If you’re like me, you might be puzzled by this semester’s weather. After summer temperatures that lasted into October, and the overnight transformation of leaves into vibrant yellows and reds, the near-freezing temperatures of the past week have been quite the shock. Something about seeing the first flurry while colorful leaves still cushioned the ground was just… confusing. While I’ve heard about the unpredictability of Midwestern weather, it’s surprising to experience it in real time. With the weather changes, I have been reminiscing on the four seasons in honor of our short fall. And what better way to pay homage to the changing seasons than enjoying a Starbucks drink that encompasses each season’s spirit?

As a recently converted Dunkin-turned-Starbucks fan, I jumped at the opportunity to try new drinks. Since I don't usually try new drinks, my reviews come from a position of novelty and curiosity. Also, I’m partial to iced drinks, so I chose to only order iced options. 


I’ll be honest, I’m not a ‘fall girl.’ I never participated in pumpkin trends, wore beanies or flannels, or enjoyed the crisp air. But with fall this year coming and going so quickly, I tried to become a fall girl, if only for a day. With this in mind, I asked a Starbucks barista if she could make me her favorite fall drink. She returned with a hand-crafted iced pumpkin spice latte with oat milk and chai, topped with whipped cream and cinnamon.

First impressions: I like that fall drinks can still be iced and this drink was especially fun to look at. I liked the taste of cinnamon, but couldn't taste the espresso. I enjoyed the pumpkin flavors and found it tasted a lot like milk. 

The official rating: 6.8/10.

Reasoning: Let me reiterate that I’ve never been inclined to try a pumpkin drink. That being said, it exceeded my expectations. The flavor of cinnamon, festive design, and hints of clove were precise enough to make me think of previous falls spent at home. However, this drink felt like a dessert, and its sweetness was overpowering. So, while it’s not something I see myself frequently ordering, I would try it again. To my surprise, pretending to be a fall girl was fun.


My next mission was to try a winter drink, which came at the perfect time, as Starbucks had just changed their menu colors and put their Christmas-colored cups on display. For my winter drink, I deferred to my roommate’s go-to: an iced peppermint mocha with oat milk. Before I became a coffee drinker, I loved peppermint hot chocolate, so I was excited to try this variation of my childhood favorite. 

First impressions: Why have I never had this before? How is the peppermint flavor so spot on, but not overpowering? I loved the subtle coffee undertone and found it to be a perfect level of sweet. 

The official rating: 9.3/10

Reasoning: I thoroughly enjoyed this drink. The combination of coffee, chocolate, and peppermint is something I can totally get behind, and I’m surprised I went so long without it. This drink was perfect because it made me appreciate winter, but didn’t overdo it. It was more filling than my typical coffee, which made it an indulgent experience, but a pleasant one nonetheless. I’ll be ordering this again, and soon. 


For my spring drink, I was stumped. After asking my friends which drinks they enjoy in the spring, I ultimately ordered a sweetened iced green tea lemonade. The idea of lemonade reminded me of the days when my sister and I would scour for the pink lemonade powder in our cupboard to organize our first lemonade stand of the season. 

First impressions: It was more bitter than I expected. The green tea seemed to overpower the lemonade, but with time, it started to taste more like a typical iced tea-lemonade combo. 

The official rating: 6.5/10

Reasoning: My opinion might be unpopular, but I wasn’t blown away. I could taste the sourness of the lemon and the herbal quality of the tea, but the sweetness was lacking. I could see myself getting this again in the early spring as a tribute to the coming warm weather, but I don’t see it as a frequent order. However, I’m not usually one to order tea, so that might have influenced my feelings.


Last but not least, I needed a summer drink. To me, summer is a reminder of all things good: sunlight, camp friends, relaxation, and an excuse to eat ice cream every night. I hoped that this drink would remind me of these fun summer memories. For this drink, I took my sister’s advice, and ordered a strawberry acai refresher.

First impressions: I loved the color, as pink reminds me of summer. I thought the sliced strawberries in the drink were genius and found it very refreshing. I also liked that it’s slightly caffeinated but not coffee. 

The official rating: 9.0/10

Reasoning: I was pleasantly surprised by this drink. It was sweet, but not overpowering in its sweetness. This drink made me think of summer days when my friends and I shared smoothie bowls together and I enjoyed that. I could also really taste the strawberry flavor, which is impressive because a lot of strawberry flavored drinks miss the mark. I recommend this drink and would order it again. 

Whether you miss the blazing heat of the summer or wish this year’s fall could have lasted just a little longer, a Starbucks journey through the seasons is a great way to go back in time without going anywhere at all. While I hope that my reviews offer one opinion on seasonal drinks you can try, creativity is key, and there are infinite variations of ways to replicate the seasons.