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FALLing in Love with Coffee

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FALLing in Love with Coffee

Ella Caneva and Sierra Beukelman

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 Legend has it that coffee was discovered by a 9th century Ethiopian goat herder, after he noticed a change in his goat’s behavior when they ate coffee beans. Little did he know, his crazy and deranged goats were being affected by the caffeine content that was inside of the coffee beans. Since then, the popularity of coffee has shot through the roof, specifically specialty coffee. In 1999, only 9% of adults were drinking specialty coffee, but currently that percentage has gone up to 41%. This proves that increasing numbers of people, especially those of the younger generation, are beginning to view coffee as an affordable luxury, not just another drink to give one energy to get through the day.  

The popularity of fall coffee specialty flavors such as pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or maple brown sugar has jumped dramatically in the past view years. Coffee shops around every corner are hopping on the band-wagon of pumpkin drinks that everyone seems to be drawn to. Ella and I decided to stop by a few of the coffee shops surrounding school to review the flavors of their fall coffee drinks and compare each of the different flavors according to our own preferences.  

We ordered our first hot pumpkin spice latte at Scooters in hopes it was as delicious as many have proclaimed it is. The creamy consistency and overwhelming flavor of cinnamon were the very first things that stood out to me as I took my first sip. Although this drink has “pumpkin” in its name, I was surprised to find no matter how hard I tried to taste it, cinnamon spice trumped any other flavoring. Regularly a black coffee drinker, Jeff Beukelman stated, “I’m surprised I like it. I’m not a pumpkin fan, but I really like this drink because it tastes like cinnamon.” For all those cinnamon fans out there, this just might be the drink for you.  

Nuvibe was the next stop on our list, where we ordered a brown sugar cinnamon latte. At first glance this specialty fall drink smelled deliciously sweet, but the instant I took my first sip, I realized just how deceiving that smell was. Although there was definitely a stronger hint of coffee, which could have been the culprit, this brown sugar cinnamon latte left me with a bitter and acidic aftertaste. It was very strong, and not nearly as creamy compared to the hot pumpkin spice latte Scooter’s offers. The cinnamon flavoring was not as evident in this drink, but I could definitely taste a strong mixture between brown sugar and coffee. If you prefer stronger coffee in general, and are looking to branch out into specialty coffee, I would totally recommend the brown sugar cinnamon latte. 

The next drink we tried was from the well-known and loved Starbucks, where they carry the pumpkin spice latte, much like Scooters. The Starbucks pumpkin spice latte gave off a more authentic pumpkin taste, whereas the Scooters pumpkin spice latte was sweeter and had more of a cinnamon taste than the rich combination of pumpkin and coffee that Starbucks provided. Although Scooters offered a pumpkin spice latte that had more of a sweet, cinnamon spice taste than Starbucks, they both consisted of a very creamy texture. Overall, if you are in fact looking for something not as consumed with cinnamon, but rather a rich, authentic, pumpkin spice latte, Starbucks has you covered.  

The final coffee shop we ventured out to was The Mill. From previous experiences at this coffee shop, the coffee they offer is a lot less acidic, therefore less sweet, making the flavoring in the coffee taste more authentic. That being said, we were beyond excited to see how The Mill would pull off the pumpkin spice latte. This beverage definitely did not disappoint, and the flavoring was well-rounded including a balance of cinnamon and pumpkin. A student here at Lincoln Christian, Justin Bubak, who happens to be a lover of coffee as well as Ella and I, said, “You can tell there is more care and time put into it from the taste of the perfectly pulled espresso shots to the immaculate foam atop of the steaming cup of fall.” We think that is exactly how a pumpkin spice latte should taste. 

In conclusion, the craving of pumpkin spice latte during this time of year can indeed be fulfilled by Scooters, NuVibe, Starbucks, and The Mill. They do have a bit of their own unique taste. When you get down to the bottom of which one is better, we have concluded that it really depends on whether or not you prefer a sweet or rich coffee taste, more cinnamon or more pumpkin, or a balanced cup of coffee consisting of all of the above. Considering that the average American spends $1110 on coffee annually, whichever location you choose to buy this limited edition treat, this pumpkin spice latte is a luxury and should be viewed as such.

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FALLing in Love with Coffee