Pumpkin Flavors Precede Arrival of Fall

Marian Steinmann, Staff Writer

Though the trees have yet to take on that vibrant, orange glow, many coffee shops around Edwardsville have already released their fall drinks.

Despite most of the drinks including “pumpkin spice” in the description, not all fall lattes are created equal.

Edwardsville is blessed with a wide array of coffee shops, from nationwide chains to a plethora of local businesses.

Starbucks and Sacred Grounds Café on Main Street are two of the more popular places for students to grab a coffee and get some work done, and both locations began offering pumpkin-flavored drinks at the beginning of September.

There are myriad ways these coffees can be analyzed, but an important characteristic that every latte should exhibit is a sweet, creamy flavor.

The Starbucks pumpkin spice latte is initially off-putting due to the price—over $5 for a grande drink— setting Starbucks off to a bad start; however, the quality of the drink justifies the elevated expense.

The pumpkin flavor has exactly the right amount of presence and the latte lacks any kind of bitter aftertaste. The light foam topping is a subtle yet enjoyable addition.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much good to say about the fall latte at Sacred.

The fall special at Sacred is a pumpkin pie latte with cinnamon. Unlike Starbucks, this drink leaves a bitter aftertaste that lasts minutes after each sip. The pumpkin flavor is difficult to discern, and finishing more than half the drink proves impossible.

Though the pumpkin pie latte is a disappointment, Sacred does offer plenty of other coffees that outrank the drinks at Starbucks both by taste and price, from iced lattes to warm espressos.

Although some people will insist that it’s too early in the season to dive into fall coffees, pumpkin spice has made its way into most coffee shop menus. For those who are ready to welcome the new season of drinks, Starbucks’s pumpkin spice latte will not disappoint.