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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

REVIEW: Starbucks’ PSL celebrates 20 years, three new items added to the fall menu

Wren Johnson

It’s fall, y’all, and you know that means: Starbucks updated their fall lineup with new drinks and food items. 

Added to the menu for 2023 are the Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Latte, the Baked Apple Croissant and the Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso. 

This year’s fall menu is also a special one as it celebrates 20 years of the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte being a Starbucks fall staple for fans of autumn and coffee lovers (or if you’re like me, both.) 

Besides the PSL celebrating its 20th year of stardom on the fall menu, there are other returning items such as the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, the Owl Cake Pop, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin and the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato. 

This year, I got into the fall spirit and tried the new items for the 2023 lineup and I’m giving my honest thoughts for each and every one of them. 

Pumpkin Cream Chai Latte

Out of all the drinks Starbucks announced for the fall menu, I was excited to try this one the most because it was something different.

Yes, it’s still pumpkin flavored, but most fall-themed flavors are centered around this orange gourd. What makes this item stand out is that it’s not another coffee, and that’s saying something coming from someone who is a fiend for coffee. 

I knew this drink would be good and, not only did it not disappoint, it exceeded my expectations. 

The spices of the chai tea paired wonderfully with the pumpkin cream cold foam and to top off the drink (pun unintended), the latte had Starbucks’ signature pumpkin spice topping on the foam. Even with all of this pumpkin flavor, it was not overpowering at all. 

I am not ashamed to say that this has become my new favorite seasonal drink. 

Baked Apple Croissant 

This is by far my new favorite food item from Starbucks and I don’t get food from there all that often. I would like to give my compliments to the corporate executive, chef or not, that created this item and beg them to make it available year-round.

On a serious note, though, I loved this food item. It tasted like an apple pie but flakier and more buttery. The apple filling complimented the croissant really well and, while the initial picture did deceive me by making it bigger than it really is, it makes for a perfect mid-day snack. 

Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso 

I wasn’t sure if I would like this drink or not, but I liked it. I was a fan of the Apple Crisp Macchiato that was released last year so I was kind of expecting it to taste the same, but I thought that this drink was better. 

With the Macchiato, the drink isn’t stirred all the way sometimes and the flavored syrups that are put into the drink sink and sit at the bottom, making the drink itself unbalanced and not so good. 

With this one, the drink is shaken up to where you get the apple flavor throughout your entire drink and this one actually tastes more like the Quaker Oats Apple and Cinnamon oatmeal bars, which I liked as a kid.  

Overall thoughts 

This year’s fall menu has the best lineup. Starbucks better up their game next year because right now, I don’t think they can top this year. 

I was surprised that I liked the Shaken Espresso as much as I did because I’m not usually big on apple flavored things, but Starbucks does it well. I knew I would love the chai and the croissant but even those exceeded my expectations. 

And now, I am going to treat myself to a Pumpkin Spice Latte in honor of its 20th anniversary. Happy fall. 

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About the Contributors
Jacinda Hall
Jacinda Hall, Reporter
Jacinda Hall is a reporter for The Sunflower. Hall is a Senior pursuing a journalism and media production degree with a minor in English. Hall hopes to pursue a career in writing, editing or teaching journalism at the high school level after graduation. Hall uses she/her pronouns.
Wren Johnson
Wren Johnson, Illustrator/Designer
Wren Johnson is an illustrator for The Sunflower. Johnson is a third-year communications major that loves chickens. In her free time she likes to read, draw, and hang out with friends. Johnson uses she/her pronouns.

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