Cold and Caffeinated: the best fall drinks to try

When I set out to try fall coffee drinks, I was expecting overly-sweet, overly-expensive coffees. However, 3 drinks later, I was pleasantly surprised


The Roasterie offers a pumpkin spice latte on its fall menu Oct. 1. The coffee shop has locations in Brookside, Leawood, Lenexa and Downtown Kansas City. photo by Sophia Rall

by Sophia Rall, Features Editor

I just wanted to preface my review by saying that I had low expectations for all the coffees I tried. I don’t like a lot of sugar in my coffee, and my normal order is a Starbucks Coldbrew or black coffee. When I set out to try fall coffee drinks, I was expecting overly-sweet, overly-expensive coffees. However, 3 drinks later, I was pleasantly surprised. 

The Roasterie: Pumpkin Spice Latte

My first stop was the Roasterie in Leawood. I nervously asked the barista, “Do you actually like the pumpkin spice latte?” She responded with a yes (I’m pretty sure she has to say that though). With my first sip, I was happily surprised. The pumpkin spice flavor was not overwhelming, but rather a great complement to the coffee. It also was not overly sweet. The flavor reminded me of a cold, fall morning and wearing a cozy sweater. It also woke me up effectively and actually had a lot of caffeine. Overall, I would rate it a 5 / 5 for its great fall flavor. 

Starbucks: Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

My next stop was Starbucks. I deviated from the typical pumpkin spice latte, instead trying the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. I was pleasantly surprised by this drink. It is perfect for a fall day that is chilly in the morning but warm by afternoon  — a common occurrence in Kansas City. It had a great pumpkin spice flavor but also tasted very sugary. By the bottom of the cup, I was a little overwhelmed by the sugar. The cold brew part of it effectively woke me up by first period. For all of the iced coffee lovers out there, this is a great drink since it has a distinctively fall flavor but is still a cold drink. I would rate it a 4 / 5 because it had a nice flavor but was a little too sweet for me. 

Messenger Coffee: Butternut Squash Latte 

Messenger Coffee’s fall menu featured a butternut squash latte — a  “latte featuring butternut squash, caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, molasses.” I was immediately taken aback by the idea of squash and coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I like vegetables — just not in my coffee. I honestly could not taste the butternut squash or caramel in the latte, but instead I tasted a hint of cinnamon and vanilla. Its strange, grainy texture and underwhelming flavor made for a very mediocre latte. It was definitely an innovative idea to use butternut squash in a latte, but it was executed very poorly. The most disappointing part was that it did not remind me of fall in the slightest. It tasted more like a vanilla latte, and it wouldn’t have been a good vanilla latte either.  Overall, I would rate it a 2.5 / 5 for its boring flavor and strange texture.