Sipping in Autumn: This Season’s Best Drinks

Going to class on a cold fall day can be made more enjoyable with a pumpkin coffee in hand. The Phoenix rated four drinks from Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts fall menus — here’s how they fared.

Dunkin’s Pumpkin Spice Latte

Nothing says “fall” more than sipping on a Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL), and Dunkin’ take on this drink lives up to the pumpkin spice hype.

This drink screams spooky season through its looks alone, with cinnamon sprinkles and drizzles of caramel atop a mountain of whipped cream. While taking a sip, the sweet toppings combine with the rich coffee to make every sip balanced.

This latte is a cinnamon lover’s dream, as every sip comes with a burst of cinnamon flavor. However, the pumpkin flavor of this drink is not as strong as expected for a PSL.

All in all, the PSL is still a comforting and classic choice to sip in the fall, but the Dunkin’ version didn’t have enough pumpkin for a real pumpkin spice drink.

Note: Three out of five coffee beans.

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew earns two out of five coffee beans.

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew revamps the popular Pumpkin Spice Latte by replacing the spice with pumpkin cold foam, but it doesn’t quite live up to the original. The combination of creamy froth with Starbucks smooth cold brew blend creates a premium texture.

Although this drink excels in texture, it lags behind in taste. While the authentic flavors are not expected from Starbucks syrups, Pumpkin Syrup in Cold Foam tastes artificial compared to their other flavors.

The orange hue of Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew makes it a pretty fall accessory. However, it’s not the best tasting option on Starbucks’ fall menu.

Note: Two out of five coffee beans.

Dunkin’s Nutty Pumpkin Latte

Dunkin’s Nutty Pumpkin Latte yields four out of five coffee beans.

Dunkin’s newest fall menu item, Nutty Pumpkin Latte, has an unexpected yet delicious combination of flavors.

This drink doesn’t have as much of a fall aesthetic compared to other options because it’s designed to look like a standard iced coffee, but the taste makes up for the presentation. Hazelnut and pumpkin syrups combine to create a warm, rich taste that mimics all things fall.

Although the nutty flavor falls flat, the hint of hazelnut effectively complements the star of the drink – the pumpkin flavor. The Nutty Pumpkin Latte is perfect for those looking to try something new and tasty this season.

Note: Four out of five coffee beans.

Starbucks Crispy Apple Oat Milk Macchiato

Natalie King | The Phoenix Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato from Starbucks earns five out of five coffee beans.

While Starbucks’ pumpkin-themed coffees have become the face of fall beverages, the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato shouldn’t be overlooked.

Even though the season has just begun, the warm touch of cinnamon combined with sweet apple creates a taste reminiscent of fall. This hearty flavor is paired with smooth shots of espresso and oat milk to make every sip delicious.

In Chicago’s unpredictable fall weather, hot and iced versions make this drink ideal for every day. The Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato is the ultimate fall coffee experience.

Note: Five out of five coffee beans.

Dunkin’s Blood Orange Refreshment

The name alone makes Dunkin’s new Blood Orange Refresher scary, and the taste is scary too. This drink can be made with green tea, lemonade, or coconut milk to accompany the blood orange flavor, but no amount of addition can save the sickly sweet taste and overly syrupy texture of the refreshment.

Although a strong orange flavor is expected from its name, the Blood Orange Refresher doesn’t really taste like orange. Instead, each sip is like getting a dose of pure sugar. This refreshment may look cool with the orange and red ombre effect created by the syrups, but pretty colors can’t save this sickening drink.

The only thing this booster would be useful for during the fall season would be giving someone a trick – certainly not a treat – on Halloween.

Note: One in five coffee beans.

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