More than a month before the official start of fall, people are lining up outside Starbucks to receive their first taste of the season. August 27th is a big day for coffee lovers and fall enthusiasts around the world- marking the return of the coveted and increasingly popular pumpkin spice flavors.

However, for those who do not leap for joy over its return the start of the season may seem mundane without a specialty drink to celebrate with. As someone who isn’t in love with the popular flavor, I felt that there had to be another drink that could be my “pumpkin spice”.

In an attempt to remedy that, I went searching through numerous coffee shops in Boston to find the perfect fall-themed drink for those looking to spice up the season without settling for pumpkin spice.

Overall, I found five unique drinks that are perfectly seasonal and have a taste of fall in each sip. As a bonus, they’re all close to campus, making it easy for you to get your seasonal drink fix.

1. Pavement's Cinnamon Fig Latte 

As a constant latte-drinker, I was very excited for the advertised flavors of this drink.

Before I took a sip, the smell of the drink already had me wanting it over any PSL, with notes of cinnamon adding a perfect warmth to the sweetness. Once I tasted it I found that it had an ideal amount of sweet that was soon followed by the aftertaste of the spice that pleasantly remained on my taste buds.

As much as I loved the cinnamon flavor of this drink, I was disappointed by the lack of fig that I could taste— which is something that would have really made this drink special.

Boiled down to its essence, the latte itself was creamy and rich, as any good latte should be. The cinnamon flavor was full without being overwhelming, but the fig was lacking almost entirely. This drink had significant promise of being an original combination of fall flavors, but fell a little short in the execution.

Fall vibes rating: 8.5 / 10

Order again: Maybe

Overall rating: 7.5

2. Pavement's Maple Death Cream

Even with the cooler temperatures, are you still in the mood for a cold drink? While it looks like an ordinary iced coffee, Pavement's Maple Death Cream's maple essence sets it apart from everyday coffee.

The drink also has a faint orange coloring that begins to set the mood of fall. Appropriately named, the Maple Death Cream is incredibly rich and smooth, making even a small size incredibly filling. Maple generally has a unique taste that sets it apart from sweeter substances and I was looking forward to see how this flavoring would differentiate it from other drinks.

The first sip provided a subtle hint of maple that encouraged me to take another to see if I could get an even stronger taste. However, the authenticity of flavor didn’t increase as I continued to drink it and continued to hint at a more decadent flavor.

While it's a tasty drink, I did not find enough maple in it to bring true and powerful sense of fall to my morning coffee. However, if you like a subtly sweet, caramel-like flavor, this drink could be your new seasonal obsession.

Fall vibes rating: 7-7.5 / 10

Order again: Yes

Overall rating: 7.5

3. Tatte's Dirty Vanilla Chai

Kelsey Sarracino

This drink was basically love at first sip for me, and it kept getting better as I worked my way through it.

The chai was subtly spicy and the vanilla added the extra bit of sweetness that I look for in all of my drinks. The shot of espresso that gives the dirty chai its name was artfully mixed in so that it wasn’t overwhelming, but still provided a slight bitterness that cut through the vanilla and chai.

The flavors melded together quite well as a whole and provided a pleasant fall drink experience. While it was the best dirty chai I’ve had, I would have preferred the chai to be a bit spicier so its unique essence could be expressed more thoroughly, as opposed to being too similar to the vanilla.

I also tasted a hint of gingerbread as an aftertaste that added to the overall vibes of a seasonal drink. Even though it wasn’t intentional, I found it to be a nice addition. If you’re a fan of sweet, spice, and everything nice, look no farther than this drink for a delicious symphony of flavors that is guaranteed to get you through those early morning classes.

Fall vibes rating: 9/10

Order again: Definitely!

Overall rating: 9/10

4. Currier Orchards' Apple Cider

When all else fails and you worry another season has passed without finding a perfect fall drink, you can never go wrong with old fashioned apple cider.

With the recent craze of apple picking that is sweeping Boston University, those orchards make fantastic apple cider that should not be overlooked. I tried Currier Orchards’ Apple Cider and was blown away by how fresh and delicious it was.

Like any good apple cider, it provided a full-bodied flavor unique to that orchard’s apples. What really set it apart from other ciders to me was its powerful tart aftertaste that left my mouth puckered. While unexpected, it made every sip that much tastier and exciting and definitely kept me going back for more.

If you’re looking for a little more spice, adding cinnamon sticks or nutmeg to a steaming cup accentuates the spices already in the drink, as well as makes your room smell like a quintessential fall morning. Pair it with an apple cider donut and you're in heaven.

Fall vibes rating: 10/10

Order again: Yes!

Overall rating: 9/10

5. Starbucks' Salted Caramel Mocha

This combination sounds heavenly and like it would be the perfect blend of richness and sweetness. I love the hot chocolate from Starbucks and was curious to see how it would mix with a multitude of other powerful tastes.

It definitely came off a bit strong in the beginning and overtook the rest of the mocha. The salted caramel is already stronger than their regular caramel syrup, making it hard to taste anything besides a hint of mocha, as opposed to the other way around.

However, for those who love salted caramel, this drink could be for you. The espresso shots act as an aftertaste, helping to cut the extreme sweetness of the syrup and the hot chocolate, making it less powerful. This is like the perfect reminder of a crisp morning from childhood, with a little extra caffeine to help get you through your long days of being a busy college student.

Fall vibes rating: 7.5

Order again: Maybe

Overall rating: 7/10