C Mag Reviews: Starbucks Seasonal Menu

As autumn approaches, Starbucks’ notorious fall menu makes its way to the cafes

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Apple Crisp Macchiato

Rating: 2.5 pumpkins/5

The Apple Crisp Macchiato was an unsettling combination of a fruity floral flavor and coffee. The pump of apple syrup sits at the bottom with the coffee and milk layer sitting just above.  Although light on the coffee flavor, even the slight bitterness mixed with the sickly sweet apple syrup was not a mixture we would get again. Starbucks’ attempt to branch out from the usual fall flavors, like pumpkin spice and cinnamon, fell short in this drink.

Owl Cake Pop

Rating: 2.5 pumpkins/5

Starbucks’ Owl Cake Pop is a themed twist on the Starbucks classic cake pop. Shaped like an owl, the new seasonal cake pop boasts a charming purple exterior and an endearing set of googly eyes. However, despite its appearance, the cake pop is anything but original. The contents of the owl-shaped treat are no different than that of a simple vanilla cake pop, making for a boring and unfestive seasonal dessert. 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin

Rating: 3 pumpkins/5

Although Starbucks carries its pumpkin loaf year-round, fall marks the arrival of the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin. While both treats feature Starbucks’ pumpkin bread, the pumpkin cream cheese muffin differentiates itself from its counterpart with a sweet, tangy cream cheese filling. The tartness from the filling complements the warm, spicy pumpkin muffin perfectly. However, the amount of cream cheese overpowers the subtle sweetness and spice from the muffin with its distinct texture and flavors. With an excess of cream cheese filling, this fall pastry errs more on the side of tart and even savory.

Pumpkin Scone

Rating: 3.5 pumpkins/5

For Starbucks regulars, the pumpkin scone has been a classic fall staple pastry for many years. With a burnt orange scone topped with white frosting and a light orange drizzle, its appetizing look is another contributing factor that draws customers in. Mild in pumpkin flavor, the scone is overwhelmed by the sweetness and quantity of the frosting making it hard to finish in its entirety. However, it has an amazing texture, not too dry but slightly crumbly, which is incredibly difficult to find in a scone. Overall this classic treat is one to look forward to in the fall season, but not to be incorporated into the daily routine.

Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

Rating: 4 pumpkins/5

In recent years, Starbucks’ Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew has become a new fall staple, rivaling the infamous “PSL”. This popular autumn drink has earned its praise, rightfully so, gracefully combining strong, bitter cold brew with a sweet pumpkin cream to prove that iced coffee is for all seasons. While the cold brew can be bitter, at times leaving an unpleasant aftertaste, the highlight of this drink is the pumpkin cream: creamy, sweet, spicy, foamy, and flavorful, the pumpkin cold foam at the top of the cold brew works hard to smooth out the harshness of the coffee.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Rating: 4.5 pumpkins/5

Finally, the classic, infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte, more commonly nicknamed the “PSL.” Millennials everywhere would wait for PSL season to roll around and rightfully so. The Pumpkin Spice latte is the epitome of the perfect fall drink. Caffeinated with a silky smooth texture and a delicious combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, other spices, and the perfect level of sweetness. Hot or cold, this drink is like nostalgia in a cup and the perfect way to start off the autumn season.

Art by Siena Dunn