Starbucks pumpkin drinks or pumpkin spice drinks are the highlights of the festive mood every fall. These drinks offer an indulgent way of savoring the festive flavors of pumpkin and fall spices.
Since the 2003 launch of the pumpkin spice latte that became an instant hit, Starbucks has continuously added more drinks to its popular range of pumpkin drinks.
Let’s discuss the best Starbucks pumpkin drinks in both the main and secret menus and how to order them. We also cover how to add the widely-acclaimed pumpkin spice twist to your favorite Starbucks drink.
1. Pumpkin Spice Latte
This hot drink started the whole “pumpkin drinks movement” and has remained one of the most preferred Starbucks fall drinks. It is also one of the most popular hot drinks at Starbucks despite not being available all year round.
A regular PSL comes with two shots of blonde espresso that you can swap with decaf espresso. You can also vary the number of espresso shots or replace the espresso shot with a ristretto or lungo.
Similarly, you can substitute the standard 2% milk with non-dairy milk, nonfat milk, heavy cream, breve, or whole milk. Unfortunately, one of the main ingredients in pumpkin spice latte is pumpkin spice sauce which has condensed milk so the PSL can not be completely non-dairy even if you go for the plant milk.
The PSL is already sweetened with vanilla syrup, so unless you have an extremely sweet tooth you may not want to add sweeteners.
The best way to order PSL is a grande cup with two shots of blonde espresso and whole milk for a creamy texture. I prefer to keep the whipped cream and spice toppings as standard.
Soy milk also pairs perfectly with the pumpkin spice sauce so soy milk is my go-to alternative when in the mood for a non-dairy option. Starbucks soy milk is slightly vanilla-flavored. Almond milk is a popular alternative for soya intolerant people who want plant milk in their PSL.
2. Pumpkin Spice White Mocha
Imagine adding the festive touch to the already indulgent white chocolate mocha and you have yourself the ultimate holiday treat.
To order a pumpkin spice mocha, ask for two pumps of pumpkin spice sauce and two pumps of white mocha sauce to enrich the fusion of espresso and steamed milk. The drink is then topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with pumpkin spices.
3. Pumpkin Spice Machiatto
A cool way to spice up your favorite caramel macchiato during fall is by swapping the usual vanilla syrup with pumpkin spice sauce for that much-desired pumpkin spice flavor. Top the drink with some fall spices for some fresh autumnal aroma and you may also have it drizzled with caramel sauce.
Whether you go for a hot or iced macchiato, the pumpkin spice customization option provides a superb opportunity to add holiday flavors to your favorite drink.
4. Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
Elevate your hot chocolate by adding pumpkin spice sauce to the mocha sauce and you will not regret it. Steamed milk is fused with the two sauces and topped with sweet whipped cream. You can top the drink with the regular chocolate-flavored drizzle or dust it with pumpkin spices.
For a skinny option, go for nonfat steamed milk, skinny mocha sauce, and stay away from the whipped cream.
Pumpkin spice hot chocolate is an excellent choice to keep your caffeine intake low for caffeine intolerant persons as a Grande size delivers 25 mg of caffeine.
5. Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte
Starbucks chai tea latte already combines steamed milk and black tea infused with the warm fall spices. Adding the pumpkin spice touch to your regular chai tea latte not only accentuates the holiday flavors but also produces a toothsome chai drink with unmistakable pumpkin notes.
Ordering a pumpkin spice chai tea latte is straightforward but, for some reason, if the barista has trouble understanding your order, ask for a chai tea latte with pumpkin sauce.
This latte is made with steamed milk, pumpkin spice sauce, and chai tea concentrate whose main ingredients are black tea, sugar, vanilla, and spices – ginger, black pepper, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon. The topping is pumpkin spices.
A Grande cup of pumpkin spice chai tea latte delivers 70mg caffeine and 310 calories.
6. Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte
The iced PSL uses similar ingredients to the hot version and has ice added to it. Both the hot and iced PSL have comparable calorific content and equal caffeine content for the same shots of coffee.
You may want to add more espresso shots than the standard double-shot for a higher pick-me-up effect, especially when ordering a Venti size.
When swapping dairy milk for a vegan variety, I prefer coconut milk for iced coffee drinks but soy and almond milk also pair well with iced coffee.
7. Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew
Since its debut in 2019, the pumpkin cream cold brew has generated a huge buzz among Starbucks customers and in its second year, this drink outsold the classic pumpkin spice latte.
Starbucks makes its pumpkin cream cold brew by adding brewed coffee to a cup of ice and topping it with pumpkin spice cold foam before dusting with pumpkin spices. Vanilla syrup is usually added directly to the coffee before adding the cold foam.
See the comprehensive guide to Starbucks cold foam.
Starbucks pumpkin cold foam is already sweetened as it is made with vanilla sweet cream and is mixed with pumpkin spice sauce which is also already sweetened with vanilla syrup.
When ordering pumpkin cream cold brew at Starbucks, you can ask the barista not to add vanilla syrup to your coffee or swap it with sugar-free vanilla syrup to reduce the amount of sugar. You can also ask for the cold foam to be made with unsweetened or nonfat milk. Another way to reduce the sugar content is to request fewer pumps of the pumpkin spice sauce.
The cold foam is made per order so you can ask for more foam in your drink for a creamier mouth-feel.
Depending on the store, you can order decaf coffee for your pumpkin cream cold brew. In some stores, they would have to use decaf iced Americano so you may want to first check whether decaf coffee is available at your favorite store to avoid disappointment.
A standard 16 fl oz cup delivers 185mg caffeine and 250 calories.
