Starbucks Fans Tell Tasting Table What They Think Is The Best Fall Drink- Exclusive Survey

How do you know it's autumn? The days get shorter, the decor gets spookier, and the coffee gets pumpkin-spicier. Cue the pumpkin-flavored-everything memes and the disdain with which "real" coffee snobs regard those who dare to adulterate their bevies with sweetened cream and spices. Regardless of how you feel about pumpkin spice-flavored food, it's a huge business. The Guardian reports that for the fiscal year ending in July 2022, Americans bought more than $236 million in pumpkin spice-flavored grocery items, a figure that doesn't include all the candles and lattes we buy.

Fall flavors tend to be harvest-themed and feature the tastes and scents of fall crops like pumpkins and apples. Starbucks, which is at least partly to blame for the pumpkin spice mania that descends upon us in the fall, is no exception. We wondered what Tasting Table readers think is the best fall drink at Starbucks, and 567 of you were kind enough to put down your PSL (that's a pumpkin spice latte for those not in the know) and share your feedback. We offered the following choices: Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato, Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino, and Apple Crisp Oatmilk Frappuccino. What were your faves?

The PSL takes top honors

We weren't exactly surprised that 39% of our readers chose Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte as the best fall drink. A grande size contains 2% milk, steamed hot with foam, two shots made with signature espresso roast, and four pumps of pumpkin sauce, all topped with whipped cream and pumpkin spice topping. It's warm, cozy, and it tastes and smells like autumn. In second place, with 18% of the votes, is the other hot beverage among the choices, the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato, which features steamed oat milk, two shots of blonde espresso roast, three pumps of apple brown sugar, and a spiced apple drizzle.

Cold beverages came in behind the hot ones. The Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino had 15% of the votes, while the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Frappuccino came up with just one less vote, also claiming 15% of the favor. In last place is the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, with 13% of readers choosing it as their favorite.

Though pumpkin pie spice has been a fixture in kitchens since McCormick introduced the blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice in 1934, Scientific American credits Starbucks with kicking off the pumpkin spice fad with the introduction of the PSL in 2003, and CNN reports that the chain has sold more than 600 million of the drinks since then. Based on your feedback, Starbucks will probably sell a few million more.