This Week We’re Obsessed With: Autumn’s seasonal drinks


Mariam Gomaa/Daily Senior Staffer

Seasonal coffee drinks can make cold weather more manageable. Many cafes offer a version of the pumpkin spice latte or caramel-flavored drinks.

Laken Howard, Reporter

Fall has always been my favorite time of year because it invariably includes several great things: Halloween, bonfires, back-to-school (“great” is debatable here), changing leaves, apple picking and, best of all, seasonal drinks at my favorite cafes.

Our preferred eateries have been torturing us with their seasonal items for ages: Think peppermint hot chocolate and Shamrock Shakes. We become so excited knowing what’s to come, and then after a few glorious weeks, our temporary treats are ripped away from us for another nine months or so. This year, be prepared: Run and grab one of these delectable drinks while you still can — and hurry, because Christmas is only a few days after Halloween according to most places.

Panera Bread’s Pumpkin Spice Latte: Pumpkin spice lattes have an undeniable (though understandable) monopoly on the title of “Fall’s Favorite Coffee.” Though many restaurants and coffee shops offer some version of this drink, my personal favorite comes from none other than Panera Bread. It has the perfect balance of sweetness and pumpkin-spiciness that other places sometimes fail to achieve. Plus, what better way to enjoy it than with one of Panera’s adorable pumpkin-shaped cookies?

Starbucks’ Salted Caramel Mocha:  If you’re sick of pumpkin-flavored drinks but still want an autumn-inspired beverage, the salted caramel mocha from Starbucks is a slightly less sweet alternative that can also provide you with your daily dose of espresso. The Starbucks website describes the drink as “Espresso and steamed milk, blended with mocha sauce and toffee nut flavored syrup. Topped with sweetened whipped cream, caramel sauce and a mixture of turbinado sugar and sea salt.” The allure of this drink is its oddly satisfying salty/sweet mixture. The caramel is reminiscent of caramel apples, while the sea salt makes it stand out from other similar drinks and keeps it from being sickly sweet.

J.J. Java’s Caramel Apple Pie a la Mode: For a fruitier option that’s available year-round, J.J. Java has a specialty drink called the Caramel Apple Pie a la Mode. This spin on traditional cider mixes apple cider with steamed milk and tops it off with caramel and whipped cream. If you just can’t justify eating an actual slice of caramel apple pie, this drink is an excellent substitute. Sipping this delicious drink is definitely easier than trying to eat an actual caramel apple, and the danger of getting sticky caramel all over your face is minimal. It is also the perfect coffee-free option for those wanting to get a taste of fall without the jolt of espresso.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea’s Cinnamon Gingerbread Latte: If it’s too late into autumn and you already find yourself craving a Christmas-esque drink, Peet’s offers a cinnamon gingerbread latte. The gingerbread flavor packs a punch similar to pumpkin spice but is more reminiscent of the holidays at grandma’s than trick-or-treating among jack-o’-lanterns. This drink is the perfect segue from fall to winter.

So next time you’re in the fall spirit or your body needs some warming up from the frigid air, stop studying for a minute, get one of these seasonal drinks and become as obsessed as I am (if you’re not already).