Breaking brews

Senior taste tests fall Starbucks items


Photo by Sydney Rowe

Story by Stephanie Jumper, Editor-in-Chief

The leaves are changing, the temperature is cooling, and the drinks are receiving their annual pumpkin spicing. Thanks to classic creations like the pumpkin spice latte, Starbucks has become a hallmark of everyone’s autumn activities. However, the coffee chain has much more to offer than many people’s standard order. I tried some of Starbucks’ fall menu items to see if they live up to the hype of the pumpkin spice latte.

Pumpkin Scone

This was a constantly crumbling, mouth-drying disappointment. It just wasn’t moist enough to be the snacking experience it could have been with more wet ingredients. The icing on the scone is mediocre but still superior to the scone itself. 

Apple Crisp Macchiato 

The only new drink in the fall lineup, which comes in both hot and iced, is extraordinarily ordinary. While I am partial to the cold version of all drinks, both temperatures basically taste like apple juice and coffee. A cup of joe and juice are not the new chocolate and peanut butter; mixing them together does not make them better. 

Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino

This drink contains less coffee than the pumpkin spice latte, so it’s a good choice if you’re really wanting to savor the fall flavors and skip the caffeine. I really don’t have any complaints about this drink except that its intense amounts of cream and syrup make it more of an after-school treat than a morning energy boost.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin

A bite into this cinnamon treat is a bite into the best of Starbucks’ fall food items. Not only is the muffin packed with seasonal spices, but it includes a variety of textures to make each taste a unique experience. It’s got the chewy fluff of the muffin. It’s got the melt-in-your-mouth quality of the cream cheese. Additionally, it’s got the flavorful flakiness of the pumpkin seeds. The pumpkin cream cheese muffin is a snack worth visiting Starbucks on an empty stomach for.

Iced Chai Latte with Pumpkin Cold Foam

This isn’t advertised as an official menu item, but I’ve seen it on social media and thought it was worth a sip. I’m usually a chai purist. Adding an extra pump of vanilla? Too sweet for me to taste the spices of the chai. Making it with an espresso shot? It’s basically a latte with a smidge of cinnamon now. However, a flavor like pumpkin actually brings out chai’s flavors, not dilutes it. Additionally, iced chai is basically a fall drink you can get any day of the year, so adding an extra seasonal element gives the drink a sense of occasion.

Classics like the PSL are difficult to not automatically order at every Starbucks from September to November. However, remember when driving up to the menu that they have more to offer than the basic bean options and give a different coffee drink a shot.