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Is Gingerbread Latte discontinued?

The holiday season is a beloved time of year for many, bringing joy, togetherness, and comforting, familiar flavors. For Starbucks customers, one of those flavors that evokes the holidays is the Gingerbread Latte. This sweet, spicy beverage has become a seasonal favorite over the years, anticipated by many during the winter months. However, there have been rumors swirling that Starbucks may be discontinuing the Gingerbread Latte due to it not being featured on their holiday menu in recent years.

Background on the Gingerbread Latte

The Gingerbread Latte was first introduced by Starbucks in 2008 as a new holiday seasonal drink option. It features flavors of gingerbread, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove mixed with espresso and steamed milk. Topped with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle, the latte is like liquid gingerbread in a cup. It quickly became popular among Starbucks holiday drink offerings. Customers loved its warming spices and sweet taste that reminded them of all things Christmas.

For several years, the Gingerbread Latte was featured prominently on Starbucks’ holiday menus from roughly November to January. Customers eagerly awaited its return each holiday season. Many even made the drink a yearly tradition, stopping in to Starbucks to pick up a Gingerbread Latte on Black Friday as they started their holiday shopping.

The latte developed a devoted fanbase over the years. Its consistency as a holiday menu item led customers to have an emotional connection to it as a representation of the season. The spicy and sugary beverage became tied to nostalgia and comfort for many during the holidays.

Missing from Recent Holiday Menus

In 2018, Starbucks customers noticed something was missing from the coffee giant’s holiday menu: the Gingerbread Latte. For the first time in years, the seasonal favorite was not being promoted or featured on menus. When customers asked baristas about the missing drink, they were told it could still be ordered as a “secret menu” item. However, without being officially on the menu, many customers were left disappointed that their holiday tradition beverage was suddenly unavailable.

Again in 2019 and 2020, Starbucks did not include the Gingerbread Latte on its holiday menus. Customers had to know to ask for it by name if they wanted to order it. Leaving it off the advertised holiday drinks list led to lower orders and awareness of the seasonal beverage.

Once again in 2021, the Gingerbread Latte was nowhere to be found on Starbucks’ holiday promotional materials and in-store menus. As another holiday season approaches in 2022, Starbucks has not indicated that the Gingerbread Latte will make a return. This has left devotees increasingly worried that their beloved drink may potentially be gone for good.

Why Would Starbucks Discontinue It?

Given its holiday cult-favorite status, why would Starbucks suddenly stop featuring the Gingerbread Latte? There are a few potential reasons the coffee company may have chosen to discontinue the seasonal beverage:

Lack of Popularity

While the latte has a very devoted following, it may not have been ordered frequently enough on a wider scale to warrant keeping on menus. If overall sales and demand for the drink were low compared to other holiday offerings like the Peppermint Mocha or Caramel Brulee Latte, Starbucks may have decided it wasn’t worth continued promotion and production.

Seasonal Fatigue

Holiday drinks can sometimes start to feel tired or repetitive after being offered year after year. Starbucks rolls out its holiday cups and drinks very early – sometimes as early as November 1st. The company may have felt the Gingerbread Latte had become too familiar and wanted to make room for new drink flavors to pique customers’ interests.

Ingredient Costs

Spices and higher quality ingredients like ginger tend to be more expensive. If the costs of ingredients in the Gingerbread Latte’s recipe became too high, Starbucks may have found it unprofitable compared to other holiday options. Removing it from menus could have been a cost-savings measure.

Supply Chain Issues

Recent supply chain disruptions affecting various industries may have impacted Starbucks’ ability to source ingredients for the Gingerbread Latte. Issues like shortages of spices or other components may have made the drink difficult to bring back in recent years.

Is it Completely Gone?

While the Gingerbread Latte’s future remains uncertain, there are some signs it may not be discontinued forever.

Still on Secret Menu

Even though it has disappeared from official signage and advertising, Starbucks baristas confirm the Gingerbread Latte can still be ordered. This indicates the recipe and ingredients are still available, even if it’s not promoted.

Social Media Requests

Around the holidays each year since it has been absent from menus, fans have taken to social media to request the return of the Gingerbread Latte. Tags like #bringbackgingerbreadlatte often trend on Twitter and Instagram as customers share their wishes. This shows there is still demand for the drink’s comeback.

Online Petitions Circulating

Hardcore Gingerbread Latte enthusiasts have started online petitions asking Starbucks to reinstate the drink to its holiday lineup. In 2020 one petition on garnered over 5,000 signatures. These petitions demonstrate there is still a very dedicated fanbase who wants their favorite seasonal beverage back.

How to Order the Gingerbread Latte

While not officially advertised, you can still order a Gingerbread Latte at Starbucks this holiday season if you request it by name. Here are a few tips to get your hands on one:

Know the Recipe

Since it’s not printed on menus, make sure you know the exact recipe of a Gingerbread Latte when ordering. Request it made with the traditional ingredients – espresso, steamed milk, gingerbread flavor, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. This will give the barista all the necessary details.

Visit Early in the Season

Your best bet for getting a Gingerbread Latte is to go to Starbucks locations early in the holiday season around late-November to mid-December. Ingredients are more likely to be in stock and baristas will be most familiar with the unlisted drink.

