Now that pumpkin beer and actual pumpkins are back in season, it’s also time for pumpkin lattes and coffee! Like pumpkin brews, you have sugary-sweet and decadent options in the form of the infamous Starbucks pumpkin latte, as well as bold and robust options in the form of ground coffee with added spices.
The Starbucks pumpkin latte comes back into stores every year on September 4th, and is around through Halloween and Thanksgiving, until the holiday season officially starts and it is replaced by the peppermint latte. This drink, like all Starbucks drinks, is made up of mostly milk, sugar, and espresso, but also contains pumpkin syrup, some, spices, and whipped cream. The stuff that makes this drink pumpkin spice rather then regular coffee is all in the syrupy goodness, not the actual brew of the coffee.
If this is your thing, you can pick up a drink from your local Starbucks, but be prepared to drop a few bucks; like all their drinks, it isn’t exactly cheap. You can also make your own pumpkin spice late using this awesome D.I.Y. recipe from thekitchn.com, which calls for milk, espresso, syrup, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice. If you are more into supporting your local coffee shops, most usually break out the pumpkin syrup around this time of year and either have their own, custom drinks or are glad to add a little pumpkin to your chai or latte. Crossroads, Lamplighter, and Rostov’s in Richmond, to name a few, all have great specialty pumpkin drinks in the fall. And of course, 7-11 has a pumpkin spice “latte” on tap that, while incredibly sugary and delicious, tastes pretty processed and nondescript. Still, you can’t go wrong for a dollar a refill all the time.
Finally, there is the kind of pumpkin coffee experience that is to pumpkin lattes what Pumpking is to some of the sweeter, spicier beers. Ground coffee with spices, and even sometimes pumpkin pieces, roasted into the mix, gives you that full, fall flavor without any syrup or drinks that are more milk and sugar then coffee. Those who drink black coffee all year round will rejoice that they can join in this craze but not compromise the integrity of their coffee drinking. Gevalia makes a pumpkin spice roast that blends the flavor of Arabica beans with cinnamon and ginger, and this is just one of the many brands that sells ground pumpkin coffee.
No matter what your pumpkin coffee preferences are, you are bound to find something you like this season, and between that and pumpkin beer, you can enjoy the spiciness 24/7 until the Holiday Season rolls around!
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