Starbucks is the largest coffee brand in America, receiving nearly 20 billion dollars in revenue each year. One hundred million of that comes directly from the fall favorite drink, the Pumpkin Spice Latte. There have been many additions to the fall menu since, but none has come close to topping the classic.
In October of 2003, Starbucks debuted their most popular seasonal drink. Over time influencers and celebrities on the internet became obsessed with promoting the drink and began recommending it to their followers. As more people tried it, more people fell in love with the delicious cinnamon-infused coffee.
Even after the hype died down, many coffee drinkers have made it tradition to kick off fall with an iced or hot latte, and to this day it’s still a trademark symbol of autumn.
Many other companies have attempted to create their own version of the drink, including 7-Eleven, McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, and Panera Bread, but none can overthrow the original.
Starbucks noticed how successful the Pumpkin Spice Latte was, so they soon began creating many different variations of fall-inspired drinks. Some have been on the menu for years, like the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, but unfortunately some were left out. Hopefully, they will return in following years. Rest in peace, Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino and Maple Pecan Latte.
The good news is Starbucks comes out with a new drink nearly every year. The 2021 addition is called the Apple Crisp Macchiato. A macchiato is an espresso that usually contains a small amount of foamed milk at the bottom. Topped with a caramelized apple drizzle, notes of apple and brown sugar swirl together to create an apple pie-like beverage.
Here at the Warrior Word, we decided to try out a few different autumn selections, determine if they should return to the seasonal menu next year, and find out if they surpass the original flavor of fall.
To test this theory, my boyfriend, Grant, and I traveled to the Riverstone Starbucks location. Being the insatiable caffeine addicts we are, we’re quite certain in our ability to be impartial judges.
Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew
Cold brews are known for being much more bitter and caffeinated than standard coffee, and for this reason I have never been a fan of them; however, the immediate sweetness of the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew took me by surprise.
In my opinion, the foam at the top was by far the best part. The dusting of spices embodied the scent of fall, and the vanilla syrup gave it the much-needed sweetness.
Sadly, after the layer of foam was gone, the drink began to taste bland before we ever finished it. While this wasn’t necessarily a deal-breaker for us, we don’t recommended purchasing a size larger than a grande.
I liked it, but it was just a dialed-back Pumpkin Spice Latte. After the initial couple sips, it became a regular cold brew.Grant Bryan, Senior
Apple Crisp Macchiato
When the barista first handed the drink to me, I thought it had an unusual amount of milk, but after trying it, I decided it was worth the 300 calories.
The dark color at the bottom is the caramelized spiced-apple drizzle. Grant and I both enjoyed this part the most; however, it tasted more like a milkshake than a coffee due to the excessive amount of sugar.
The drink reminded us of fall, but the ice eventually watered down the coffee, and it soon became bitter after the apple drizzle was gone. Nonetheless, we would recommend this drink to our friends and viewers who are in the mood for an apple pie-inspired drink.
It’s honestly really good-we should come back and try the hot version.Grant Bryan, Senior
Overall, we concluded that neither could compare to the Pumpkin Spice Latte, but we enjoyed trying the new flavors and hope they return to the menu for many years to come.