Starbucks never fails to surprise with countless seasonal options


Taisiia Yakovenko

Some of Starbucks’ not-so-secret seasonal drinks: the Christmas in a Cup Latte, the Cherry Blossom Frappuccino, the Passion Tea Latte, and the Coconut Milk Pumpkin Macchiato.

Taisiia Yakovenko, Staff Writer

Starbucks: the ultimate place for people of all ages to get their daily dose of caffeine and sugar while enjoying free Wi-Fi and the pleasant smell of coffee.

Starbucks’s creativity in making new products seems to have no limit. However, it seems like Starbucks is not quite fond of the secret menu — a collection of drinks people invented and added to a website — created by its fans. With hundreds of drinks and almost every flavor imaginable, customers are able to order a drink that will suit their needs, even if it’s not on the menu.

It would be interesting to see if it is possible to highlight certain drinks to represent four seasons of the year. Those drinks will make it possible for anyone to transport themselves to that season at any given time.

The first drink I tried speaks for itself: “Christmas in a Cup Latte.” It was specifically designed for someone who can’t wait for Christmas and starts decorating for the holiday in June.

The rich, milky liquid combined with the strong taste of cinnamon can make any time of the year feel like Christmas. The slightly bitter yet pleasing aftertaste of peppermint and cream and the tangy taste will make you want to grab your fuzziest blanket, sit in your armchair, and watch as the last sparks die out in the fireplace.

The second drink was able to capture the essence of spring itself and is called “Cherry-Blossom Frappuccino.” The tenderness and lightness of the cherry blossom that attracts hundreds of tourists to Japan during Spring was perfectly represented in this drink.

Since it is a frapuccino, it must be excessively sweet, right? Yes and no.

In most cases, Starbucks’s frappucinos are too sugary, but this drink is the epitome of a perfect balance. Strawberries give it that refreshing taste and cream makes it light. In addition, matcha powder is mixed with white-mocha syrup to put a slight twist in the recipe.

Summer, with no school and the perfect weather for pool parties, tanning, and, of course, refreshers, is represented by the overwhelming number of iced drinks on the secret menu.

In this case, my mutual love for both coffee and tea played a trick on me.

Looking through the secret menu I stumbled upon something called “Passion Tea Latte.” It seemed like it would be an interesting mix of flavors when I looked at its recipe. Unfortunately, it is one of the let downs on this list.

The combination of tea and coffee doesn’t seem bad at all. However, to my surprise and disappointment, the beverage was absolutely impossible to drink.

The color of the drink is similar to the color of rotten cherries, and the smell almost creates an impression of how bitter the drink actually is. The first sip tastes like unripe raspberries crushed into coffee and mixed with lemon juice. On top of that, the coconut milk, that usually has a very distinctive taste, was overpowered by the bitter-sour taste of the drink.

The fourth and final drink is more well known than the others. A variation of Starbucks’ famous seasonal drink the “Pumpkin Spice Latte,” or “PSL,”  is a perfect option for the UGG season.

Coconut Milk Pumpkin Macchiato” is a perfect alternative to the overly sweet “PSL.” Rich flavors of coconut, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon are all brought together to create another fall special that will make the essence of the season run through your veins.

The mellow combination of cinnamon and pumpkin spice will bring you to that time of the year when we all put on our witch hats and pretend that we don’t know where all that excess candy went. The drink has a modest bitterness to it, thanks to coffee.

Overall, the number of options that a customer has is impressive, but although it is clear that some drinks are better than others, in the end, it all comes down to your personal preference.