Review: Wendy's Pumpkin Spice Frosty Cream Cold Brew Isn't For Coffee Snobs

The pumpkin spice arena has become a bustling battleground in the world of coffee. The market might seem saturated with so many vying for supremacy, each unveiling their rendition of the coveted pumpkin spice lattes or an array of pumpkin-spiced concoctions. Enter Wendy's — a fast-food giant not typically synonymous with coffee wars. This venture into the pumpkin-infused domain might raise eyebrows. After all, the pumpkin trend has been part of coffee shop culture for years now. So, Wendy's decision to jump on this bandwagon, especially at this juncture, appears bold and perhaps even belated.

However, given Wendy's recent foray into cold brew, introducing a pumpkin spice variant seems a natural progression. Without this cold brew lineup, the idea of Wendy's serving up a pumpkin-spiced drink might have seemed far-fetched. Yet, here we are, evaluating how this fast-food behemoth measures up in the bustling world of autumnal coffees utilizing the beloved and tasty frosty.

Meet the Pumpkin Spice Frosty Cream Cold Brew

Cold coffee isn't just a drink; it's an art form in today's popular coffee chains. Starbucks, undeniably a coffee trendsetter, has introduced some delightful cold foam options that have us swooning. Yet, Starbucks isn't the only game in town when it comes to cold brew creations. Enter Wendy's, the fast-food chain more known for its burgers and Frosty desserts, which has confidently stepped into the cold coffee arena with its Frosty Cream cold brews.

Replacing the former Frosty-Ccino, Wendy's Frosty Cream Cold Brews ingeniously blend the beloved Frosty with cold brew coffee and a dash of flavored syrups. The timely release of a pumpkin spice Frosty flavor naturally led to its incorporation into the cold brew lineup, complementing the existing flavors of vanilla, chocolate, and caramel.

At the heart of these drinks are a few core ingredients: flavored syrup, the signature Frosty cream, cold brew, and a smattering of ice. Contrary to what the name might imply, the Frosty cream in the coffee isn't a dainty whipped dollop you'd perch atop a Starbucks drink. Instead, it's reminiscent of Wendy's iconic Frosty dessert — thick, creamy, and luscious.

An intriguing tidbit for the aficionados: Wendy's has partnered with Monin for its syrups, a brand recognized for its quality in flavoring agents. And as for the cold brew itself? Wendy's doesn't settle. The coffee house uses a specialty Indonesian bean that's steeped for a good 12 hours to extract those deep, robust flavors.

What's the price and availability of the cold brew?

Wendy's introduces its pumpkin-infused cold brew sensation starting September 12. And while the brew's availability rests on the whims of supply, a seasoned coffee enthusiast can make an educated guess. Given Wendy's track record and the popularity of seasonal beverages, we can anticipate this delightful drink gracing the menu throughout the fall. However, as leaves turn and winter approaches, it's likely to take its bow, much like other transient seasonal specials at various coffee hubs.

The pricing model Wendy's has adopted for its cold brews remains consistent across flavors, ensuring there's no surprise spike just because pumpkin spice has made its annual debut. The small size starts at a mere $1.99, the medium at $2.79, and for those who need an extra jolt — or simply can't get enough of that creamy goodness — the large is priced at $3.49.

Wendy's offers undeniable value when stacking up these figures against coffee giants like Starbucks. A premium cold brew experience at a fraction of the cost? That's a deal hard to resist for coffee aficionados and casual drinkers alike.

The nutritional content of the cold brew

Nutritional content is often the elephant in the room when it comes to indulgent beverages. With the pumpkin spice Frosty generally clocking in with a higher calorie count than its flavor counterparts, it's reasonable to wonder how the pumpkin cold brew stacks up to the other flavors.

