There is something about the warm and crisp tastes of fall that whisk sweet harmonies of students around campus humming about “pumpkin-flavoured this” and “pumpkin-flavoured that”. Fall brings pumpkin, almond, and cinnamon (to name a few) on campus to more coffee shops than just Starbucks. After sampling the season specific treats at a few places around Ryerson, we noticed that some fall goodies deserve more attention from pumpkin spice lovers than they’re getting.
Pumpkin Spice Latte, Second Cup
Second Cup’s Pumpkin Spice Latte ($4.40) is very sweet with subtle hints of pumpkin, while McDonald’s Pumpkin Spice Latte ($3.29) has a bitter coffee base and a pumpkin flavour that doesn’t taste as natural as it should. Tim Hortons’ Pumpkin Pie Latte ($2.84) is the least to taste as such. Its pumpkin aspects are sprinkled in the form of pie crust crumbles on top of whipped cream so the taste is fleeting.
Pumpkin Pie Doughnut, Tim Hortons
Tim Hortons also has a Pumpkin Spice Tea and shots of pumpkin spice can be added to any drink. Their Pumpkin Pie Doughnut ($1.19) has subtle notes of cinnamon and nutmeg with a sweet pumpkin filling in the centre.
The Green Goblin Latte, The Black Canary
The Green Goblin (a pumpkin pie latte) and Swamp Thing (a chai latte with espresso) from The Black Canary bring a rougher side to the popular fall tastes. The Green Goblin is not as sweet as any of the pumpkin-flavoured everything’s found on campus. It’s very rich in pumpkin essence, and if you like a stronger tasting coffee base this one’s for you. Both are priced at $4.75 for a medium.
Butternut Squash Ravioli, Panera Bread
If that’s not your cup of coffee and you have more of a sweet tooth, you should cross the street and try the Pumpkin Spice Latte ($4.49) at Panera Bread instead. It’s the sweetest of all the ones listed. It keeps the traditional pumpkin spice taste but loads itself in milky sweetness. Panera has more than just that. Their fall treats include Butternut Squash Ravioli, which has a mouthwatering garlic cream sauce. Their half-sized serving is $5.99 and full sized serving is $8.79. Panera’s fall menu also includes their Caramel Apple Scone and pumpkin shaped sugar cookie topped with icing ($2.79 each).
Toasted Almond Latte, Balzac’s
Balzac’s offers cookies, broths and lattes—making it the most fall-oriented and diverse menu on campus. For two bucks you can get a shortbread cookie shaped as a ghost or pumpkin, which tastes like any store bought shortbread cookie. Balzac’s has two broths: Organic Chickpea and Organic Brown Rice ($2.45). The chickpea broth tastes like legumes, is hard on your taste buds and leaves an unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth. Luckily, Balzac’s Toasted Almond Latte is so good that it washes that away. You can really taste the rich roasted almond in a latte that is less milk and more flavour without being overwhelming. It leaves you wishing the season would last longer and wondering why people are obsessed with pumpkins when almonds exist too. The cafe does have a spiced pumpkin latte with maple syrup called Cafe Harvest, and a honey, cardamom and vanilla latte called Cafe Nordique. All medium lattes are $4.45.
Enjoy the pumpkin varieties while you can because Starbucks is set to release a new drink this fall: Chestnut Praline Latte. Let’s see how long it takes chestnuts to become the new synonym to this season