We Tried That: Starbucks Releases Two New Fall Drinks – How Do They Compare to the PSL?

We tried the new fall drinks at Starbucks, Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte and Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, and ranked them against the others.

Gabrielle Bernardini - Author

Aug. 24 2023, Published 10:26 a.m. ET

We Tried That: Starbuck New Fall Drinks
Source: Starbucks; Distractify

Yes, the time has come — Starbucks is officially back with its glorious fall staple, the Pumpkin Spice Latte. The delectable autumnal drink is now celebrating its 20th season on the coffee chain's fall menu and I certainly couldn't wait to get my hands on one.

While the classic PSL is undoubtedly a staple in any coffee lover's autumnal Pinterest board, Starbucks has also graced fans with the return of the fan-favorite Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew and Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato.

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While coffee drinkers will be happy to learn that PSL season is officially here, don't spill your coffee just yet, TWO new drink menu items have also been added to the board. Customers can enjoy the new Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte, and the new Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso.

As a Starbucks enthusiast, I had to try the new fall drinks to see how they compare to the OGs, especially the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

We Tried That: 5 fall drink menu items at Starbucks
Source: Distractify

We tried the new fall drinks at Starbucks – and I was surprised by what they tasted like.

If you frequently visit Starbucks, you know that changing your drink order is almost a taboo action. The barista probably already has your specific order lined up at the bar before you even confirm your mobile order for that day. Therefore, when the fall menu comes out, I pretty much stick with my go-to, a Pumpkin Spice Latte. You can really never go wrong with the classic.

But with the release of two new drinks, I had to test out for myself how they would compare. Therefore, to give every drink a fair shot, I ordered all five fall drinks off of the menu and ranked them in order of my least favorite to my No. 1.

#5: Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso

Starbucks Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
Source: Starbucks

Ok, I had really high hopes that the Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso would rank toward the top of my favorite fall menu items. The Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso has been my go-to summer order for the past few months so I was excited when Starbucks announced another shaken espresso was being added to the menu. However, I thought this espresso-based drink lacked a bit of flavor that I usually like in my fall coffee drinks.

If you're someone who doesn't love a strong coffee taste and doesn't love a ton of sweetness, this mild-flavored drink may be perfect for you.

#4: Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte

Starbucks Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte
Source: Starbucks

Now, I am going to preface this review with the fact that I am a coffee drinker. I am a bold flavor, two-cups-a-day, kind of girl. When I received the Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte, it did not look like the picture. My drink appeared to be straight cream with a dollop of white foam on top. Is this how the drink is made?

Questions aside, I tasted the new Starbucks drink and was overwhelmed with solely a chai taste. I think my drink lacked the pumpkin flavor that it is promoting. The drink is tasty, if you like chai, but it's not something I will be ordering on the regular.

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#3: Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato

Starbucks Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato
Source: Starbucks

Coming in at number three is the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato. Honestly, this drink is super tasty. If you prefer sweet autumnal drinks, this macchiato tastes like you just bit into a big slice of warm apple strudel. For coffee drinkers who prefer a bolder taste, this drink will not be your go-to everyday morning order. But, for a sweet mid-afternoon pick-me-up, the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato is a great option for a nice cold fall day.

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#2: Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew
Source: Starbucks

While I patiently wait for colder weather to roll in, the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, for now, is my daily order. I love this coffee combination as it combines bold flavor with a hint of pumpkin sweetness. For avid coffee drinkers, we're sure you'll love this drink too. It's great for those who only drink iced coffee drinks, you know who you are, or for customers who feel it's still too hot outside to drink a piping hot PSL.

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#1: Pumpkin Spice Latte

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte
Source: Starbucks

Since launching in 2003 in Starbucks stores, the PSL has become a staple drink item on the fall menu. While other competitors attempt to imitate the autumnal sweet pumpkin drink, duplicate, they will never. The PSL totally sums up the fall season with a good balance of espresso flavor with a nice hint of pumpkin flavoring. It's not overly sweet, and it's not too bold.

Though others may poke fun at the power of the PSL, I don't mind confirming that I too am a lover of this #basic drink.

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