Fall is in full session as the leaves begin to brown and hair begins to bristle. The season calls for the comfort of coffee, bringing to mind the classics of pumpkin spice, apple crisp, and sweet maple syrup. All of these flavors and more can be found around the city and streets of Gainesville, from Downtown local favorites to Midtown study spots to Uptown underrated chains. 

Opus Coffee

Opus is a local coffeehouse chain that has 10 locations all over Gainesville. We went to the Opus at Norman Hall and sampled three of their five fall drinks. They have a fun fall menu they call the "Fall Drink Mixtape," and the drink names are so witty!

Oops, We Did It Again!

This is Opus' answer to the pumpkin spice latte. Truly, I liked it far more than Starbucks'. It features a good amount of spice, but it still drinks easy. The cinnamon and nutmeg are much more apparent than the pumpkin flavor, but it really allowed the coffee to shine through for me. I really liked this one, and I would order it again in a heartbeat.

Carolina Noguer

This Is How We Brew It

This drink is definitely not for everyone. It is a cold brew (no ice) with cold foam. The flavor is supposed to be caramel apple butter with hazelnut, but I was definitely getting more apple and hazelnut than anything else. The apple flavor was similar to Starbucks' (last time I'll bring them up, I promise) but I felt it was not as artificial. I personally did like the strong cold brew, but I had to drink this one slowly. Good for fall days when you need to wake up, stat.

Carolina Noguer

Spice, Spice Baby

This one is for the chai lovers. We did get it with oat milk, so it was a little watery, but the flavor was not compromised in the slightest. This is a spicy chai, but I appreciated its departure from the norm in a world full of creamy cinnamon drinks masquerading as chai tea lattes. The garnish makes it feel special too: two star anise and a teaspoon of ground nutmeg adorn the top. I did go back and order this again a few days later, and I loved it just as much. I got it with whole milk the second time, which did make it creamier, but did not drastically subdue the spiciness.

Carolina Noguer

Foxtail Coffee

Foxtail Coffee is big in Orlando, and before moving to Gainesville, that was the only place I'd seen it. However, they have a cozy location in Butler Plaza, not too far from campus. The general atmosphere feels homey, with reclaimed wood walls and soft lighting. They had more fall drinks that we didn't get to try on this occasion, but I could definitely see myself going back to try them before the season is over.

Carolina Noguer

Chai Dolce Latte

This chai was a treat and is pictured on the right, above. It is definitely creamier than the one at Opus, but the spice still made a lovely appearance. This was a well rounded chai, and of course, perfect for fall. While I have not tried Foxtail's standard chai, I don't imagine this specialty drink was much different. The dolce was a nice touch, but I think they could've added something more here to make it stand out. All things considered, it was still a good chai.

Maple Pancake Latte

This was my favorite of all the drinks that I tried (pictured on the left above)! It was the perfect balance of sweetness without overpowering the espresso. I totally chugged this one — It didn't stand a chance. The maple syrup flavor wasn't especially present, but it was slightly reminiscent of regular pancake syrup, which I liked. This was the perfect latte for those who want a fun fall drink but still like coffee.

Concord Coffee

Concord is a shop that is near and dear to my heart. They have two locations, one in Gainesville inside of Gator Wesley and another in Lakeland, my hometown. I am a frequent patron of the Gainesville location, but I usually only get an iced coffee. Trying these lattes, however, may make me change my future habits.

Carolina Noguer

Snickerdoodle Latte

This one wasn't my favorite, but Caro, our wonderful Spoon photographer loved this one (pictured on right). It was super creamy and I really couldn't taste the espresso. It almost felt like drinking flavored milk, which isn't my thing, but I know some prefer that from their coffees. Caro even described it as buttery, which I immediately agreed with. If you need a fall-inspired caffeine boost, but don't particularly like espresso or spicy drinks, this is a great option. The snickerdoodle wasn't totally there, but I feel like adding some extra cinnamon would improve it greatly. 

Pumpkin Spice Latte

This one was not too different from the other Concord latte, in that it was especially creamy. This latte was not as sweet though, which I truly did appreciate. It had a nice pumpkin flavor, with more pumpkin present than cinnamon. I think this is great for people that just want something super smooth and not cinnamon heavy.

Coffee Culture   

Located on Northwest 13th Street just feet away from a Starbucks store in the peak of its fall season, Coffee Culture is a quaint coffee joint perfect for busy work. With handcrafted beverages and seasonal specials for fall, winter, spring and summer, Coffee Culture truly stands out as a local favorite. 

Jared Teitel

Tricky Pumpkin

The Tricky Pumpkin was the only fall-based beverage gracing the menu, but luckily the coffee creations are customizable, and customers can combine any number of syrups with their feature pumpkin flavor. But all things aside, the Tricky Pumpkin is a coffee crafted with caramel and pumpkin. It comes as a latte, but I opted for the iced coffee alternative. The flavor of the coffee was quite bold, but the addition of the pumpkin and caramel flavor did add a touch of sweetness to balance the taste of the drink. The milk from the latte might have brought out the flavor of the syrups more, as well as added the creaminess my iced coffee was missing. 

Raining Berries

A growing coffee joint across Florida, Raining Berries opened a location at Gainesville's West University Avenue earlier this month. With a range of acai bowls, avocado toasts, waffles and breakfast sandwiches too expansive to list, Raining Berries is just as creative with its coffee and other beverages. 

Jared Teitel

Honey Maple

Before placing my order for this drink, I struggled to decide whether or not to get it in a mason jar. Alas, I decided to save my wallet from extra spending and settled for the standard plastic cup. Whether another container would have changed my experience with the coffee, one will never know. But what I do know is that this seasonal beverage was quite satisfying. 

Also a latte in its standard form, the honey maple flavor was a rich sensation. As a cold brew, the kind of coffee I ordered, the drink tasted more like honey than maple. Being a fall drink, I expected the maple flavor to be a bit bolder than it was, but none of this is to say the coffee was not enjoyable because it was!


The resident study hall of the city, Pascal's offers a warm indoor workspace and, conversely, a cool outdoor patio for sipping coffee, note-taking, and typing. With an atmosphere that embraces the cozy comfort of the season, some of the specials on Pascal's fall menu do the same, and others not so much.

Carolina Noguer

Pumpkin Spice Latte

As the only pumpkin spice latte I gave a try on this fall-coffee tour, this one was not my favorite. A PSL is not so much my go-to fall order, so expectations were not set high. Not only was the flavor of the pumpkin and the spice missing, but the beverage was a bit bitter. The only tastes touching my tongue were from the milk and coffee, so the drink definitely needed to be "spiced" up a bit. 

Apple Pie Chai

For this one, my standards were set a bit higher than they were for the PSL. As a lover of apple pie and chai, this drink was practically calling my name. Not only did the clever, rhythmic sound of the name excite me, but so did sipping it. 

Upon my first sips, I was caught by surprise. I immediately noticed a tingling sensation in the back of my throat. The flavor of the apple pie syrup was sweet like I expected and hoped it would be, and the addition of oat milk acted as the crust to the apple pie. Overall, it was a drink that definitely intrigued me, and I would likely order it again!