Every Item on the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Menu, Ranked

Photo: Angela L. Pagan

As we enter September, food and beverage brands are wasting no time telling us that summer is officially over. And even though I’m kicking and screaming into this next season, there’s one small upside to switching from summer to fall: the fall flavors. Like Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin to appear, cult fans of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte can finally celebrate the return of this essential fall drink, along with a suite of other pumpkin additions to the menu.

Today, August 30, Starbucks rolled out its annual Pure Fall Mood lineup, according to a press release sent to The takeaway. The fall 2022 menu includes the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato and a new Owl Cake Pop, but due to the popularity of PSL, it’s a pumpkin-dominated menu. We’ve sampled all of this year’s pumpkin stuff — two pumpkin drinks and three pumpkin pastries — and ranked them from worst to best below.

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5. Pumpkin Cream Cold Infusion

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew features cold brew coffee and vanilla syrup topped with a pumpkin cream cold froth and pumpkin spice topping. Unfortunately, this frozen drink is not worth crossing the dead leaves.

Although the cold froth provides a strong, sweet hit of pumpkin spice essence in those first sips, the froth is sucked in pretty soon, leaving you with a simple vanilla cold brew. That’s not to say vanilla cold brew isn’t tasty; he just doesn’t scream “fall” as loud as he could. I’m still sitting in the pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive.

Photo: Angela L. Pagan

Photo: Angela L. Pagan

4. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin

The pumpkin cream cheese muffin was the most disappointing item on the fall menu, not because it didn’t taste delicious (it did), but because, in In terms of exceptional fall flavors, it was disappointing. The muffin is a spiced pumpkin cake with a cream cheese center filling and chopped pumpkin seeds.

The combination seemed to be the most promising of the lineup, and it was definitely moist and light, but only mildly spicy, bordering on bland, especially compared to the other foods.

The cream cheese added some flavor and a variety of textures to the muffin, but the filling didn’t go as deep into the muffin as I expected. When I sliced ​​it, the cream cheese looked like it was mostly sitting on top. The seeds that covered the muffin failed to add much crunch to compensate for the pasty nature of the muffin itself.

3. Pumpkin Nugget Bread

Starbucks Pumpkin & Pepita Bread, while very iconic of fall, is actually offered year-round at the coffee chain. The bread is made with spiced pumpkin bread and topped with pepita seeds. Sound familiar?

Yes, in terms of ingredients, texture and flavor, the bread and the muffin are almost identical, minus the dollop of cream cheese in the muffin. The bread is dense and very chewy, making it more filling than the muffin, and the bread is also spicier, as evidenced by its darker color. If the bread contained cream cheese, it would rank even higher on the list.

Although the bread is a strong contender to be a fall favorite, it’s available year-round, which takes away some of the excitement.

Photo: Angela L. Pagan

Photo: Angela L. Pagan

2. Pumpkin Scones

I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed the scone. Starbucks directly describes this offering as “a pumpkin spice scone topped with sweet icing – a wonderfully flavorful fall treat.” Perhaps it’s its simplicity that sets it apart from other pumpkin offerings.

The scone was closer to bread than cake (unlike bread and muffin). It made for a less chewy bite, but it was still moist enough to enjoy. The frosting was also just sweet and thin enough to balance out with the earthier pumpkin spice profile of the actual scone. It’s exactly the type of treat I’d want to bite down next to a steaming mug of cider in a pumpkin patch. I could even wear flannel. That’s how this scone looks like fall.

1. Pumpkin Spice Latte

We just have to admit that sometimes you can’t beat the original. The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, the PSL, reigns supreme in its encapsulation of the most flannel-draped fall enthusiasm – it’s an embodiment of everything we look forward to at this time of year.

With a table full of half-eaten pumpkin items, this is the one I returned to the most. I came back for one sip after another, and before long I was done; I left more than half of the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew in his cup.

At this point, my body is filled with too many scraps and August isn’t even officially over. I don’t want anything pumpkin spice for at least a few weeks, or I might just drown in the fall vibes. Again, I can hear this Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato calling my name. It would probably go great with a Pumpkin Scone.

Freeda S. Scott