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Ranking pumpkin drinks from someone who doesn't like pumpkin

Every year with fall’s arrival, cafes release an array of pumpkin drinks to excite their customers for the changing of seasons. Most add these drinks to their fall essentials along with their flannels and boots, but the flavor never warmed my body as it seems to do for others. I tend to stick to the apple flavors and roasted pumpkin seeds more than the actual flavor of pumpkin, so I avoided fall’s favorite coffee flavor until now. 

5. Brenen’s Pumpkin Chai

Without any other flavors to mask the pumpkin, it feels like you're breathing under a carved pumpkin mask. The chai tea is just as milky as it would be normally; however, with the addition of pumpkin, the drink becomes even sweeter than the normal tea. 

Every fall drink comes with cinnamon, and in this drink it adds a sweet but sharp taste to accentuate the pumpkin’s sweetness. Instead of warming up under a pile of blankets and watching all the best fall shows, you can use this tea as a substitute to warm your soul.

Rating: 4/10

4. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

Eighteen years ago Starbucks introduced the iconic PSL, adding drinks to the tradition of pumpkin-flavored baked goods. The latte is loved for its nostalgia and the feeling it gives people. 

With a mix of espresso and steamed milk, the drink is more bitter than the chai tea but seems to still have enough sweetness to please almost everyone. The nutmeg Starbucks uses adds an interesting kick that the other drinks could not. With that being said, the drink is a solid choice to get coffee lovers in the fall spirit. 

Rating: 6.5/10

3. Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

In 2019, Starbucks introduced the cold brew. Since its debut, coffee lovers have found it as an alternative for the sweet PSL. Because of its strong, bitter taste with only a splash of pumpkin, more people have turned to the drink to satisfy their fall needs. 

With the topping of cinnamon,  it makes one want to curl up in one’s room in sweaters and blankets or frolic through the fallen leaves. Cold brew is best for the warmer fall days when you can sit in Baker’s air conditioning but still enjoy the scenery outside. 

Rating: 7/10

2. Court Street Coffee’s Pumpkin Spice Latte

The drink came adorned with a cute pumpkin stopper to keep the drink warm. The drink itself is a little sweet for a latte, but not too pumpkin-y. Something about the drink makes it slightly better than the iconic Starbucks PSL; it could be the extra nutmeg or local love added in. 

The drink has the right hint of pumpkin to make the flavor not too overbearing. It feels like jumping into a pile of leaves and makes you want to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on repeat with the family, while the other drinks felt like Charlie when he “got a rock”. This latte brings all the best parts of fall into one sip.

Rating 7.5/10

1. Donkey Coffee’s Chaider

Arguably one of Donkey’s most popular drinks, Chaider comes in at number one because it uses the best fall flavors. Although it is more apple cider than pumpkin chai, the hint of pumpkin still resonates to give you all the fall love. 

With pumps of Irish Cream and the sprinkle of cinnamon on top, it feels just like going to a pumpkin patch. It runs on the sweeter side, but it is perfect for the bitter cold feeling of studying on Donkey’s porch on a cloudy fall day.

Rating 8.5/10

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