Let’s face it: the only thing that’s actually forcing me to get to class on a Monday morning, or really any day, is coffee. Coffee is one of the things I look forward to most as a busy college student.

My favorite local coffee shops here in town are Mugby Junction and Blooming Grounds. They never fail to give me the perfect spot to study and drink my favorite beverage.

Now that fall time is here, my friends and I have been obsessing over the latest seasonal coffees and lattes that Caribou, Mugby Junction, Blooming Grounds and Starbucks have to offer us coffee fanatics. Of course, we have all heard of the infamous pumpkin spice latte, but you would be surprised at how many other fall beverages are being offered.

To explore all the different seasonal coffee drinks, I decided to go on a seasonal coffee hunt! I have visited all my favorite spots for coffee here in Winona and at each place, I tried one of their seasonal coffee drinks.


Here is a recap of my seasonal coffee hunt:



Caribou – Pumpkin Chai Latte


The first place I stopped by was Caribou Coffee, a well-known spot where my friends and I stop in frequently when we are at the library or need a between class pick-me-up. I tried out their pumpkin chai latte since I’m a big fan of chai tea.


However, I must say, I was a little skeptical at the thought of mixing pumpkin with a chai latte at first. The pumpkin and the chai actually went very well together, and I was very pleased with the drink. I thought the flavors were delicious and it was a good balance of sweet and spicy.


My friend decided on a campfire mocha, which I sipped (of course). It was extremely sweet, so I’m not sure I could handle a large campfire mocha… but it would make for a great treat.


Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


Mugby Junction – Vanilla & Maple Latte


My next stop was Mugby Junction, a quick walk from the WSU campus. And let me tell you, their seasonal drink menu was long. I had a hard time picking since they all sounded so good!


I finally decided on a vanilla and maple latte. It had a strong taste of coffee (which I like) with just a hint of vanilla and maple. It wasn’t super sweet. If you don’t love the taste of coffee, this might be too strong for you.


They had many other options, such as pumpkin spice, pumpkin pie and pumpkin caramel lattes. Overall, the seasonal drink selection was awesome and I loved the latte I decided to get.


Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


Blooming Grounds – Salted Caramel Latte


After Mugby, I stopped at Blooming Grounds, an adorable place in downtown Winona. I was torn between the toasted marshmallow latte and the salted caramel latte, but I decided to try the latter since I’m a huge fan of anything caramel. It was the perfect balance of sweet! This was one of my favorites for sure.


Along with those lattes, they also had a peppermint flavor, pumpkin spice (of course) and a white chocolate. My friend decided on a white chocolate latte. It was, again, a little on the sweet side for me, but I did enjoy it more than the campfire mocha from Caribou that we tested out.


Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


Starbucks – Maple Pecan Latte


Finally, we stopped at Starbucks, and at this point I’m nice and caffeinated. Since I’m a frequent shopper at Target, I always find myself in the Starbucks line on my way out so I’ve already tried a few of their seasonal drinks already. This time, though, I got their new maple pecan latte.


I have never tried a “maple” flavored anything in my drinks so this was new for me, but I thought the drink was good. It had good flavor but honestly, it was nothing too special. I wouldn’t choose this drink again or call it a “favorite,” but it did have some nice flavors.


A seasonal drink I have tried and really enjoyed in the past at Starbucks was their salted caramel mocha. The flavors were great, but I couldn’t taste any coffee at all. Their salted caramel mocha, in my opinion, is like a sweeter version of the salted caramel latte from Blooming Grounds.



Overall, my seasonal coffee hunt throughout Winona was successful and there are definitely a few I will be going back for like the salted caramel latte from Blooming Grounds and the vanilla maple latte from Mugby Junction.


Although I was able to test a bunch of different drinks throughout my seasonal coffee hunt, there are still so many flavors I need to try!


As a lover of coffee and local coffee shops, I had the best time looking through all the flavor options for these lattes and mochas. Moral of the story is, there are way more flavors of fall than I could ever dream of!


Updated by Hailey Seipel (07/23/2019)