In partnership with Starbucks. Fall is my favorite season. The chaos of summer travel has wound down and school is back in session. We’re easing back into routines and, here in San Diego, fall is also almost time to rotate in sweaters and boots to cope with cooling temps and shorter days.

We also have the San Diego beaches—where I walk the dog in the mornings with a cup of coffee in-hand—back to ourselves. In this case, my beach coffee is a Starbucks© Pumpkin Spice Caffe Latte that I made at home with my Keurig using K-Cup® pods.

A Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte enjoyed at the beach in San Diego.

Yes, you heard that right. Fall’s favorite drink just became more accessible and you can grab it along with other K-Cup® pods or ground coffee with the reward offer below. So while you’re at it, pick up Starbucks Fall Blend, available in K-Cup® pods or ground coffee, and Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa.

Fall is a time to savor every sip before the joyful chaos of the holiday season. This is how best to do it.

How to Taste Coffee

Brew up a cup of using Pumpkin Spice Caffe Latte K-Cup® pods. Why not pair it with a fall dessert like apple tarts or pretty much anything pumpkin?

Savor fall with Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte at home.

Then, have fun performing the four actions listed below. They’ll add to the enjoyment of every cup and have you thinking like a barista in no time.


Did you know that while our mouths can taste only salty, sweet, bitter and sour, your nose can detect thousands of smells? The next time you pour a cup of flavorful fall coffee, inhale deeply and smell it.


Yes, really! Slurping coffee allows it to cross your palate and let even the most subtle flavors reach all tasting zones in your mouth.


Focus on how the coffee feels in your mouth and where you’re experiencing the flavors.


What words would you use to describe your coffee tasting experience? Can you compare it to other foods or aromas?

Coffee’s Four Tasting Characteristics

Starbucks Fall Blend comes in K-cup pods or ground coffee.

Now that you know how to taste a cup of coffee, dive deeper into the experience by noting the following. (This is a great way to pass the time when letting the dog out first thing on a crisp fall morning.)


This is the way a coffee smells which could be spicy, earthy, nutty, floral and then some. The smell of a coffee is directly related to its flavor. I love fall coffees like the Starbucks Fall Blend because they lean more toward earthy with a hint of spice.


Do you notice tanginess or tartness in your coffee? This is acidity, a lively characteristic usually felt on the sides and tip of your tongue as well as at the back of your jawbone. If a coffee has high acidity, it’s referred to as bright, tangy and crisp. Low acidity coffees feel smoother in your mouth.


This is the weight of the coffee on your tongue and it’s either light, medium or full. As you might imagine, lighter coffees have a cleaner finish while full-bodied coffees have a lingering, more intense flavor (like nonfat and full fat milk).


Flavor can vary radically between coffees. It can be subtle or bold with flavors including citrus, cocoa, berries and more. Which do you prefer?

Starbucks Reward Offer

It’s time to stock up on fall coffee. With carpools, planning holiday travel and juggling the kids’ schedules. you deserve it!


How do you savor fall?

*This blog post was sponsored by Starbucks but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Take a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Caffe Latte made with a K-Cup® pod to the beach.
This fall, learn how to taste coffee like a pro.
This fall, learn how to taste coffee like a pro with these easy steps.

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