Starting Off Fall With Starbuck’s New Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

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Starting Off Fall With Starbuck’s New Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

Alyssa Truong, Social Media Editor

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Sugar, spice and everything nice — there is no phrase that could better describe Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte. 

These seasonal pumpkin-flavored drinks are always a hit whenever they are reintroduced to menus in the fall. This year, Starbucks presented a new pumpkin-flavored drink — the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew — and it is definitely a game-changer.

Starbucks stores nationwide began selling the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew starting Aug. 27. The base of the drink is an iced cold brew that is lightly sweetened with vanilla syrup. It is topped with a pumpkin cream cold foam consisting of cream and pumpkin spice sauce that is made with real pumpkin puree. Lastly, a spice mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves is lightly sprinkled on top of the pumpkin cream.

A grande-sized Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew costs a whopping $4.45 — expensive for a drink, but not surprising for a special, seasonal offering at Starbucks. Also, for this size, the drink clocks in at 250 calories, 31 grams of sugar and 185 milligrams of caffeine.

At first sight, the drink was beautiful — the layers were clearly distinct and contrasting in color between the dark brown cold brew and the light orange pumpkin cream. The cream slowly cascades down into the cold brew, creating gorgeous stripes. Watching gravity pull the cream down to meet the cold brew was mesmerizing in itself. Also, unlike typical iced drinks from Starbucks, the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is served in a cup with a strawless lid that not only helps the environment by reducing plastic waste, but also allows customers to really appreciate the taste and texture of the foam.

This drink was just as appealing to the tastebuds as it was to the eye. The cold-brewed coffee at the bottom was enjoyable — light, and not bitter or acidic. The pumpkin cold foam was sweet, creamy and complex in flavor as a result of the spices. Combined, the cold brew and pumpkin foam make for a smooth, delicious drink that is sweet but not too sweet — the perfect balance. There is textural contrast in the drink, with the coffee’s watery consistency against the foam’s creamy mouthfeel. Sometimes, the first sip of the drink will either be all pumpkin cream or all cold brew, but after that, each sip has an equal amount of both parts. 

Compared to its Pumpkin Spice Latte counterpart, the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is much lighter, refreshing and refined, as it is not bombarded by excessive amounts of milk and sugar. This makes the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew perfect for the summer and early fall while it is still scorching hot in southern California. Nutritionally, both drinks are not the best, but the PCCB is definitely better than the PSL, having less calories, fat and sugar. 

There is no doubt that Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte will forever be a fan-favorite, but a new fall-season drink — one that is just as good, if not better — is in town. Overall, the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is the clear winner over the Pumpkin Spice Latte for its sophistication in taste and texture. It maintains the integrity of the coffee’s flavor while balancing it with the delectable cold foam. Despite its high price and sometimes unequal ratios of cold brew to cream in the first sip, the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks deserves a 5 out of 5 paws!