Starbucks has hit the target with this collection of my favorite drinks

Gigi Sinicrope

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Gigi Sinicrope and her friend Dailey Tucker attend their weekly Friday coffee runs.

“I would like a Venti Iced Latte with three pumps of pumpkin syrup, oat milk, and pumpkin cold foam.” 

Yes, I am more than embarrassed to admit that when fall season comes around, this is—and will always be—my order. I am that girl. Each and every Friday entering the Starbucks drive-thru in Cascade at about 2:55 p.m, I know that I am being heavily judged by the baristas who are dreading creating my extensive order. 

On occasion, though, when my budget is limited or I am looking for a change in pace, I have worked to comprise a list of my favorite go-to’s.

Chai Latte

Aside from the frappuccinos constantly ordered in middle school, this was the first Starbucks drink that consistently found itself in my order. Since early childhood, my mom has, without fail, visited Starbucks on a daily. “Grande Chai, six pumps, no water,” has repeatedly found itself called from the driver’s side window at the drive-thru. When I was presented with the opportunity to get a drink, I always just asked for whatever she got. As my taste matured, and I realized my unfortunate dislike for a majority of hot drinks, I found myself ordering an adjusted version of her regular: iced and with oat milk. It became my constant. Grasping the feeling this drink offers is difficult to describe. A remembrance of my youngest life acquaints itself with this drink in its warm cinnamon and ginger flavors. I will never grow bored of this drink.

A remembrance of my youngest life acquaints itself with this drink in its warm cinnamon and ginger flavors. I will never grow bored of this drink.”

     

Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso

The three shots of espresso in this drink caught my attention. A majority of the drinks I choose only have two, so this boosted amount of caffeine helps to produce a more desirable choice. A perk of this drink to me is that it comes with oat milk, which I usually sub into my drink. It saves me the moment of slight unease and embarrassment from the eyes of the barista, and honestly, I probably enjoy it much more because of that. A pattern follows my regular choices, and this is no exception. Brown sugar and a fall flavor palate, in my opinion, still partner with this drink. Though it is not exclusively on the fall menu, it provides a similar feeling with brown sugar syrup and cinnamon. My sole complaint would be that it somewhat lacks in sweetness, but this really fails to bother me.

Iced Vanilla Latte

This drink introduced my love for coffee, so it will always hold a place on my list of suggestions. It is not an overpowering coffee taste and has a respectable amount of sweetness, so it is difficult for me to pull out any real criticisms. Fitting in at any time of the year, this drink is the perfect neutral for in between seasons or any activity. I praise whoever created this drink because, as basic as it is, it is a never-fail. 

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte 

Truly, the pumpkin and other fall drinks released at Starbucks to introduce the fall season are what I look forward to annually. If I owned Starbucks, I would insist that these drinks were on the menu year-round. Encompassing fall, an Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte is sweet, and even though it is iced, it embodies the warm feelings I attach to the fall season itself. After finishing this drink, though, the strange film left on the roof of my mouth from the whip cream topping leaves a very unsettling taste. If I had it my way, I would swap the strange—almost gritty—whipped cream for pumpkin cream cold foam. This would suffice the cream topping as well as aid in flavoring the drink. As it’s difficult to move past the obvious issues of Starbucks’ whip creams, points are definitely knocked from this drink. 

Mango Dragon Fruit Refresher

Starbucks offers a variety of refreshers, but this will always be my favorite. When seeking a non-caffeinated drink, this is my tried and true. It lives up to its name, as it is thirst-quenching and revitalizing. Mainly, this drink is ideal on a humid summer afternoon. This—for lack of better description—juice drink exhibits a manageable amount of sweetness and possesses none of the face-puckering elements many fruit drinks carry. A manageable amount of freeze-dried dragon fruit added to some may throw off the texture, but I enjoy it. Sadly, though, when drinking this, I sometimes feel as if I am being ripped off. Regularly, an excessive amount of ice takes up a large majority of my drink, so if it’s not light ice, count me out. 

With an almost overwhelming variety of choices, limiting my options at Starbucks seems to be the most effective in the means of avoiding the flush of red to my face when the barista requests I repeat my lengthy selection. Though trying new drinks can result in a new favorite, when looking for a quick, satisfactory guarantee drink, I can ensure that these are quality options.