I Tried Starbucks’ Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew So You Don’t Have To

I’m basic but I’ve never been PSL basic.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 

The cloyingly sweet, orange-hued hot seasonal beverage that ushers in autumn earlier and earlier every year, has never been my Buxie (not Starbs or ‘Bux, mind you) drink of choice.

I own a pair of Uggs and multiple Kylie Lip Kits but when it comes to coffee, I’m relatively tame. An iced almond milk (or oat if you have it) latte please. Hot, if it’s below 50 degrees outside.

Black, if I’m hungover.

When I saw that Starbucks had released a seasonal cold brew, my interest was piqued. Cold brew tastes like jet fuel to me (in a fun way) and I wondered how they were going to add pumpkin spiciness to that. I texted my best friend Andrew about it and he told me to “shut my mouth.”

I meditated on the idea of this coffee concoction for a day or so. I talked to other friends about it, none of which had tried it–but suggested I do…for science.

What tipped me over the edge was the fact that Andrew (aforementioned friend) later tried it and LIKED it. Armed with the knowledge that he and I like almost all the same things, I entered Starbucks this morning and ordered one.

First surprise: The drink itself is a light brown color, topped with an orange-y foam that is sprinkled with cinnamon.

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It’s more like a nitro cold brew than an actual cold brew with ice and stuff.

Second surprise: It’s not very sweet. It’s a neutral taste with a hint of pumpkin.

It’s more milky than coffee. I wish it was more coffee-forward. Also, as someone who only drinks alternative milks (LOL THERE IS NO DENYING MY BASIC-NESS IT PERMEATES ME) I am worried about how this will effect my tummy/skin.

Third (not-so) surprise: I don’t like it.

I wish it was sweeter!! Which is weird for me, someone who isn’t huge on sweet coffee drinks. It’s like a pumpkin milk but not in a dessert-y way. That’s the best way to sum it up. I could see this being the milk left behind after a bowl of pumpkin granola. Kind of bland and not nearly as cold as I would like it to be with a smattering of scent and flavor.

1/5 stars. Would not drink it from a cereal bowl or a Buxie cup.

Very glad I only opted for a “tall.”

Venmo me for this quality research…I’ll be grabbing an iced latte to go around noon.

xx

 

 

 

When I Drink Cold Brew I Can…

Leap tall buildings in a single bound

Answer all 376 unread emails

Color code my Google Cal like Audrey Gelman

Vibrate into oblivion

Call my gynecologist to schedule an appointment even though they’re really mean there

Devise a plan for dinner

Write entire paragraphs without looking at my screen

Make memes, crush dreams

Schedule Instagram posts for three separate accounts

Run a marathon

Develop facial blindness (like Brad Pitt!)

Text my best friend 100 times in a row about the magic of coffee

Order food to the wrong address

Send a correction email with too many “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Publicly denounce Pete Buttigieg on Twitter

Delete Twitter

Throw my computer into a dumpster

Rip off all my clothing

Dance naked in the street

Remember all the lyrics to every song in “The Greatest Showman”

See through time

Contact dead relatives

Use 100% of my brain

 

 

 

 

 

This Is What High School Clique You Were In Based On Your Favorite Coffee Shop

Starbucks: The Basics

You got super hyped about the latest Frappuccino drop and then super hyper from drinking one. You made sure to show off your square French-mani acrylics while you took a pic holding your drink extended in front of you, Uggs peaking out at the bottom of your scenic background. Your Facebook quote was something like “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” Your body spray was from Victoria’s Secret. You asked to borrow my American Apparel purple zip-up hoodie during cheer practice and “lost” it but I saw you wearing it in one of your Facebook mall albums.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: Forever 21 Indie Girls

You would call your style “boho” and you claim to be vegan even though I saw you eating BBQ chicken pizza from the cafeteria when you told everyone you were super-hormonal from your period. “I love MGMT!” You wear headbands around your forehead and a lot of loose-woven long cardigans and knits. “I wish I could buy everything at Urban.” You think you’re cooler than “The Basics” because you’ve smoked weed once. You order extra whipped cream on your blended drink just like they do.

Pete’s Coffee: The Real Nerds

You get coffee with your mom when she gets coffee her on her way to take you to Sylvan Learning Center. You don’t actually get coffee because you don’t like the way it tastes. How’s that dry-ass scone? Don’t forget to clean out your retainer!

La Colombe: Theatre Nerds

You have a crush on the lead of every school musical. He’ll turn out to be gay and you’ll claim you knew it all along but you probably didn’t. You started drinking your coffee black because it seemed artsy and then you realized that tasted nasty and started getting into La Colombe’s draft lattes. You claim to never sleep. You wrote the words to some song from Rent or Sweeney Todd or whatever the hell musical was popular in 2009 all over your binder. You’re late to rehearsal. You can’t hang out because you have rehearsal.

Blue Bottle Coffee: Yearbook

You’re on the Yearbook team AND you’re ASB President AND you’re on debate or like some other club that will look great on college apps. You really only hang out with other people in Yearbook who are exactly like you. You’re uncomfortably close to one or two teachers and you don’t think it’s weird at all! You have a camera on you at all times and you genuinely have school spirit. You are the most well-caffeinated person I know. It’s terrifying.

Intelligentsia: The Hipsters/Loners/Floaters

You don’t know their friends. They “go to another school.” Somehow this group never bands together, they prefer to be alone doing their own thing, but occasionally they will overlap. They got Instagram before you did. They applied to art schools you’ve never heard of on the other side of the country. Their coffee choice is usually something respectable and not too high maintenance. They’re not cool, but they’re not NOT cool? They’ll find their people in college.

Dunkin’: The Jocks

You get a massive coffee to wake you up for practice along with some sort of egg sandwich and a doughnut. It’s like 4 a.m. or something. After practice you get a massive iced coffee and you’ll drink it and then dump out the ice and fill your cup with water from a water fountain and drink it all day. If you’re a guy you’re trying to be “swole” if you’re a girl you don’t say shit like that you’re just trying to get in to ASU on a volleyball scholarship.

McDonald’s: Burnouts & Stoners

I 100% have a crush on you. You cut class, I don’t think you’ve ever done homework, and you smoke weed in your car during lunch. You’re in a band and I’m friends with your sister and when I come over you’re always wearing a white tank undershirt and your boxers. Other people think you’re either super cool or a total waste of time. You don’t care what your coffee tastes like. You don’t care about anything. I am swooning rn

Pret A Manger: Foreign Exchange Students

No one knows why you came to our school and you had some caché being from over seas but now the glamour has worn off and we don’t get you at all!!! You’re mean to everyone. You say everything is better in Belgium where you’re from, especially the coffee. You hate it here but you make friends with all the jocks who think you’re hilarious. Somehow you are homecoming king.