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The Heights Herald

The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School

The Heights Herald

The Student News Site of Columbia Heights High School

The Heights Herald

Fall is finally here…and so are the long-awaited Starbucks fall drinks!

Nawal Mohamed
These drinks from the Seattle-based chain will have you feeling fall in your tastebuds!

There is nothing avid coffee drinkers look forward to more than seasonal drinks. As the leaves on trees turn into a beautiful gold, crimson and rustic color that paints a picturesque scene, you start pulling out your cozy sweaters from the closet and you can almost smell it in the air. The pumpkin or apple-flavored coffee sneaks into your noses, and the Heights Herald is here to tell you which you should sneak into your mouth!

Starbucks introduced both new fall menu items and classics from previous years a little earlier than everyone expected this year. The seasonal beverages were brought out on August 24, which is not close to when most people would consider fall to start, especially considering the recent 80-degree early days of October. One of them is, of course, a fall staple — the Pumpkin Spice Latte.  This year marks Pumpkin Spice Latte’s 20th anniversary, reminding coffee lovers everything that it is the drink that started the craving for pumpkin spice every fall since and created virality with an acronym (PSL) used in countless sayings such as “PSL for life”.

Two of the new drinks are the Apple Crisp Oat Milk Shaken Espresso and the Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte. There’s a new bakery item too, which is the Baked Apple Croissant. We can see an apple-flavored theme here, and yours truly is loving it. Nothing says fall like the smell of fresh apples, whether it’s an apple orchard or a Starbucks treat! Compared to other coffee chains like Caribou and Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks outdoes the competition by including pumpkin pie spice for a richer taste and bolder aesthetics while also boasting a great selection of tasty treats that complement the just-as-tasty drinks. The returning favorites on the Starbucks fall menu include the Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew and Apple Crisp Macchiato. 

Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte: 

This drink has been one of my favorites out of all the drinks on the menu that I have tried. Starbucks added it to the menu this fall; however, last year around this time, I would get an iced chai with pumpkin cream foam and pumpkin spice topping instead of vanilla sweet cream cold foam when it was in season. It really gives that fall vibe. If it is overwhelmingly sweet for those who try it, I’d recommend an espresso shot to balance the creaminess of the pumpkin and give yourself an extra boost of energy for the day.

 “Fall drinks this year were tasty — not so unique, though. I also don’t really have a sweet tooth, so for some of them I wasn’t even able to finish the whole drink,” Naatii Ahmed (11) said. “But overall, I’d say the pumpkin cream chai tea latte was my favorite. It’s simple and that’s how I like my drinks.” 

The Apple Crisp Oat Milk Macchiato:

  Technically, this drink is not really new since they released it in 2021; but it was unsuccessful then, so they improved the recipe by using oat milk, changing the espresso from dark to blonde for a creamier texture and switched out the syrup as well. It now truly recalls a freshly baked apple pie. With a warm caramel and cinnamon scent filling my nose when I tasted the drink, it helped solidify the autumn atmosphere around the drink. The spiced-apple drizzle ties the concoction together starting with your first sip and keeps you wanting more. I did not try the flavor-adjacent apple crisp oat milk shaken espresso because of the online reviews I read, but I did get a chance to ask someone extremely familiar with the fall menu. 

 “I think Starbucks fall drinks are absolutely delicious! The combination of warm flavors like pumpkin and spices definitely make it worth a try!,” Nasri Ali (11) said.

Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso:

 I have had this coffee drink many times, though not yet this fall. It was just right this time, coming from an admittedly biased coffee lover. On the first sip, you will taste a stronger coffee because of the espresso, and it’s not like the other drinks from Starbucks that I would typically recommend for those with a sweet tooth. The brown sugar balances out the coffee flavor without overpowering it. There was a hint of cinnamon and a sweet vanilla flavor there too, and it blended with the coffee on my taste buds so nicely. The blonde espresso roast is used in their shaken espressos, so if you prefer a stronger kick in your coffee, there are always preferences for the different roasts you can try.

It is always enjoyable to taste this season’s drinks, they only come around once a year after all. I love chai, so the Pumpkin Cream Chai Latte will always be my go-to for fall. Other than that, between the shaken espresso and the macchiato reviewed above, I 100% recommend the apple option because it smells and tastes uniquely like a burnt caramelized apple, and it will transport you into this season just through one taste. These drinks are the perfect way to celebrate the start of the fall season, so get your favorite and enjoy the delicious magic Starbucks sprinkles into every cup!

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About the Contributor
Nawal Mohamed
Nawal Mohamed, Staff Writer
Nawal Mohamed is a junior at Columbia Heights High School and a Staff Writer for The Heights Herald. She thinks journalism will be a good experience for her. Her favorite things to do are read, watch movies/shows and journal. She also hopes to expand her horizons during junior year and make good memories.