Love It, Hate It: Seasonal Drinks

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Love It: PSLs Are Flowing Through My Veins - Salaidh Perez

To quote my dear roommate on one cold Tuesday night: “Bitches see a drink named Count Frapula, and they immediately drop all their money — that’s a full week’s paycheck, bestie”.

In case it wasn't obvious: bitches is me. I am bitches.

In my defense, I’m from sunny Los Angeles—a true California girl if you will—and as stereotypical as it may be, Starbucks and the sorts are water to my body and poison to my bank account. I am that girl with the ever growing list of different coffee orders on her Notes apps and the one whose local baristas know by name. So when seasonal drinks finally hit the shelves again, it’s time to trade in my regular order of a grande iced Americano with 3 pumps of vanilla, 1 of Hazelnut, and 1 of Cinnamon Dolce (with sweet cream, of course), for an iced—or hot, depending on the day—pumpkin spice latte with almond milk and pumpkin cream cold foam.

And why shouldn’t I?

I’ve been told repeatedly now that living in California has deprived me of the chance to experience seasons. So, what better way to learn about and enjoy said seasons than through tasty drinks that put us in the mood and quite literally put the spirit inside us? Well rounded liberal education and transformative experience, anyone?

Forget the leaves changing color; nothing feels more like fall than walking back to your dorm after classes as a light drizzle surrounds you and the warm PSL you’re holding in your hand. And once the winter really hits, I’ll be enjoying my first snowfall with a hot Peppermint Mocha (from inside my dorm, of course).

And if coffee isn't your cup of tea, not to worry: I have reviews on other types of drinks too. Playa Bowls’ Pumpkin Spice Smoothie is definitely a must. Craving a sugar high to get you through that all nighter? Go ahead and try out one Bartley’s Count Frapula. Yes, cafés may really only be throwing in some maple sugar and pumpkin flavoring into their everyday drinks and calling it a day, but what about it? They’re good and won’t be around forever, so why wait for next year when you can get them today? You know what they say—don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today​​. Too bad I can’t apply that to my homework.

Seasonal drinks are a way to stay in the seasonal spirit 24/7. Whether you’re psetting or romanticizing the walk to your dorm from the Science Center, as long as you have a PSL in your hand, you’ll never feel more fall-y or Rory Gilmore in your life.

Hate It: We are Feeding into Capitalism - Rachel Ok

One word: marketing. That’s all I think of when I see ads for a new seasonal drink. Cafés just ride on the wave of holiday festivities to sell another drink that tastes like sugar and highly appeals to sleep-deprived college students living each monotonous day with an endless stream of psets and essays. If you’re one of the people eagerly waiting for the time of the year when plain vanilla lattes switch to pumpkin spice lattes, I encourage you to step outside and take a walk. Enjoy the company of your friends and family instead of feeding into your caffeine addiction, I beg of you.

The seasons come back around every year — no matter what that ad is saying about exclusive fall flavors. There’s really no need to celebrate the natural cycle of nature like it’s a baby that needs coddling. Instead, I invite you to celebrate the passage of time in other ways: completing that weekly Ec10a pset, having a crying session with your friends during midterm season (the superior season to celebrate), begging for dorm heating to turn on once winter starts rushing in.

Secondly, can we please talk about the peppermint obsession? I’m fine with just candy canes and mints, but do we really need to include peppermint in everything during the winter? I know I’ve triggered a whole army of mint-chocolate-chip ice cream lovers, but I still cannot understand it. Why spend extra money on that minty-fresh flavor when your toothpaste is right there?

Don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating holidays. Noticing the leaves change color as the air starts getting colder and seeing holiday decorations appearing in the dhalls gets me in such a festive mood. But is it necessary to throw money out in the name of capitalism just because Starbucks changed the name of a drink and added a bit more sugar and spice? (answer: it really isn’t).

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