I love fall. I love the cold weather, scarves, boots, sweaters, leaves, Halloween and all things pumpkin. While it seems that everyone everywhere is putting out some version of various pumpkin delicacies, the most famous of them all is, of course, coffee. It seems that every place that sells coffee: Einstein's Bro’s Bagels, Dunkin Donuts, even 7-Eleven, has attempted a pumpkin flavored coffee. No one does it better than the OG, Starbucks.
That means when Starbucks announced it was bringing the Pumpkin Spice Latte back on Aug. 27, the earliest it’s ever been brought back, I was ecstatic. Along with the PSL and the salted caramel mocha, they introduced a new drink: the pumpkin cream cold brew.
The pumpkin cream cold brew is a cold brew mixed with vanilla syrup. Then, it’s topped with pumpkin cream foam and pumpkin spice. My first thought when drinking it was, “Holy crap. This is literally just super strong coffee. Where’s the pumpkin?” So, a word to the wise: if you’re someone who doesn’t like just the taste of black coffee, I would recommend stirring it up extremely well for the pumpkin cream to disperse. Or you could just drink the pumpkin cream foam, because it by itself was quite delicious, like a yummy, delicate pumpkin spice whipped cream.
If you’re like me and still want the great taste of pumpkin without being attacked by the bitterness, I would go with the classic and my personal favorite of the three: the pumpkin spice latte. I know that it gets mocked for being basic, but sometimes popular things are popular for a reason. The PSL is a coffee drink made with pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, steamed milk, espresso, sugar and pumpkin puree. It is then topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice. It just...tastes like fall. It’s the perfect amount of pumpkin spice and coffee without being too overpowering on either side. The warm version is perfect to sip while you’re walking to class watching all the leaves turn yellow, brown and red.
If you prefer cold drinks, the pumpkin spice Frappuccino also offers the same amazing flavors for when you still want a taste of fall, but it’s 89 degrees outside. Also, the whipped cream doesn’t melt as fast as it does in the hot version, so that’s a bonus.
The salted caramel mocha Frappuccino is a good drink if you don’t like pumpkin or coffee, but still want to join in on the fall fun. My first reaction was honestly, “Oh my gosh this is salty!” But, after stirring it a bit, the caramel was more noticeable than the salt, which is kind of what I was hoping for from the get go. I love salted caramel, but I do wish it leaned more on the caramel and less on the salt. So, I guess I’ll just stick to my pumpkin spice lattes, and leave the salted caramel for someone else.
Along with these drinks, Starbucks also released two pastries this year: a pumpkin scone and a pumpkin cream cheese muffin. While both are tasty, the cream cheese in the middle of the muffin gives it a better texture and makes it more creamy.
Overall, everything from the line tastes pretty good. Starbucks, you may keep your fall crown.