Autumn is well and truly upon us – and the golden season promises to bring with it the delicious sound of leaves crunching underfoot, not to mention plenty of snuggling up on the sofa with cuddly blankets and warm drinks.
But there’s another reason to welcome the crisper months, thanks to all the seasonal food and drink options that become available in our favourite UK coffee chains. So, if your morning commute includes a takeaway coffee or snack (and whose doesn’t?), then you’re in luck: we’ve put all of this crucial information in one place so that you know exactly where to go to get your autumnal coffee-kicks.
From Pret’s very first Pumpkin Spice Flat White, to Starbucks’ Tumeric Latte, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy...
When it comes to tasty autumnal treats, Pret have certainly not held back: this year’s “hearty” seasonal menu includes both food and beverage options, all of which are now available in their stores nationwide.
So which ones are worth tucking into?
Well, the drinks menu has been upgraded with the launch of the Pumpkin Spice Flat White (£2.75), a worthy opponent of Starbucks’s famous Pumpkin Spice Latte. This version mixes coffee with pumpkin, cinnamon, clove and finishes with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Pret has also introduced a range of autumnal soups, all of which are priced at £3.45.
There’s the indulgent Butternut Squash Dhansak Soup, which is made with coconut cream, chunks of butternut squash, green lentils, mung beans and yellow split spiced with turmeric, coriander, cumin and a hint of chili. Elsewhere, the Vegan Chilli Soup combines three beans (black turtle beans, red kidney beans and black eyed beans), peppers, sweetcorn, brown rice and quinoa for a rush of spicy warmth. Those in the mood for something greener might like to try the Kale, Lentil & Roasted Spice Soup, which has hints of cumin, coriander and smoked paprika.
All of the above are suitable for vegans – but there’s something on offer for the meat-lovers amongst us, too: the Coconut Chicken Curry and Pork & Lentil Ragu (both prices to be confirmed) are both back by popular demand.
And, if you prefer a sarnie to a soup, then you’ll love the Chicken, Basil and Red Pepper Toastie (£4.25) which, once melted, emits wafts of cheesy goodness.
The Starbucks autumn menu really needs no introduction. Being the home of the Pumpkin Spice Latte (£3.15), which for many is a symbol itself of autumn’s arrival, it already has a cult following with customers counting down the days until it begins every year.
Joining this now iconic hot beverage, which is already in stores and blends pumpkin spices and coffee with a flourish of whipped cream, is the Turmeric Latte (£2.65): this drink taps into the season’s latest foodie trend, and is sure to be a hit.
Food-wise, there’s the Boston Beans with Pulled Pork & Potato Rosti (£3.99), which sounds like a filling meal if ever there was one. And, for a sweeter treats, we’re all over the Salted Caramel Cake (£2.29), which layers caramel buttercream on moist chocolate sponge, and the Pumpkin Spice Loaf (£1.99), made with pumpkin puree, ground almonds and pumpkin seeds.
Costa Coffee has certainly got our interests at heart when it comes to its autumn menu, introducing two never-done-before soups to its shelves: both the British Pea & Wiltshire Ham and Slow Roasted Tomato & Basil are priced at £2.99.
There are also plenty of sweet treats available, too. Our personal favourites include the Bramley Apple and Blackberry Crumble Tart (£1.20) and the Spooky Choc O Crunch (£1.20), a crispy rice snack that’s perfect for Halloween, having beem dipped in caramel and topped with edible iced bats.
Images: Pret / Starbucks / Costa