Autumn colors our coffee
Pumpkin spice once again takes over the Shore’s cups
EASTON — The arrival of September and cooler temperatures have triggered a collective thirst for an annual flavor of autumn.
Mid-Shore coffee lovers already are craving the warm, spicy, cozy joe.
And coffee shops and convenience stores in the five-county area are beginning to fill their carafes with the most anticipated flavor of fall — pumpkin spice coffee.
In addition to its sweetened Pumpkin Swirl specialty cof fee, the two Dunkin Donuts shops in Easton have pumpkin spice donuts, which made their debut this week.
Royal Farms, after a week of signage, started dispensing its pumpkin spice blend in Denton this week. Both pumpkin spice coffee and cappuccino came on line in Chestertown on Thursday, Aug. 31.
“(It) is very popular in the fall, and our customers absolutely love it,” Royal Farms corporate spokeswoman Breahna Brown said. “It is one of our most anticipated flavor options all year round.”
Although the autumn equinox occurs officially at 4:02 p.m. Sept. 22,
the approach of Labor Day and the first day of school stir a hankering for the aromatic beverage.
“I love pumpkin spiced coffee,” Stevensville resident Sheryl Jaros posted on Facebook. “For me it brings back memories of boating on the Bay in the fall wearing a sweatshirt.”
Customers at the Wawa on Ocean Gateway in Easton have been asking for weeks for the longawaited coffee blend, one employee said. She declined to say when it would arrive.
However, lovers of Wawa’s pumpkin spice blend will be able to fill up on Labor Day, Sept. 4, according to two sources in Delaware.
“This limited fall offer is sure to be a customer favorite,” Wawa spokeswoman Colleen Labik said.
“In addition to pumpkin spiced coffee in our selfserve area, there will also be pumpkin flavored specialty beverages including cappuccinos, smoothies and lattes,” Labik said. “Bags of pumpkin spice coffee and single serve coffee cups will be available for sale by (Sept. 8).”
After mid-September, Wawa in Cambridge will be closed for a month of remodeling, manager Raymond Ukaria said, so Dorchester cravings for Wawa’s spicy java will have to be satisfied elsewhere.
The craze for all things pumpkin spice has been around for a few years and shows no signs of slowing.
Denton native Chris Spinner Jr. labeled the phenomenon “great marketing.”
A barista at Rise Up Coffee Roasters in Easton said some customers have been asking for pumpkin spice coffee, but it won’t be offered for another couple weeks.
Starbucks at Target in Easton features its seasonal coffees throughout the year. The most popular flavors are salted caramel, eggnog and pumpkin spice with the latter becoming available in October, said Jessica French of Target.
“Every day, people ask when we’ll get pumpkin spice coffee,” French said on Tuesday, Aug. 22. “Four customers in a row just asked about it.”
Bob Nafzinger, a native of Crumpton in Queen Anne’s County, said, “I love hot coffee and pumpkin pie, but would never combine the two.”
Pumpkin spice latte and coffee are available now at 7-Eleven. “If the 7-Eleven app lets me get it for free, I’m all in,” Yolanda Holloway of Denton said.
For tea lovers, Bigelow makes a pumpkin spice black tea.
“I don’t like coffee, but I found a pumpkin spiced tea. It makes me think of a crackling fire in the fireplace and the beautiful pallet of colors God chose for the trees,” Cindy Pyle of Stevensville said.
Still, some just can’t, or won’t, turn over a new leaf when it comes to autumn-style coffee.
“My take on flavored coffees is that they smell so tasty, so warm, so like fall and Halloween, but the actual taste is never as good as the fragrance,” Cynthia Ingram of Denton said.
“Smells delicious, but why do they have to make it so sweet?” Shelagh Grasso of Chestertown asked.
And for Billie Carroll of Unicorn in Queen Anne’s County, only one four-letter word described her feelings: “Yuck.”
Robert Safiullin of Dunkin Donuts on Ocean Gateway in Easton has been serving plenty of pumpkin spice donuts along with pumpkin swirl sweetened coffee during the last week of August.
The 7-Eleven on North Washington Street in Easton has both pumpkin spice coffee and latte for a limited time.