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Dunkin’ vs. Starbucks: Where to Get the Best Fall Drink

Exploring the different Starbucks and Dunkin seasonal menus to find the best pumpkin spice latte.

Picture of starbucks cup and dunkin cup
Photo By: Sophia Kysela

By: Giselle Wright

Each season offers different exciting elements– summer brings delicious burgers, hotdogs, and lemonade, all while enjoying them in the hot sun by the pool. Winter has its toasty hot chocolate and pot roasts that warm the soul. Springtime wakes up the juicy fruits that were hibernating in the soil all winter long. But there is something special about fall… The pumpkin spice latte. This beverage is notorious for tasting like Halloween, apple picking, color-changing leaves, cinnamon rolls, and, broadly speaking, the essence of fall. There is nothing quite like it.

You know fall is approaching when you see the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew added back to the Starbucks menu. Starbucks takes pride in creating some of the most delicious fall beverages, utilizing out-of-the-box favors while sticking true to what reminds its customers about fall. Not trailing far behind is Dunkin’. Dunkin’ has quite a unique fall menu and even a beverage crafted by the spice queen herself, the Ice Spice Munchkins drink. If you didn’t know, Ice Spice named her fans the Munchkins, so the name is quite fitting.

Personally, Dunkin’ is sometimes too sweet, and the syrup makes me forget that I am drinking coffee. While I may be a little biased, I sought to try the top sellers on both the Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts menus.

Starting with Starbucks first, the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew will always hold a special place in my heart. I believe it is one of Starbucks’ best drinks. The pumpkin cold foam on top goes perfectly with black ice coffee underneath. As you drink it, the foam slowly blends in with the coffee, creating a creamy, pumpkin-iced coffee with just the right amount of sweetener-to-coffee ratio.

Next is the Dunkin’ equivalent. The Dunkin’ Pumpkin Spice Latte was like eating a donut. Incredibly sweet with a somewhat burnt coffee flavor. I did like the consistency better than Starbucks because it was thicker and creamier due to the whipped cream on top.

Crafting the perfect fall drink is a hard job, and both coffee companies are fair contenders. Ultimately, I think the sweetness level you prefer has a lot to do with which pumpkin spice you prefer. For me, Starbucks takes the win, but for many other people, especially Bostonians, there is nothing compared to a good Dunkin’ coffee. The pumpkin spice latte is iconic… But it’s seasonal. So, take in the joys of fall, and go grab your pumpkin spice latte before winter comes.

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