Fall drinks bring spice to coffee community

MollyMonahan & GraceVirgillito

Fall brings seasonal coffee drinks, but are they worth the try? Investigative team Molly Monahan and Grace Virgillito went to four different coffee places around the Omaha area and tried various fall iced coffee drinks with delicious pumpkin flavors to find out. 

Senior Sydnee Baysa works as a barista at Starbucks at 72nd and Military Avenue.

Our first stop on our quest to pumpkin coffee heaven was Starbucks. We ordered the basic small grande iced pumpkin spice latte. The drink came lightly topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin spice. Overall, the drink was worth our $4.95, but spice specialist Virgillito was overpowered by the flavoring on the first sip.

 “The drink was sweet, though I couldn’t taste the coffee and cream flavoring, as the pumpkin spice dominated the flavor of the drink,” Virgillito said. She rated the Starbucks classic pumpkin spice latte a 7/10. As Monahan went to sip on her Starbucks signature green straw, her taste buds, craving a delicious pumpkin flavor, were underwhelmed.

 “The drink displayed a lot of spice but not enough sweet pumpkin taste, and the coffee left an unpleasant aftertaste. For this reason I rate the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte a 5/10,” Monahan said. The M-Beat team tried seasonal coffee flavors for their Oct. 15 episode, and rated Starbucks as their top pick.

Following our trip to Starbucks, the team ventured out to Scooters and tried their small iced pumpkin caramelicious latte for $4.05. 

“The taste was okay, but the pumpkin spice didn’t match well with the caramel. It was weird to taste the spice flavoring and sweet caramel mixed together,” Virgillito said. Overall, detective Virgillito gave it a 6/10.  The drink wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t the most enjoyable drink in her opinion. 

Monahan, giving a ranking of 7/10 said, “Scooters, usually, is my go-to pumpkin drink, and when it’s fall, I am the first in line at my local Scooters Drive-Thru to get a taste of the sweet pumpkin drink. The only thing I would dock points for is the fact that the Scooter’s drink was not well-blended.”

Next, we traveled to Dunkin’ Donuts, where the barista suggested we try an iced coffee with pumpkin swirl and cream, which was only $2.49 for a small. 

“This drink was not my cup of tea, or should I say, coffee,” Virgillito said. “The taste reminded me of the smell of the inside of a pumpkin. It was sweet, but the flavoring was off, and I couldn’t taste the coffee because I was too distracted by the weird pumpkin flavoring.” Virgillito would rate this drink a 4/10. Monahan agreed with her taste-testing partner, and gave the iced drink a 3/10.

Our last stop on our journey to find the perfect pumpkin-flavored iced coffee was the Beanery. In the small local coffee shop located only in Gretna, Papillion, and Ashland, we ordered our last coffee in hopes that our hearts would be content. We decided on the pumpkin pie iced coffee, which cost $4.39.

Monahan, being on the verge of tears while consuming this astounding drink, said, “This drink is a perfect 10/10. The taste was everything to be desired. The perfect mix of sweet pumpkin, bitter coffee and a dash of spice. The Beanery never lets my iced coffee addiction down,” Monahan said.

 “Let me tell you, this coffee was absolutely heavenly. It was sweet, creamy, coffee-flavored, and the pumpkin pie flavoring didn’t take away from the coffee taste. It tasted like a classic pumpkin pie you would enjoy on Thanksgiving. I rate the Beanery iced pumpkin pie latte a 10/10,” said Detective Virgillito for the Marian Network.

Coffee lovers can all agree the best time for a tasty flavored iced coffee is during the holiday season. Halloween, with the changing leaves and the crisp air, bring scrumptious seasonal flavors to coffee shops everywhere. To wrap up their investigation, local Military Avenue detectives Monahan and Virgillito would recommend getting up early to start the day off with a delicious pumpkin pie iced coffee from the first place winner, The Beanery. 

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