Rating Camino’s fall drinks

Don’t know what to order? Consult this guide


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Students order at Camino Bakery, located in ZSR Library.

Melina Traiforos, Staff Writer

Ah, fall — the season of pumpkin patch visits and rewatching all seven seasons of “Gilmore Girls”. Hearn Plaza is strewn with red and orange leaves, and the air’s slight chill makes you want to pull on your favorite sweater and sip a hot drink. If this sounds appealing, then you are in luck because I spent the last week squandering my food dollars on Camino’s seasonal beverages, so you don’t have to! I present to you this worst-to-best list from one of the cafe’s upstairs tables — special awards included. There may be a pumpkin streusel muffin involved…

Most Underwhelming: White Fig

White Fig was just boring. Flat whites have never been my coffee of choice because they are lattes without the fun part — foam! The fig syrup seemed poised to save the day, but that was not the case. The sweetener had a sickly aftertaste, and the rest of the drink tasted like the cafe frother broke, resulting in a lukewarm well of disappointment in an eight-ounce cup. I wasn’t even upset that White Fig came in this meager size because I finished it in a few sips, avoiding the moral dilemma of throwing out a full coffee that cost more than my lunch. 

Most Headache Inducing: Autumn Spice Miel

Autumn Spice Miel ranks poorly for the opposite reason as White Fig: there is too much going on. My first sip was a delightful blend of espresso, milk, cinnamon and honey found in a classic miel, plus some cozy spices for that distinct autumn feel. Despite an auspicious start, things quickly took a turn for the worse. The overwhelming sweetness of the honey paired with so many different flavors left me feeling dizzy. I developed a headache halfway through my drink, followed by a stomachache. However, unsweet drinks are usually my go-to, so take my nausea spell for what it’s worth. If you have a sweet tooth, Autumn Spice Miel may be for you. 

Simplest: Plum Jade

Plum Jade embodies the adage, “Simple pictures are best.” The oolong tea paired with plum syrup and cloves didn’t leave me awestruck and begging my friends to try a sip, but its simplicity was charming. Think regular tea but surrounded by sparkle emojis. This is a drink I would order during a late night library session when coffee isn’t an option, but I still need a motivational treat. 

Most “Fall”: Pumpkin Cap

Rory Gilmore would wholeheartedly approve of the Pumpkin Cap. One taste felt like a shot of autumn injected directly into my bloodstream. This beverage only comes iced, which I initially found odd. How can anything cold be adequately cozy? Forgive me, gods of fall, for my lapse in faith. Iced espresso, pumpkin syrup and vanilla-steamed milk create what the Camino’s website aptly dubs “pumpkin pie in a cup”. I felt like I was eating a slice of my grandma’s best recipe on Thanksgiving. 

Honorable Mention: Hot Apple Spice

Picture this: you have just spent the day in a sprawling apple orchard, picking fruit until the chill finds its way into your mittens. You run, bag in tow, to the awaiting wood cabin that sells juice, pastries and anything else best made with fresh apples. The nice old woman who owns the orchard presses a warm mug into your hands that smells of cinnamon and nutmeg. It is this drink. Hot Apple Spice is all the nostalgia of a childhood fall in one comforting cup of smooth, spiced cider. Technically, it lives on the classic drinks menu instead of just coming out for the season, which is why I placed it in this spot on the list. Hot Apple Spice is definitely my new year round, homesick go-to.  

Best Overall: Sleepy Hollow

Here we are — the best autumn drink at Camino’s. Sleepy Hollow’s spooky charm contains many layers. Nothing is cooler than replying to the cafe barista’s cheerful “What can I get for you today?” with a mysterious “The Sleepy Hollow, please.” It makes me feel like an undercover witch. The beverage itself indeed tastes like a magic potion of cozy CPR tea, vanilla syrup and steamed milk brewed to perfection. The latter two ingredients blend to create an elevated whipped cream that makes each sip slightly sweet, and the creamy yet distinctly rooibos taste makes it perfect for the indecisive consumer, who, like myself, can never decide between coffee and tea. The two’s marriage makes me say “I do” every time I arrive at the counter to order.