Blast Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas, string the lights, and break out your winter coats: it is officially Christmas time Iowa City! With the our first snowfall underway, it is finally starting to feel like winter is in the air. And what pairs more perfectly with a fresh snowfall than a peppermint mocha? 

Hawkeyes live off of coffee (when we aren't shotgunning Keystone at a tailgate). Don't know where to grab your cup on the way to class? Do not fear, I put my peppermint mocha expertise to the test and tried coffee shops throughout campus. The beverage was judged on a 1-10 scale, and criticized by their presentation, wait time, ratio of peppermint to mocha, and proximity to campus.


Location: 228 S Clinton St, Iowa City, IA 52240 

Presentation: 8; who doesn't love their red holiday cup? Topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, Starbs makes it difficult to resist from indulging right away (but burning my tongue was so worth it). 

Wait Time: 5 minutes; I was pleasantly surprised it was so fast. I didn't even have enough time to put my money back in my wallet before they were calling my name! 

#SpoonTip: Go right before a class ends to avoid long lines. 

Ratio of Peppermint to Mocha: 9; it was pretty much perfect, like heaven in a cup. 

Proximity to Campus: 6; located at the edge of downtown, and the fact that it's uphill from the library may be looked at as a fault but it can count as my cardio for the day right? 

The Java House

Location: 211 E. Washington St. Iowa City, IA 52240 

Presentation: 6; classic Java House cup finished with a swirl of whip cream. 

Wait Time: 7 minutes; since the Java House is a popular coffee joint, students aren't the only occupants in the building. Iowa City locals pile in for early coffee runs and afternoon meetings. 

#SpoonTip: In a hurry? Utilize the IMU location, they aren't as busy as the downtown hotspot.  

Ratio of Peppermint to Mocha: 7; the mocha was slightly overpowering but the peppermint was still prominent. I ordered the Spicy Dark Mocha and the cinnamon was a delightful addition.  

Proximity to Campus: 10; with two locations to choose from, Java House has you covered for your peppermint mocha needs. 

Dunkin' Donuts 

chocolate, beer, coffee
Emily Weaver

Location: 604 2nd St, Coralville, IA 52241 

Presentation: 4; not a happy Emily: no whipped cream and my cup wasn't filled all the way 

Wait Time: 5 minutes; not bad for Dunkin'. 

Ratio of Peppermint to Mocha: 2; I don't think there was even peppermint in there. It tasted like straight black coffee. 

Proximity to Campus: 4; it was less than a fifteen minute drive but not on campus. However, they offer free wifi and is a nice change from the lib.

T. Spoons

Location: Old Capitol Museum, 201 S Clinton St, Iowa City, IA 52240 

Presentation: 5; their cups aren't anything special but they are eco-friendly! They also fill their cups to the brim allowing you to get your money's worth.  

Wait Time: 7 minutes; it was a bit longer of a wait but the staff is very friendly. 

Ratio of Peppermint to Mocha: 7.5; it was my first time trying T. Spoon's and I was happily surprised by how much I liked it.

Proximity to Campus: 8; located in the Old Cap Mall, it's an easy stop on your way to class. They have booths and coffee shop music, creating a cozy studying spot.

High Ground Cafe

Location: 301 East Market Street Iowa City, IA 52245

Presentation: 8; High Ground has mastered their coffee designs and receiving your coffee is like receiving a piece of art. 

Wait Time: 10 minutes; the place wasn't that crowded so it was shocking that it took that long.  

Ratio of Peppermint to Mocha: 5.5; the peppermint was settled at the bottom of the cup so the first half of the drink only tasted like mocha. 

Proximity to Campus: 6; only a 5-6 minute walk to the Pentacrest, High Ground is a nice alternative spot to study when you don't feel like trudging through the snow to the library. 

Well there it is Hawkeyes. Good luck choosing where to get your next winter morning pick-me-up!