Fall is about curling under a warm blanket on a Saturday afternoon, sipping something sweet, and drowning your worries in hours of Netflix. Unfortunately, this season also means the resurrection of America’s most notorious beverage: the Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL).
Although it’s only the beginning of Autumn, the PSL has already flooded every aisle in the grocery store, every post on Instagram, and every Starbucks ad. Since many customers might have trouble navigating the varying forms of this (over)hyped flavor, we have created a go-to guide for everything pumpkin spice.
Pumpkin spice is a combination of cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice, which is made from dried berries from the Pimenta Dioica plant that grows in Mexico and South America. This is not a strict recipe—sometimes ingredients are modified— but NONE of them include pumpkin!
We have conducted several pumpkin spice taste tests: the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, muffin, bread, and scones. Read below for our opinions!
Pumpkin Spice Latte
It is considered the mascot, the ultimate tastemaker, and the pinnacle of the Autumn season. But is this latte worthy of a “national” holiday (August 27th) or a reputation as the unofficial start of Autumn? We took a poll on Instagram to find out. The total vote was 22 for yes, and 48 for no!
According to the people, pumpkin spice lattes are not the season’s best treat. Over half of the voters polled against the latte, showing that a flavor twist or variation might be needed. Alas, pumpkin spice seems to keep coming back; so clearly, it is up to you to decide if you enjoy this beloved, infamous flavor.
Pumpkin Spice Streusel Muffin
Introducing: the pumpkin spice streusel muffin. This twist on a regular pumpkin flavor is a huge success, combining the texture of a moist muffin with a crumbly streusel topping. Served warm at a Whole Foods Market, this treat is the perfect comfort food while you study for an exam or re-watch Friends on a Sunday morning.
Pumpkin Spice Bread
Some say this is the tastiest treat; others call it the healthiest. Who’s to say it can’t be both? Pumpkin spice bread can be paired with vanilla bean ice cream, a cup of hot cocoa, or some heated caramel sauce. To embrace the healthy nature of this nutritious treat, it can also be paired with applesauce, nuts, and fruit.
Pumpkin Spice Scone
If trying something new is on your to-do list, then the Starbucks pumpkin spice scone is the way to go. It’s easy for a bite on the go and the scone itself tastes like gingerbread. The icing on top covers the whole scone in a shiny coating, which snaps when taking a bite. The combination of spicy and savory in this scone pairs with the sugary icing to make for a delicious treat.
This pumpkin spice everything craze is really just a marketing ploy that tries to entice customers by giving them the perfect image of fall and spice and everything nice. However, we were pleasantly surprised by some of these pumpkin spice sweets and suggest you taste a few, too!
Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll be the next pumpkin spice lover who is responsible for the beverage’s domination every Autumn.