The cold brew iteration seems to take a leaf out of its Frosty cousin's book. While it doesn't reach the caloric heights of the base pumpkin spice Frosty, it does hold its own. A small offers you 150 calories, while a medium climbs to 200. For those opting for a large, you're looking at a total of 280 calories. Unfortunately, despite our most intense research methods, we were unable to locate caffeine content anywhere online or even in-store. Most interestingly, the store manager we spoke to didn't know the caffeine content either, so this information seems simply unavailable at the time of this article's publication. Things we do know are that a medium offers 85 milligrams of sodium, 3.5 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein, and 36 grams of carbohydrates.

Does it match up to other pumpkin coffees?

At first glance, the components of Wendy's offering resemble what you'd find in many pumpkin-flavored drinks. The familiar quartet of pumpkin syrup, cream, coffee, and (in the case of its iced variant) ice are all present. This formula might remind you of Starbucks' Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. Yet, the execution differs. While Starbucks allows its pumpkin cream to majestically float atop the cold brew with some vanilla syrup in the coffee, Wendy's integrates the Frosty Cream into the cup, giving it a seamlessly blended texture.

However, variety seekers might hit a snag here. Wendy's has streamlined its pumpkin offerings, focusing solely on the Pumpkin Spice Frosty Cream Cold Brew. Those yearning for a traditional pumpkin spice latte might find themselves a tad disappointed; Wendy's isn't branching out into the vast latte territory, unlike many renowned coffee chains nationwide.

But where Wendy's truly shines is in the pricing arena. A side-by-side comparison is illuminating: The smallest pumpkin cold brew at Starbucks, the tall, is priced at $4.75. This is notably steeper than even Wendy's largest offering. For those on the hunt for value without compromising on that pumpkin flavor, Wendy's emerges as a top contender. It promises a delightful cold brew experience without burning a hole in your pocket.

Taste test of the Pumpkin Spice Frosty Cream Cold Brew

From the first sip, it's unmistakably pumpkin-forward. Wendy's has made a commendable choice in ensuring the pumpkin flavor takes center stage, instead of merely hinting at it with a barrage of spices. For the pumpkin spice purists out there, this will likely resonate well.

The drink's texture leans towards the heavier side. With the Frosty component seamlessly blended in, it provides a richness reminiscent of a milkshake or, perhaps more aptly, a Frappuccino. This isn't your light and airy coffee; it's a robust and indulgent treat.

On the sweetness spectrum, this cold brew lands firmly on the sweeter end. Those with a penchant for sugary delights will find this right up their alley. However, the syrup's presence is palpable. While the Monin pumpkin syrup lends that unmistakable pumpkin charm, there's a slight syrupy undertone that might not appeal to everyone.

But where Wendy's really shines is in the smoothness of its cold brew. The coffee base doesn't jolt or overpower; instead, it flows smoothly, providing a well-balanced counterpoint to the thick and sweet elements of the drink.

Verdict: Should this become your go-to pumpkin coffee?

Choosing your go-to pumpkin coffee is a little like selecting a favorite sweater for the season — it's all about comfort, style, and personal preference, so there are a few points to consider. Firstly, it's vital to manage your expectations. If you're envisioning a Starbucks-esque cold brew experience, you might be in for a surprise. The brewing methods and textures differ markedly. Starbucks, with its global coffee empire, has honed the art of consistency; these baristas are meticulously trained to whip up your order in the exact same fashion each time. Wendy's, though famed for its fast-food offerings, has less of a focus in the coffee domain. Thus, it's plausible you'll encounter varying degrees of brew quality and consistency from one visit to the next.

The texture is another point of differentiation. While Starbucks' cold brew boasts a cold foam crowning its top, adding a creamy dimension with each sip, Wendy's rendition is more like a denser iced coffee, missing that frothy upper layer.

Taste, of course, is subjective. Wendy's Monin pumpkin syrup either hits the sweet spot or misses the mark, depending on individual palates. If you enjoy its flavor profile, Wendy's brew might climb to the top of your autumn coffee list. However, if you're already at Wendy's and yearning for a pumpkin treat, the Pumpkin Spice Frosty is a must-try for pumpkin enthusiasts even if the cold brew isn't a hit.