Go at Less Busy Times

To give baristas time to make the off-menu order, avoid going during mornings or lunch hours when locations are slammed with customers. Opt for late morning or mid-afternoon when things are slower.

Politely Confirm Availability

Before ordering, you can ask the barista if they have the ingredients on hand to make a Gingerbread Latte. This prevents any confusion or disappointment at the register.

Use the Mobile App

If you don’t want to hold up the line listing the full recipe, order on the Starbucks app for pickup. In the customization notes, simply ask for a Gingerbread Latte.

Purchase a Gift Card

Consider buying a Starbucks gift card and loading it with funds to pay for your off-menu Gingerbread Latte. This makes the transaction faster and easier at the register when they can simply scan your gift card instead of taking a full payment.

Bring the Recipe

Print out a small card with the recipe to show the barista as you order, so they can follow the correct specs. This can help ensure you get a properly made Gingerbread Latte.

Will It Return in the Future?

It’s unclear right now if Starbucks has any future plans to bring the Gingerbread Latte out of hibernation and back onto its holiday menus. The company has not provided any official statements on why the drink has been absent for several holiday seasons or if it will ever make a triumphant return.

There are likely a few factors impacting the latte’s fate:

Customer Demand

If Starbucks sees continued customer complaints and petitions requesting the Gingerbread Latte each holiday season, it may motivate them to resume promotion of the drink in the future. Sustained customer demand and passion could influence the company to bring it back.

Ingredient Supply and Pricing

If supply chain issues are resolved and ingredient costs stabilize at more affordable pricing, it may make it more feasible for Starbucks to reintroduce the drink. Securing the necessary spices and flavors at reasonable prices could allow its return.


If other coffee chains begin offering their own popular gingerbread-flavored holiday drinks, Starbucks may feel pressured to bring back the Gingerbread Latte so they don’t lose customers seeking that seasonal flavor profile from competitors.

New Product Rotation

Starbucks tends to rotate holiday drink offerings each year to keep things fresh. If the Gingerbread Latte gets cycled back into that rotation in the future after a hiatus of several years, loyal customers would certainly rejoice.

How Fans Can Help Bring It Back

Devoted Gingerbread Latte fans aren’t powerless when it comes to resurrecting their beloved seasonal beverage. Here are some ways customers can help convince Starbucks to consider bringing back the drink in the future:

Contact Starbucks Directly

Reaching out to Starbucks customer service channels provides direct feedback. Customers can call their customer service line, email them, or message them via social media. Voicing disappointment the drink is gone and asking for its return sends an important signal.

Write Positive Online Reviews Referencing It

When leaving Google or Yelp reviews for local Starbucks locations, mentioning how much you miss the Gingerbread Latte shows its popularity. Positive reviews specifically calling out wanting the drink back help build buzz.

Request It In-Store

Politely asking your baristas if there’s been any news about the drink coming back demonstrates interest. In-person requests combined with purchasing other holiday drinks keeps the Gingerbread Latte top of mind.

Post on Social Media

Share memories and photos of the Gingerbread Latte on your social channels, tagging Starbucks. Starting petitions and using relevant hashtags draws wider attention. Social media activity keeps the conversation going.

Buy Other Holiday Offerings

Supporting Starbucks’ current seasonal lineup shows your loyalty. Consistently purchasing holiday drinks and treats provides the sales needed to justify expanding menu options again.

Gingerbread Latte Alternatives

While the return of the Gingerbread Latte is uncertain, there are some alternatives that can provide a similar spicy, sweet flavor:

Peppermint Mocha

A longtime holiday favorite, the Peppermint Mocha has a minty fresh taste combined with rich chocolate. Add pumps of cinnamon dolce syrup to mimic gingerbread spice.

Chai Tea Latte

Chai tea flavor pairs nicely with holiday spices. Ask for extra cinnamon and nutmeg on top to evoke gingerbread cookie flavors.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

The iconic PSL already contains cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Add gingerbread syrup to the mix for a pumpkin-gingerbread fusion.

Chestnut Praline Latte

With its nutty sweetness, ordering this latte with added holiday spice flavors can make a tasty gingerbread substitute.

Salted Caramel Mocha

The combination of caramel and mocha is very Christmas-y. Get it made with the usual spices to mimic a gingerbread flavor profile.

Copycat Recipe to Make at Home

If you just can’t wait until the possible return of the Starbucks Gingerbread Latte, try making a copycat version at home. Here’s a recipe to recreate the sweet seasonal flavor:


  • 2 cups strong brewed coffee
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons gingerbread flavored syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon clove
  • Whipped cream
  • Caramel sauce


  1. Combine coffee, milk, condensed milk, gingerbread syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until steaming but not boiling.
  2. Remove from heat. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and drizzle with caramel sauce.


The potential discontinuation of the Starbucks Gingerbread Latte has left many holiday coffee drinkers disappointed. While not currently featured on menus, devoted fans are still able to order the seasonal favorite by customizing existing drinks. It remains unclear whether Starbucks will ever bring back the iconic latte that evokes the tastes and smells of the holidays. But trends show customers still long for its return each Christmas season. Until then, gingerbread fanatics will have to get their fix through secret menu hacks and homemade recipes. Here’s hoping this beloved beverage makes a triumphant return to menus in the future!