Drinking Your Way Through Neenah’s Fall Weather: The Best Place for Fall Coffee

In honor of the arrival of fall, two Neenah Satellite students traveled to an array of locations near NHS that offered both classic and unique fall flavored coffee drinks. Skylar Neuber and Emily Roberts (juniors), both of whom consider themselves coffee connoisseurs, ranked the drinks out of an overall score of 15, with three categories for the different aspects of the drinks: Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice, Coffee or Crisp, and Crazy Cozy or Spooky Scary.

First stop on the coffee trail: Starbucks.

Being the most popular and obvious choice for a high school student seeking a supplement of caffeine, Starbucks offers a variety of seasonal beverages, ranging from a classic Pumpkin Spice to a spicy Chile Mocha. “I prefer Starbucks because they have a wide variety of drinks that are all customizable,” Kristen Opiela, junior, said. The two beverages of choice were the Pumpkin Spice Latte and the Salted Caramel Mocha. The grand total for two tall-sized drinks, made with almond milk, came to $10.19, however, the barista provided a generous discount, bringing the charge down to $7.12.

Of the two drinks, the flavor of coffee was more prominent in the Pumpkin Spice Latte, which overpowered the variety of spices that were atop and within the drink. The appearance of the drink — more spooky than cozy — managed to remind us of the season and lift us into the Halloween spirit. In contrast, the Salted Caramel Mocha had a more subdued coffee taste, which allowed the sweetness to pull through. The Salted Caramel Mocha is the perfect cozy drink for curling up by the fire with a book of choice. Both drinks came in the standard Starbucks paper cups and sleeves and were prepared in a jiffy.

Second stop: Kwik Trip.

Being the closest location in comparison to the high school to grab a cup of joe, Kwik Trip makes it easy for the busy high school student to make a quick stop for the newest fall flavors. “I love Kwik Trip coffee because it’s cheap and easy to get. You can even bring your own cup!” Bella Mullally, freshmen, said. The store is convenient, easy to use coffee and cappuccino machines allowed for the two coffee-lovers to pick from the variety of cozy flavors. A version of Pumpkin Spice was chosen once again, as was Kwik Trip’s Cinnamon Honey Graham.  

At the low price of $2.50 for two small coffees, the students moved the taste test into a vehicle, seeing as, unfortunately, Kwik Trip does not provide a seating area. To put it bluntly, the Pumpkin Spice Latte went to the costume party… but did not dress up.

In the way that Starbucks’s version was too harsh on the tongue, Kwik Trip’s tasted as though they had dumped some creamer into the concoction and called it a day. Luckily, the spice made it manageable. In contrast, the Cinnamon Honey Graham Latte set the bar high for other sickeningly sweet gas station drinks. The drink managed a perfect balance of cinnamon and honey and went down the throat without an ounce of disgust. Considering the price that was paid, there was no complaining.

Third stop: Timshel Cafe.

The cafe located in downtown Neenah is a popular hangout spot for students and members of the community alike. At $6.19 for two small drinks, the second lowest of the various totals, the fact that they have soy, almond, and coconut milk, along with the welcoming environment (adorable plants, a fireplace to warm up at, etc.), it is clear why people frequent the shop. “Timshel has serene, calm vibes that make anything from doing homework to enjoying a cup of coffee the best possible experience,” Audrey Makope, junior, said.

Here, the Timshel Cafe version of the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte and a Cardamom Clove Latte — something that had not seen at other cafes — were tested. Beginning with the Pumpkin Spice, a subtle flavor existed underneath the espresso. The latte was not particularly milky, watery, or unbearably strong. A strong scent of tea emerged from the Cardamom Clove once the lid was set aside. The idea behind the flavor was respected, however, it did not bring out the fall feel that the girls were searching for. The two tested favors soon merged together and it became hard to decipher the two drinks from one another.

Overall, more was expected.

Final stop: Cafe Nutrition.

Located the furthest from NHS makes students less likely to visit — though students should definitely consider. Cafe Nutrition has a Salted Caramel Latte and a Caramel Apple Spice drink. Opting to test, once again, the variation of a Pumpkin Spice Latte and Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, the results lead to a pleasant surprise. After a long day of trying virtually the same flavor, the Pumpkin Spice began to seem relatively standard, but still managed a high ranking due to the sweet strength of the spices. The shock came from trying out the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie. Between the uniqueness of the idea combined with the flavors of each ingredient (dates, bananas, almonds, oh my!), the girls loved the smoothie, something that could easily become a breakfast staple.

A somewhat healthy twist on a fall favorite was a great way to end the day.

Here is the final recap from the expedition: