Keeping Warm With a Pumpkin Spice Latte

One of the greatest things about autumn, besides the start of wonderfully cold weather and Halloween, is the pumpkin. Admittedly, I am not the biggest fan of pumpkin year-round. Come October, however, I always give anything with pumpkin a double take. Be it pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice bars, pumpkin cupcakes – you name it, I want it. Call it seasonal spirit, call it buying into commercialism, whatever it is, I want to be a part of it. My first taste of the pumpkin craze took the form of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, a safe start for a new flavor endeavor. my next trip to Peet’s Coffee, I had to have their version. The next thing I knew, I was online looking for recipes so I could have it at any time of the day while avoiding digging into my wallet with each sip.

I like having an audience – people I can feed or make suffer with me. So when my friends had studying to do for upcoming midterms, I jumped at the chance to make this latte. They needed a caffeine and sugar fix, I needed my Pumpkin Spice Latte tested. It was a win-win situation.

My first attempt didn’t work. What happened to the smoothness of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte? What happened to the aromatic spices of Peet’s?

Downing the last bit of that failed concoction, I was more determined to redeem myself. I went on my trusty recipe website in search of the recipe. Simply titled “Pumpkin Spice Latte,” I knew I had found “the One.” Since I did not have an espresso machine, I made sure to brew the coffee stronger than I normally would. I also frantically stirred the spiced pumpkin milk mixture so it was heated. The verdict? It was indeed the one. Below is the Pumpkin Spice Latte, adapted from

2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup milk
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ cup strongly brewed coffee

1. Brew coffee.
2. To make spiced pumpkin milk mixture: combine all of the ingredients, except for the coffee, in a small saucepan. Do not let it boil! Whisk mixture until hot and frothy (I could not get my mixture to froth, so I whisked it to tiny bubbles instead).
3. Pour coffee into a mug and the pumpkin spiced milk over it.
4. Enjoy!