8. Nitro Cold Brew with Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam
Nitro cold brew is one of the most caffeinated drinks at Starbucks and is easily the most caffeinated pumpkin drink.
The kicker is the fact that Nitro cold brew coffee is already cold so it does not need ice. You, therefore, end up with more coffee in your cup. Vanilla syrup is added to the Nitro coffee before adding pumpkin cream cold foam and is topped with ground pumpkin spices.
The cold foam accentuates the impressive cascading appearance as it floats on the Nitro cold brew.
A 16 oz cup size of the nitro cold brew with pumpkin cream cold foam has 265mg caffeine and 250 calories.
The customizations for this drink are similar to those of the standard pumpkin cream cold brew.
This drink has a much stronger coffee taste than the other pumpkin drinks, so you may want to stay away from it if you prefer a softer coffee drink or you are a coffee beginner who is learning to like coffee.
9. Pumpkin Spice Ice Shaken Espresso
Previously known as the double-shot on ice, the ice-shaken espresso as the name suggests is a simple and smooth drink that involves adding espresso over ice, softening with a dash of milk, and sweetening with the classic syrup. The ingredients are hand-shaken to form a frothy texture.
To make a pumpkin spice ice shaken espresso, the barista uses pumpkin spice sauce instead of the classic syrup.
Starbucks’ classic syrup is simply sugar syrup with no flavors.
10. Fall Iced Tea
Starbucks’ fall iced tea brings the festive notch to the tea snobs by infusing the blends of black teas, coconut milk, cinnamon dolce syrup, and pumpkin spice sauce. The ingredients are hand-shaken with ice for a frothy finish.
The result is a delicious treat that brings the fall mood to the fore.
11. Caramel Apple Pumpkin Spice
Caramel apple pumpkin spice is a customization of the regular caramel apple spice to add autumnal spices. It is a caffeine-free drink that contains steamed apple juice, cinnamon dolce syrup, and two pumps of pumpkin spice sauce for the Grande size. It is topped with whipped cream and drizzled with caramel.
To avoid cloying your drink, swap one or two pumps of the cinnamon syrup with a pump of pumpkin spice syrup.
This secret menu drink is one of the cheaper drinks at Starbucks as it contains no coffee or steamed milk.
12. Salted Caramel Pumpkin Frappuccino
You will not find this drink on the Starbucks menu as it is part of the secret menu. In fact, the salted caramel pumpkin frappuccino is a salted caramel mocha frappuccino with pumpkin spice sauce.
If you love a bit of chocolate in your coffee frappuccino, adding a pumpkin spice twist can be your ticket to savoring these festive flavors in your favorite drink.
Whipped cream is added as a topping to this blended drink and is then drizzled with caramel and sprinkled with sea salt.
Expect about 100mg caffeine and 420 calories in a regular order of 16oz.
13. Pumpkin Spice Chai Frappuccino
The pumpkin spice chai frappuccino is the blended cold version of the pumpkin spice chai tea latte. Milk, ice, chai tea concentrate, and pumpkin sauce are blended and topped with whipped cream, and sprinkled with pumpkin spices.
It is an off-menu cold drink with a warm and spicy chai flavor.
14. Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino
This coffee frappuccino is a blend of frap roast, milk, pumpkin spice sauce, and ice. The toppings are sweet whipped cream and pumpkin spices.
You can add espresso shots for a stronger coffee flavor and effect.
You may want to avoid cloying the drink with extra sweeteners and toppings as a regular 16 fl oz pumpkin spice frappuccino has 420 calories. It is relatively low on caffeine as it contains 100mg for the Grande size.
You can also get limited-edition pumpkin spice frappuccino bottles and stock them in your fridge or simply grab one bottle on the go when the flavor is in season.
Read more about the pumpkin spice frappuccino bottle and all the other ready-to-drink frappuccino flavors.
15. Pumpkin Spice Creme Frappuccino
The pumpkin spice creme frappuccino is a superb choice for a coffee-free frappuccino. This zero-caffeine drink has 360 calories per 16 fl oz.
It comprises a creme base, pumpkin spice sauce, ice, and milk which are blended together and topped with whipped cream and dusted with the signature Starbucks fall spices.
3 Tips to Add Pumpkin Spice Flavor to Your Favorite Drink
- Use Pumpkin Spice Sauce. You can add this sauce to any drink, cold or hot, to introduce the taste of fall spices. However, be sure to fully or partially substitute the amount of the regular syrup or sauce with the pumpkin spice sauce to avoid ending up with a lot of sauce/syrup which over sweetens your drink.
- Top your favorite iced drink with pumpkin cream cold foam. Avoid adding extra sweeteners to the drink when topping with the sweetened pumpkin cream cold foam to minimise the chances of cloying your favorite drink.
- Topping with pumpkin spices. For some faint hints of the fall spices, simply top your drink with the pumpkin spice sprinkles. However, the best way is to add the pumpkin spice topping to complement either the pumpkin spice sauce or the pumpkin cream cold foam for a richer holiday flavor.
The pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin cream cold brew are the best sellers for Starbucks fall drinks. Starbucks pumpkin drinks are available in both hot and cold options as well as coffee and non-coffee versions.
Nevertheless, you can customize your regular order at Starbucks by asking for a pumpkin spice touch. The best way is to order the regular drink and ask the barista to partially or fully swap the regular syrup or sauce with the pumpkin spice sauce.
If you are not sure about the best ratios for the syrups and sauces, do not shy away from asking for help. From my experience at my favorite store, the baristas are always happy to guide me when I need help with my customizations.