Opinion: Pumpkin Spice Latte is underwhelming but still tasty


Samantha Little

The infamous drink.

Samantha Little, Feature Editor

When I finally started getting the fall feels on Oct. 1, I couldn’t help but come across @therealpsl on Instagram which is “The official Instagram for fall’s official beverage” according to the bio of the verified Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte account. I was amazed that a coffee-based account could have nineteen thousand followers on Instagram, not knowing how popular it actually was. I had heard some of my friends chat about the pumpkin and cinnamon blending together to form perfection and I was immediately interested, being a fall fanatic myself. I’d only been to Starbucks once in my life and had never had a taste of the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte, so on the rainy morning of Oct. 3, I set out to finally decide if the seasonal coffee would taste as great as everyone made it seem.

When I walked into the Starbucks on Port Republic road, I was greeted by the strong aroma of coffee beans. I approached the counter and was confused by the sizes displayed on the menu, thinking that a Tall would actually be tall, a Grande would be a large, and didn’t even know what “Venti” meant. I decided on a Tall Pumpkin Spice Latte and paired it with a Birthday cake pop, knowing that those were popular as well. When the barista handed me my cup I was surprised my name was spelled right, given the many complaints I hear about misspelled names. Once I sat down with my coffee and cake pop I went straight to smelling the delightful drink. The first thought that came to my mind was that it smelled of pumpkin pie and I suddenly was very excited to see if the smell corresponded with the taste. I took a sip of the steamy  coffee and was slightly disappointed to discover that the pumpkin and cinnamon flavor wasn’t as strong as I would’ve liked. Once I got past the lack of my favorite fall flavors and finished all that was in the cup, I decided that the coffee wasn’t what I expected it to be but was generally pleased with overall taste of it. I must congratulate Starbucks on switching to the use of real pumpkins and removing the caramel coloring in their Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but with 37 grams of sugar, 24 more than a standard Caffe Latte, this isn’t something I would drink on a regular basis. However it’s definitely a nice treat that I can say I would drink once in awhile to get into the fall season mood or to warm up on chilly morning.

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