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Upstream News

The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

Fall in a cup: Exploring Houston’s seasonal coffee scene

The leaves are turning orange, the air is crisp and cool, and the aroma of pumpkin spice fills the air. With the return of autumn, local and chain coffee shops are rolling out “fall flavors” that include an assortment of warm and bubbly seasonal flavors. After seeing many variations of pumpkin flavored coffee concoctions, I made it my mission to find the best fall flavored coffee in Houston. 

Canary Coffee

My first stop was Canary Coffee, located on Montrose Boulevard just minutes away from Carnegie. Walking in, the rush of espresso and flaky pastry immediately hit me. I ordered an iced pumpkin spice latte. Taking the first sip, I immediately tasted a subtle pumpkin flavor with hints with cinnamon, nutmeg, and other warm spices. The taste wasn’t overpowering, and the coffee texture was almost creamy, but smooth and airy. Though the drink did have a pumpkin taste, it was very subtle and reminded me of something more pumpkin infused rather than flavored. I rated this drink as a 8/10: it was a satisfying, realistic introduction to my fall drink journey, and Houston’s erratic fall weather. 

 

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Starbucks

From Starbucks (which in my opinion, is the rite of passage for any coffee enthusiast), I got the Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Latte. From the first sip, I knew I was venturing into a dangerous area. This was sweet, had hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, and was topped with thick, delicious pumpkin cream that literally left my mouth watering. The aftertaste was slightly sour though, and the drink was overwhelmingly sweet. I would give this an 7/10.

I prefer coffee over chai, so I was excited to try the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew the next time I went to Starbucks. It did not disappoint, and upon the first sip, I was blessed with a wave of pumpkin cream that melted in the rich, almost chocolatey cold brew. I gulped the rest down, but made sure to savor the taste. I would give this a perfect 10/10.

Native coffee

My last stop was Native Coffee, which is popular amongst Carnegie students. I ordered the Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte, and needless to say, it did not disappoint. The balance between coffee, milk, and syrup was perfect, and each ingredient didn’t overpower the other. The pumpkin spice was delicious, and held a pleasant and nostalgic taste of picnics in the fall. I would rate this a 10/10.

My quest to find the perfect pumpkin flavored drink was tasty and fulfilling in most aspects (not including my bank account) and I was pleasantly surprised to find that each coffee shop offered a unique twist on seasonal coffee items. Ultimately, the choice of the best fall flavored coffee in Houston comes down to personal preference. My personal preference lends toward Native Coffee and Starbucks’ Iced Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. Standing out as top contenders, these include a delectable and rich pumpkin-infused coffee experience while Canary Coffee and Starbucks’ Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Latte offer more subtle and sweet alternatives.

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About the Contributor
Naadiya Walji, Staff Writer
Naadiya is a senior at CVHS. She is a quiet bookworm who’s favorite pastimes include reading, spending time with her cat, and drinking coffee. Interested in psychology, Naadiya looks for the deeper meaning behind everything she reads. Her favorite genre is fantasy and she cares deeply for minority representation in media. As an empath and future psychologist, Naadiya loves newspaper because it allows her to explore new topics and perspectives.  
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    Nadia TalankerDec 7, 2023 at 8:41 am

    I love the descriptions; impeccable imagery and the comment about your bank account was so real

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