Slideshow: Starbucks unveils fall menu

by Rebekah Schouten
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SEATTLE — Starbucks’ fall menu features plenty of pumpkin, but other flavors such as salted toffee, caramelized apple and ancho pepper also have joined the coffee chain’s autumnal offerings.

For breakfast, Starbucks is offering its first new oatmeal flavor in three years: Dark Chocolate and Caramelized Banana Oatmeal. The dish consists of traditional oatmeal topped with a slow-kettle cooked banana compote and a mixture of single-origin Columbian dark chocolate, roasted almonds and salted toffee.

“Browning the natural sugars in bananas brings out a whole new dimension of richness and complexity,” said Taylor Fernandes, Starbucks product development manager. “When mixed with our oatmeal and the crunchy toppings, the combination of flavors is reminiscent of freshly-baked chocolate chip banana bread.”

Reminiscent of the fall flavor of caramel apple, Starbucks’ new Caramelized Apple Pound Cake features a cream cheese cake swirled with apple spice cake and ribbons of cinnamon and caramelized apples topped with a sweet frosting.

Pushing into pumpkin territory is Starbucks’ new Pumpkin Cheesecake Bar, featuring a blondie base with a cheesecake top swirled with spiced pumpkin.

Bantam Bagels also are joining the Starbucks menu this fall. The mini stuffed bagels are now available nationwide in three flavors: Classic, French Toast and Everything Bagel.

A new addition to the Starbucks fall beverage lineup is the Chile Mocha. Made with espresso and steamed milk infused with cocoa and cinnamon powder, the mocha is topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of Chile Mocha topping, consisting of ancho and cayenne chili pepper, cinnamon, paprika, sugar and a touch of sea salt.

“When we think about fall, often people think about warmth and spice, like cinnamon and apple pie,” said Michelle Sundquist, Starbucks senior product developer. “We decided to take that idea in a new direction with chocolate and a bit of heat. We found that the ancho chili and cayenne perfectly complemented chocolate. It has a sweet touch to it, with an approachable amount of heat. The first sip should be warm and chocolatey, quickly followed by the creaminess of the whip and just a kiss of sweet and savory heat all at once.”

Starbucks is also now offering almondmilk. Customers may customize their orders with the non-dairy alternative in any of Starbucks’ beverages.

“We created our own almondmilk recipe to complement our hot, iced and Frappuccino blended beverages,” said Yoke Wong, manager on Starbucks beverage R.&D. team. “It was designed so that when steamed, it creates a rich foam for hot beverages and is delicious and creamy when served in cold beverages.”

In addition, Starbucks has added Whole Earth Sweetener Co.’s Nature Sweet sweeteners to its condiment bar. Nature Sweet is a zero-calorie sweetener made of a blend of stevia and monk fruit.

“This is Starbucks first Stevia-based zero-calorie sweetener,” said Nick DeJulio, Starbucks brand manager. “Whole Earth Sweetener Co.’s sweetener will help us address the needs of customers looking to cut back on calories without compromising on taste.”

In addition to its new fall fare, Starbucks is bringing back a slew of its seasonal favorites, including the Pumpkin Spice Latte, the Salted Caramel Mocha, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, Pumpkin Scones and Pumpkin Iced Sugar Cookies.

Click for a slideshow of Starbucks fall 2016 menu items
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