By Cady Inabinett, Editor in chief, Wesley Walter, Managing editor, Ashlee Hall, Lifestyles editor, Lucy Frost-Helms, Copy editor
Despite the fact that daily high temperatures remain in the mid-80s and wearing a comfy, cozy sweater seems insufferable at the moment, fall is upon us all. Pairing with the autumn equinox is a new slate of seasonal drinks at local coffeeshop Baba Java. Here’s what drinks The Alabamian’s staff felt was worth ordering.
Creamy Apple Cider
This hot drink, made of apple juice, caramel, autumn spice syrup and oat milk, tastes like liquified apple pie filling. As an honest and upright reviewer, I must confess that I messed up in ordering this because I thought there would be coffee in it—there is not—and that my score may be skewed because I was sad there was no coffee in it on account of the fact that I am a coffee fiend. However, I am also an oat milk fiend, so the prominent use of oat milk in this drink earned it some extra points. If you’re not a coffee fan, or you’re looking for a caffeine-free option, this beverage is a comfy, cozy option that embodies an autumnal feel in a fall seasonal beverage landscape—perhaps, hellscape if you’re trying to avoid coffee—that is otherwise dominated by the likes of pumpkin spice lattes.
Pumpkin Pie Latte
I really do not know why I like this so much. I am a notorious pumpkin flavoring hater. Pumpkin spice coming back is like the start of flu season for me. If you want something that is a sickeningly sweet, “it’s fall y’all” style, pumpkin syrup mouth explosion, this is probably not what you’re looking for, but for me it was pretty good. I was a little befuddled at how much I liked it to be honest. It tasted so similar to the honey habanero latte—which is my favorite drink there. At first, I thought they just mixed up my order, or maybe slipped in a little habanero infused honey—an act of espionage most certainly undertaken because they know my sensibilities and reputation as the Montevallo equivalent of the critic from “Ratatouille.” After drinking some more, I could tell it was a different drink however, and it was a pretty good one. It had that good burnt bacon iced coffee taste I like with just a teensy bit of pumpkin flavor on the back end. Reluctantly, I’m a fan.
The Lumberjack Latte
This is a pretty standard sugary latte, but I could definitely see a lumberjack drinking it somehow. Maybe not all lumberjacks, but definitely one who is in touch with his feelings and maybe takes bubble baths after a hard day of swinging ye olde axe. It warms your chest and tastes like something you could drink while pondering some pine trees and hanging out with your ox, or whatever lumberjacks do. The bourbon pecan syrup is nice enough. It doesn’t exactly taste like drinking straight Irish coffee or pecan butter, but, rather, a nice much more muted in between. Like I said, it is a pretty standard latte, but it is tasty enough.
The Flannel Camel
The Flannel Camel includes Brazil cold brew, butter-pecan syrup and maple brown sugar cold foam. The drink is available in a 12 oz size and is only available over ice. While the description of the drink does somewhat match its taste, I experienced a heavy dose of cinnamon flavoring as well as liquor-reminiscent flavors upon the first sip. The cold brew is good quality, but if you’re not one for semi-sweetness, I would pass on this drink. While the syrup and cold foam add sweetness to the drink, this autumnal option would be preferable to those who prefer less sugar in their coffee, which I enjoyed. While I do not think that the description completely panned out in the taste of the coffee, it was still tasty. My only wish is that the cold foam was a tad bit thicker, but, overall, it is a solid fall option for your coffee this semester.
If you like oat milk—I mean, really like oat milk—then this is the beverage for you. The Draft Oat, made of nitro cold brew and oat milk, is easily the simplest drink on Baba Java’s fall menu. Its simplicity might be its downfall, however, as there isn’t much to the flavor other than the taste of oat milk. It’s nice enough, but ultimately just taste like if you had a slightly bitter glass of oat milk.
Maple Brown Sugar Latte
I have a really hard time finding a latte that blows my socks off. When it comes to coffee, I can almost be a snob because I prefer to drink my coffee black than drink a syrupy watered down TikTok drink from Starbucks. I will say however, the Maple Brown Sugar Latte was a latte I would recommend to someone who has more old-fashioned taste buds like me. The maple brown sugar flavor is there but you are not over powered with sweetness. I ordered mine with almond milk and thought the flavors all meshed together really well. Maybe I liked it so much because the barista and I bonded over the Noah Kahan coming over the speakers. I still have to withhold a star because at the end of the day, I am still not ready to drink a hot and frothy drink at 2 p.m. in Alabama, but as soon as it actually starts to feel like fall, I will name this my drink of the season.