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My Five Starbucks Faves That Are Perfect for Finals Season

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

I have never had Starbucks before.

Correction: I had never had Starbucks before I moved to Florida, which was in 2015. 

Yet, the first time I allowed the trademark clear and green cup of the brand to pass my lips, I immediately regretted that oversight. I had ordered a tall Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with whipped cream and I felt absolutely ecstatic.

I’m from Blakeslee, Pennsylvania, a small town boasting a little over 1,000 citizens. What we had to offer was Dunkin’ Donuts and a newly added Dominoes, which was in line with the other limited fast-food chain options like McDonald’s. 

So, when I moved to a major metropolitan city, to try Starbucks and have a cup of my own? That was an entirely new concept to me. To prepare for it, I spent minutes scrutinizing every minuscule detail of each Starbucks drink. It was to the point where I resorted to reading reviews from obscure forum sites whose users were mostly housewives. I still hated the drink though. The Frappuccino was much too sweet and overall just looked unappetizing. It had a stark likelihood of fresh snow which had been recently marred by mud. 

I didn’t let that one experience mar my interactions with Starbucks. I tried cake pops, decided I hated them and then slowly adapted to the taste of coffee. My appreciation (love’s a bit strong of a descriptor) for Starbucks did not come immediately.

It took a lot of time. 

But, when the positive response to trying a new order overpowered my negative ones, I knew things were going well. I established favorites and even added some other items to a permanent do-not-ever-order-even-if-your-life-is-at-stake list. 

Simply speaking, Starbucks now harbors a lot of beverages and food items that I enjoy. As final exam season has already begun for many, I thought it would be interesting to share some of my favorites that will definitely help me pull through. 

1. Iced Peppermint Mocha

It’s a classic drink that’s perfect for the holiday season. I wouldn’t have it during my Spring finals season, since it’s not available, but it’s well-suited for Winter finals season. 

The drink may be iced, but the menthol found in the peppermint always gives me a warming sensation. 

So, it all works out. 

I sub the regular mocha for white mocha and have the drink in the Grande size with oat milk. 

2. Cheese Danish (warmed)

When I stated that I would disclose some of my Starbucks faves, it’s completely valid to assume that I meant just the drinks. However, I like to have a sweet treat when I visit the franchise. The Cheese Danish is another classic that pairs well with all other beverages before and following the pastry’s place on this list. The cheese is a perfect consistency, and the puff pastry is enough to the point where it doesn’t easily flake off. 

3. Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

The pumpkin cream makes the beverage so flavorful, and it’s loaded with caffeine since it’s a cold brew-based drink. There’s just enough sweetness because of the pumpkin cream.

The cold brew is a great alternative to just having plain old bitter expresso. I still will feel the jittery effects, but at least there’s a bit of a reward because it tastes good. Same with all of my milk-based drinks, I have the cold brew with oat milk. Whether I drink it hot or iced is dependent on my mood, but I always have it in the Grande size.

4. Glazed Doughnut

Yes, you read that right. Starbucks does in fact have doughnuts (one variety), which is something I’ve had to tell people as a fun new fact for quite a bit of time. They’re glazed old-fashion style doughnuts that are chewy and firm. They’re one of the cheapest baked goods off their menu and are served cold (or maybe I just never bothered to request them warmed). Nevertheless, I prefer to eat doughnuts with a coffee-based drink. 

5. Iced Passion Tango Tea

When I grow tired of milk alternatives and coffee overall, tea is where I turn. I like to have this drink when I need something refreshing, but having water feels a bit boring to do. When I drink Starbucks, I treat myself. Who treats themselves to plain water? The drink is unsweetened but is fragrant, which is really appreciated in the Venti size. 

As you read these favorites, you may have some unanswered questions. Such as, why in my personal opinion do I find these Starbucks items perfect for finals season? 

They’re perfect because that’s what I ordained them to be. 

When I eat those aforementioned pastries and drink those beverages, they provide comfort to me. They taste good and make me feel good at times when I need a little pick-me-up.

So, during finals season, when stress levels are often at an all-time high, sometimes what you need is just something you like. 

Any Starbucks fave is perfect for finals season, so you wish it to be. 

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Victoria is a Sophomore at Florida State University. She's been at Her Campus FSU since her Freshman fall and currently edits articles for her writer team! In her free time, she enjoys adding to her collection of 100+ Spotify playlists and finding more female-oriented books with unlikeable protagonists. Besides reading and writing, she also enjoys deep cleaning her house and binge-watching TV shows.