to induce a chocolate flavor. White mocha is made with white chocolate syrup.

2. Whipped cream

Another difference between Starbucks peppermint mocha and peppermint white mocha is in the whipped cream. The traditional peppermint mocha contains carrageenan in the whipped cream, but the peppermint white mocha does not.

Carrageenan is an edible seaweed that has been used traditionally for cooking for centuries. Today, we use it as a gelling agent, thickener, and additive to preserve food and drinks.

3. Taste

Starbuck’s peppermint mocha tastes a lot like the caffe Mocha, but with a peppermint flavor. It is based on the same Espresso roast synonymous with most Starbucks coffees that use espresso as a base.

The addition of steamed milk, mocha sauce, and peppermint syrup helps to give the drink a unique, sweet taste before topping it with dark chocolate curls and a swirl of whipped cream. The final drink has a rather soft, lathery texture.

The peppermint white mocha tastes slightly different than the peppermint mocha.

The syrup for making white mocha tastes like very sweet condensed milk. This sweetness is accentuated when you add the syrup into the coffee, so you don’t have to add any sugar.

However, the taste of chocolate in white mocha is less noticeable than in the regular peppermint mocha.

To learn more about how these two coffee drinks compare, we have to explore each beverage individually.

What Is A Peppermint Mocha?

A peppermint mocha is a sweet, rich coffee that is enhanced with peppermint syrup.

Launched in 2002, the peppermint mocha is one of the most popular holiday beverages at Starbucks and it’s easy to see why.

This tasty delight was created by a team of ten people from different Starbucks departments, who were tasked specifically with tasting new holiday drinks.

After several test tastes and many wacky flavors, the team decided to incorporate the peppermint flavor of candy beans into the classic Starbucks Caffe Mocha.

The result is the masterpiece peppermint mocha we have come to adore, being served in over 30,000 stores around the world.

What’s In A Peppermint Mocha?

The classic Starbucks peppermint mocha is made with:

  • Brewed espresso,
  • Milk,
  • Peppermint syrup (citric acid, sodium benzoate, natural flavor, water, sugar)
  • Mocha sauce (natural flavor, cocoa processed with alkali, sugar, water)
  • Whipped cream:
    • Cream (carrageenan, mono and diglycerides, cream)
    • Vanilla syrup (citric acid, potassium sorbate, natural flavors, water sugar)
  • Dark chocolate curls:
    • Milk
    • Vanilla extract
    • Soy lecithin
    • Cocoa butter
    • Chocolate mass (processed with alkali)
    • Sugar

How Much Espresso is in a Peppermint Mocha?

A tall cup of Peppermint mocha contains one shot of espresso and three pumps of mocha sauce and peppermint syrup each.

A grande cup contains 2 shots of espresso and 4 pumps of syrup and mocha sauce.

A venti cup contains 2 shots of espresso and 5 pumps of syrup and sauce.

What Is A Peppermint White Mocha?

The peppermint white mocha is another popular holiday drink sold at Starbucks. It is a slight variation of the peppermint mocha that uses white chocolate mocha sauce instead of the regular sauce.

If you want to savor the taste of tantalizing peppermint, warm espresso, and creamy chocolate, this drink is for you. Indeed, there is a reason Starbucks is currently marketing it as one of their best winter holiday coffee drinks.

With an ideal concentration of peppermint to please even the most uncompromising of coffee lovers, Starbucks truly stepped up a notch with the peppermint white mocha.

What’s In A Peppermint White Mocha?

A peppermint white mocha is made with:

  • Milk
  • Dark chocolate curls
    • Milk
    • Vanilla extract
    • Soy lecithin
    • Cocoa butter
    • Chocolate mass (processed with alkali)
    • Sugar
  • Whipped cream
    • Vanilla syrup (citric acid, potassium sorbate, natural flavors, water, sugar)
    • Peppermint syrup (citric acid, sodium benzoate, natural flavor, water, sugar)
    • Brewed espresso
    • White chocolate mocha sauce (Monoglycerides, potassium sorbate, salt, natural flavor, cocoa butter, coconut oil, condensed skim milk, sugar)

What are the Benefits of White Chocolate in a Peppermint White Mocha?

The white chocolate in a peppermint white mocha consists of sugar, cocoa butter, and milk solids. There’s no cocoa. The name “white chocolate” was inspired by the sauce’s slightly yellow color, which can be attributed to its content: 3.5% milk fat, 14% milk solids, and 20% cocoa butter.

Some of the benefits of white chocolate in peppermint white mocha include:

1. Antioxidants

White chocolate is based on cacao plants that are known to be packed with antioxidants referred to as flavonoids. You can also find flavonoids in the seeds of colored plants.

Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals in your body, which damage your cells and put you at risk of diseases.

2. Aging

The antioxidants in white chocolate have been shown to reduce the signs of aging. They are also effective against skin blemishes such as acne.

3. Cardiovascular health

White chocolate is great for your heart. The flavonoids in white chocolate help keep your arteries from developing clumps, which in turn reduces your risk of heart disease.

