As someone who takes every possible chance to go through a drive-through to get a coffee, reviewing fall drinks is an opportunity I will love to take. While walking up to the counter and asking for each of the seasonal drinks definitely humbled my ego, it was well worth it to find the long-awaited answer to the question: what KC coffee-shop has the best fall menu?
My mission began with a classic: Starbucks, where the hot pumpkin spice latte’s reputation precedes it. It’s very sweet but not to the extent where you feel like you’re going to be sick if you drink it in the morning. On the other hand, the iced apple crisp macchiato was, in a word, confusing. Part of me understands what their goal was but I was disappointed by the final product. It tastes like a caramel apple lollipop gone wrong. After that displeasure, I moved into the infamous pumpkin cream cold brew. Last year it was my all-time favorite but I just don’t enjoy it anymore. The taste of the pumpkin foam doesn’t last enough throughout the drink to make it worthwhile. However, those who like bitter coffee with hints of sweetness will definitely love this drink. Finally, the pumpkin frappuccino is dessert in a cup! Delicious, but not as coffee — that goes against my morals. Overall I’d give Starbucks a 3/5. A classic, a good choice when you need something reliable but not the place I’d go for a fall drink.
The next stop was Hattie’s. After a string of inconveniences throughout the drive there, I could sense this wasn’t going to be a great day for coffee. I immediately burnt my tongue on the pumpkin spice latte, an extremely bitter beverage. However, the cinnamon roll latte was sweet in a very simple way. Unfortunately, I liked the foam more than I liked the drink. The apple cider latte was the most confusing thing I have ever ordered. It tasted like apple cider, but worse. It was almost like there wasn’t even espresso in my drink. It was the least latte-tasting latte I have ever ordered! Overall, Hattie’s fall drinks were disappointing and I’d give them a 1/5. At every red light on the drive home I hoped they would start to taste better, but each sip was met with a grimace.
The Roasterie was next on the agenda! I started off strong with the classic iced spiced pumpkin latte. It was so unique compared to all other pumpkin spice lattes I’ve had so far. The spice overpowered all other ingredients providing for an enjoyable and fall-filled beverage. I don’t have much to say about the iced golden ginger latte other than it bored me. There wasn’t much flavor coming out at me that I could have an opinion on but it wasn’t necessarily bad either. I was confused immediately after the first sip of the iced coconut caramel mocha. After going back and forth on whether or not I liked it, I decided that the coconut was my issue. Since when is coconut a fall flavor? Is the Roasterie lying to me? The iced chai-der tasted exactly like Halloween. Chai tea and apple cider mixed together is certainly not coffee, but it was on the fall menu so it counts! In totality, the Roasterie fall menu is something you will for sure want to take a trip to try and I’d give it a 4/5. Very creative and very well executed!
My last trip was a quick stop to Hi Hat Coffee. I stuck with what I know and got yet another pumpkin spice latte. It was less sweet than any of them so far. The spice definitely outweighs the pumpkin flavor, but I was pleased with the taste. However, I am worried that because of how lovely the experience of going to Hi Hat was compared to its predecessors, I might have subconsciously convinced myself that the coffee tasted better than it did. Either way, it’s a win-win for me and I give Hi Hat a 4.5/5!