Pillbox

"Fall" in love with Starbucks again

I'm waiting patiently in line at Starbucks on the corner of Forbes and Craig. The line wraps around the small island and out the door. Students are sitting shoulder to shoulder at tiny tables. I'm wedged in between chairs and a cooler of $4 water and over-priced salads. I try to turn and adjust my footing, but my backpack slams into an over-the-top display of imported coffee and a cardboard cutout of Oprah. My jeans rub against the hand-written chalkboard menu. I'm starting to get a little frustrated. I scan the menu and think the same thought I have thought many times before, "Am I really going to wait 30 minutes just to pay $6 for an average tasting coffee so that they can inevitably spell my name wrong on the cup?" I'm sure you already know the answer. I waited.

I have to admit, I get a little excited for the fall drinks menu at Starbucks. I'm usually strong enough to walk away from your day-to-day hazelnut macchiato, but there's something about those very pretentious-sounding seasonal drinks that rope me in every time. I come running time and time again, spending money I don't have, to get my hands on the trendiest fall drinks.

The fall drinks offer up some different items than those on the summer menu. My personal favorite is the Salted Caramel Latte. This drink is arguably the best idea Starbucks has ever had, considering they charge more just to add salt to the previously-existing caramel latte. I won't lie. It's good. Really good. But as I finish my drink I inevitably find myself thinking, "Why did I pay extra for a caramel latte with some salt in it? I could have just bought a caramel latte." I feel defeated and full of remorse. But I'll inevitably be back. I tell myself I won't. But I will be.

Easily the most talked about seasonal fall drink is the infamous Pumpkin Spiced Latte. I resisted this dangerous temptress for as long as I could. I'm proud to say that I had never tried a pumpkin spice latte of any kind, until the fall of last year. I've since then had several from various locations. Starbucks' rendition is no lesser or greater than any other. So what factors of the iconic PSLs have made it a true symbol of fall? Is it the beverage's perfect pairing alongside a grey Northface and Uggs for a trendy Instagram photo? Is it just the bougie feeling you get when you say you're drinking a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte? One thing is for sure: No pumpkin-flavored item will ever truly fill the void in my heart left by the absence of pumpkin pie. But I'll probably get one this fall, hate myself for it, tell people it's a cappuccino when they ask, and drink my latte in shame.

Starbucks is adding a brand new fall drink to their seasonal menu, the Chile Mocha. I haven't had the time to try this bad boy out for myself. But what I've learned as a Starbucks customer is that the Chile Mocha will be good but $2 too expensive.

I'd love to sit here firm in my resolve and tell you I won't post Snapchat stories of myself drinking lattes this fall, or that I won't buy the Gingerbread Latte the moment I get word that it's arrived. It'd be great if I could tell you these things, but I can't. I'll most likely have had a latte by the time you've read this. And I'll definitely post at least one tweet about how great the Peppermint Mocha is (but seriously though, it is really good).