Generally, eating more chocolate can lower your risk of cardiovascular diseases due to the presence of flavonoids.

4. Diabetes

The white chocolate in your peppermint white mocha can go a long way towards preventing diabetes type 2, specifically because of its role in regulating blood sugar levels.

5. Hypertension

White chocolate can lower your risk of hypertension. It is packed with lactic acid and linoleic acid, which help to facilitate proper blood flow in your vessels.  

Alternatives to the Peppermint White Mocha

The peppermint white mocha has a few variations, but the closest in resemblance are these two:

1. Iced white chocolate peppermint mocha

This delicious coffee drink uses the signature Starbucks espresso roast, in addition to milk, peppermint-flavored syrup, white chocolate sauce, and ice. It is served with toppings of dark chocolate curls and sweetened whipped cream.

If you have ever yearned for Christmas in the middle of the year, you should try the iced white chocolate peppermint mocha. You can even make your own version at home using chilled coffee. Then serve in a glass of ice.

2. White peppermint mocha Frappuccino

This sweet Starbucks drink is made by blending peppermint-flavored syrup, white chocolate, and roast coffee with ice and milk. The middle is filled with layers of sweetened whipped cream, with a topping of dark mocha sauce on the bottom layer and dark chocolate curls on the top layer.

If you don’t find the white chocolate peppermint mocha Frappuccino at your Starbucks, don’t worry.

You can always make your own version at home by freezing your espresso or coffee first. Combine the espresso cubes and the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blend well until they form a frosty mixture.

Serve into a glass and enjoy!

How Do You Order a Peppermint Mocha When Dieting?

Don’t let the scintillating flavor combination of peppermint and chocolate fool you; Starbucks peppermint mocha is more of a dessert than a refreshment.

In other words, it is loaded with calories. To put this into perspective, sipping on a 16 ounce Grande cup of peppermint mocha gives you a whopping 54g of sugar and 440 calories.

If you want to lower your sugar and calorie intake and still enjoy your drink, use the following tips the next time you are at Starbucks.

  • Order an 8 ounce Short rather than a 16 ounce Grande and cut back 200 calories
  • Order a 12 ounce Tall rather than a 16 ounce Grande and cut back 90 calories
  • Order a 16 ounce Grande with almond milk rather than 2% milk and cut back 80 calories
  • Order a 16 ounce Grande with coconut milk and cut back 40 calories
  • Order a 16 ounce Grande with nonfat milk and cut back 50 calories
  • Order a 16 ounce Grande without the whipped cream topping and cut back 70 calories

Most of the sugar in a peppermint mocha comes from adding the pumps of flavored syrup.

A Grande consists of 4 pumps of mocha sauce and 4 pumps of peppermint syrup. There are 6.3g of sugar and 27 calories in a single pump of Peppermint syrup.

This means that four pumps contain 25.2g of sugar and 108 calories.

A single pump of mocha sauce packs 5g of sugar and 25 calories, which adds up to 20g of sugar and 100 calories for the 4 pumps.

You can save 22.6g of sugar and 104 calories if you order half of the total pumps.

As you can see, you don’t have to miss out on all the fun if you are watching your weight.

You can always customize your drink to meet your dietary needs if you need to lose weight or are simply lactose intolerant.

Alternatively, just ask the barista to leave out the whipped cream topping when making your order, and have them use a non-dairy milk such as coconut or almond.


Does peppermint mocha have a strong taste?

Starbucks peppermint mocha is generally thick and rich, and tastes more like chocolate than coffee. The chocolate flavor tends to overwhelm the espresso, so that it feels like you are drinking hot chocolate instead of coffee.
McDonald’s have a less sweet version of the peppermint mocha, but you can easily taste the coffee.

Is the peppermint mocha available all year?

Yes. After a successful petition by Starbucks fans, you can now order a peppermint mocha year round. Generally, however, the peppermint mocha is the most popular coffee drink in Starbucks holiday collection. Most people are attracted to its combo flavor of mint and chocolate.

Can you order Skinny Peppermint mocha at Starbucks?

No. Starbucks discontinued the sugar-free skinny peppermint mocha. However, you can prepare the beverage at home using skinny mocha sauce, nonfat milk, sugar-free peppermint syrup, and chocolate curls.
Skip the whipped cream.
A Tall cup of the skinny peppermint mocha contains only 100 calories, which is perfect if you’re conscious about your sugar intake.

Final Thoughts

Despite a few hiccups along the way since its inception, it really is difficult to stay mad at Starbucks when they have such an indelible way of ushering in the holidays.

From the iced white chocolate peppermint mocha to the indomitable Frappuccino, Starbucks holiday collection of coffee drinks is a pleasure to behold.

For me, the first taste of the peppermint mocha and its thick, nutritious espresso adorned with the unforgettable flavor of peppermint, chocolate, and whipped cream is what marks the beginning of the holidays.

Both the peppermint mocha and peppermint white mocha are excellent holiday coffee drinks, but they are not the same. I hope this article helped you learn more about each drink, as well as the few differences between these two popular Starbucks beverages.

Similar Posts