Rebecca Thompson and Sydney Vincent love the Starbucks fall drinks! Photo: Alice Gash

The fall season has arrived, which means the popular Starbucks autumn drinks are back! On Monday, Aug. 23, Starbucks re-added the iconic Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino, Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) and Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew to the menu, as well as a brand-new drink called the Apple Crisp Macchiato.

The Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino is by far the best drink on the fall lineup. ​​It’s a blended beverage with pumpkin flavoring plus traditional fall spice flavors mixed with coffee, milk and ice topped with whipped cream and cinnamon. The Frappuccino is not too sweet and bursts with lots of flavors. The cinnamon and nutmeg coordinate well with the pumpkin taste, which gives the drink a refreshing and long-lasting flavor. The Frappuccino does taste a little watery and could be blended more with ice so make sure to drink it quickly! 

The Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte is one of Starbucks’ signature espresso and milk drinks, with the combination of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove spices that is served over ice. On top of the drink is whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon. The Pumpkin Spice Latte has been on the menu at Starbucks since 2003. Director of Espresso Americas for Starbucks Peter Duke, is the product manager who invented the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte, which has become the most popular seasonal drink of all time for the mega coffee company. In 2003, an estimated 200 million cups of the PSL were sold to customers. In 2020, 424 million cups were sold of the latte. This drink, however, is overhyped. The latte bursts with coffee flavor and lacks the excitement of the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove spices that it claims to have. The drink is extremely watery and bitter with enough milk to overpower the entire drink. If you want to spend five dollars on a coffee, I suggest you find an alternative to the PSL. 

The Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew was placed on the Starbucks menu in 2015 and insists on being sweetened with vanilla syrup and topped with pumpkin cream cold foam. However, once you try the drink, it is tasteless and you might as well be drinking straight water. The cold foam has a hint of vanilla with little pumpkin flavoring to it and is disappointing. This drink should not be called a pumpkin cream cold brew since the pumpkin taste is completely absent.

The Apple Crisp Macchiato is a new drink added to the 2021 Starbucks fall menu. The Macchiato includes flavors of apple and brown sugar fused together with espresso, milk, ice and a caramelized-spiced apple drizzle on the top. Stir the drink first and then take a sip in order to taste the caramel drizzle since it sinks to the bottom. This drink is a little too sweet and has a fake apple flavor to it but still tastes like a Thanksgiving dessert. If you like sweets then this is a good option for you. 

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