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What your barista thinks of your seasonal Starbucks order

Starbucks has launched pumpkin spice, signaling the start of fall. Customers look forward to the return of pumpkin all year, and I brace myself for the holiday season as soon as pumpkin spice syrup is delivered.

Most of the time, your barista is probably too busy to really care what you order, but I’m a judgmental person, so here are my thoughts about Starbucks’ seasonal drinks.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

This is a classic, and Starbucks would face a riot if they ever get rid of it. I think it’s a little boring because it really is just a latte with whipped cream on top, but it’s only available a few months out of the year so I guess that makes it special enough. Try adding a couple pumps of white mocha to complement the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

This is just the edgier version of the pumpkin spice latte for the customers who can’t give up their cold brew addiction. Other than constantly running out of cold brew and vanilla sweet cream, I have no beef with this drink.

Apple Crisp Macchiato

I have forgotten what I was making and put caramel drizzle instead of apple drizzle on one of these so many times, but those customers just got an exclusive caramel apple macchiato instead. This drink is the first new flavor Starbucks has launched in the last year that isn’t terrible and just might be redemption for the kiwi star fruit refresher they cursed us with.

Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino 

You are most likely a child under ten whose mom told you that you can’t have coffee.

Chai with Pumpkin Foam

This is not officially a fall Starbucks drink, but if you don’t like coffee and still want pumpkin, this is for you. As long as you order it iced, though – please don’t make me put cold foam on your hot drink.

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Salted Caramel Mocha

RIP. If only there wasn’t a national shortage of toffee nut syrup. 

Peppermint Mocha

Spoiler, we carry peppermint year round. I barely consider this a holiday drink; it’s not special if you can order this literally any day of the year. But a peppermint mocha is one of the most popular winter drinks, and Starbucks advertises this heavily, so I’m clearly fighting a losing battle with this one.

Toasted White Chocolate Mocha

I have worked through two holiday seasons and still do not understand how this is different from the normal white mocha we carry all year. This is definitely the weakest link of all the holiday drinks.

Caramel Brulee

This drink is just kind of middle of the road. Starbucks brings it back every year, but not many customers get pumped for it. Clearly people like it enough to keep it around, but I want an explanation for how this made the cut but gingerbread was discontinued.

Pistachio Latte

I do not understand why so many things are pistachio flavored. Nor do I  understand why this was launched with the holiday drinks. What is truly upsetting is that you can order a pistachio frappuccino – it just doesn’t feel right. To each their own, but I personally hope Starbucks doesn’t bring this back.

Irish Cream Cold Brew

A customer once asked me if there was alcohol in the Irish cream cold brew – girl, I wish. But for real, if Starbucks comes out with another drink that has cold foam, it just might be my last straw, I can only remember so many variations of one recipe.

Whether you like one of the classics, or are one of the loyal pistachio latte drinkers, I hope you get your caffeine fix from your favorite seasonal drink this week! 

wilcoxee@miamioh.edu 

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