The fall season is officially upon. For anyone who is a fall enthusiast like me, this means wonderful things. I love all things fall. The holidays – Halloween, Thanksgiving – bring about opportunities to be festive. The weather is cool and breezy without being too chilly (until it gets to be late fall and you realize the impending doom of winter is nearly upon you and you spend most of your time dreading the fact that “winter is coming;” if you don’t get the Game of Thrones reference there, your priorities need some serious realigning). The foliage is stunningly beautiful as the leaves turn all shades of red, orange, yellow, and brown. I love walking down the tree-lined streets of off-campus OSU on my way to class and seeing the leaves blow in the wind as they gently fall from the trees. The piles of leaves that gather, the crisp air, the oversized sweaters and circle scarves. And apple picking? Classic. I love it all.

And then there’s the food/drink aspect. Over the past several years, Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte has become a trademark drink that many fall lovers await the arrival of each year. It’s also frequently referred to online as a drink that “basic girls” drink (which I find offensive!), but that’s not the main topic of this post. As much as I want to like the PSL since I like generally most stereotypical fall things, I unfortunately am not in love like the rest of America. I tried it for the first time a couple years back and couldn’t place my finger on exactly why the taste didn’t excite me. Last fall I decided to give it another go, hoping that perhaps my taste buds had evolved or that this latte would be different, but again I wasn’t in love. Something about the taste just disappointed me. To be clear, I do like pumpkin-flavored foods/drinks. Pumpkin beer is one of the only times I will drink beer and pumpkin pie has always been my favorite pie flavor. But the pumpkin aspect of the PSL seemed lackluster to me. Maybe it’s that the flavor of pumpkin doesn’t come across as well in a hot drink. Maybe it’s that it was a little bitter for my liking. I still can’t quite pinpoint why the flavoring didn’t jive with me, but I have (almost) come to terms with the fact that the PSL and I were not meant to me.

Luckily, I do have a go-to seasonal latte that I can’t get enough of.  Since high school, I’ve been a hardcore fan of the Peppermint Mocha Latte. It’s very sweet and sugary, and I’ve always been a huge fan of things that fit that description. The peppermint taste is very prominent, which I appreciate, and the chocolatey flavor is thankfully in the forefront as well. There’s nothing I enjoy more than plopping down on one of those comfy chairs at a Starbucks (to the Starbucks’ that do not have these chairs, boo on you) with a nice hot latte and sipping said latte while I am bundled up in a cozy sweater surfing the Internet on my laptop. Or grabbing a latte and sitting at Starbucks with a friend to catch up for a couple hours. Starbucks has long been a favorite meeting place for my two longtime best friends and I, so it’s nice to meet there over the holidays and chat over delicious coffee drinks after we’ve been apart for too long.

If you’re not a huge fan of the PSL and are looking for a cold weather latte to help you feel more seasonal, give the Peppermint Mocha a try!! (Unless you are allergic to peppermint or something; then please do not try the drink.)

Also, if anyone has tried the new Graham Cracker latte and has an opinion on it, let me know in the comments!