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What’s In Pumpkin Spice Latte

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August 25 is not a day that is particularly known for feeling especially crisp or autumnal in most parts of North America. And yet its the day in 2020 the earliest release date so far that Starbucks chose to ready its blazing orange jugs of pumpkin sauce and unleash its annual run of pumpkin spice lattes upon its customers.

Youd be forgiven for mistaking this tone for one of disdain. Since its inception in 2003, the pumpkin spice latte has become something of a straw man for discussions about capitalism, seasonal creep, and the meaning of basic, resulting in widespread hatred for an otherwise innocuous beverage.

For example, back in 2014, at the height of pumpkin spice mania, this very website described the PSL as an unctuous, pungent, saccharine brown liquid, equal parts dairy and diabetes, served in paper cups and guzzled down by the liter even though clearly the pumpkin spice latte is a highly delicious treat that pairs well with wearing vests and making dorky comments about how crisp the air feels today. Yes, it contains 380 calories yes, it will make your coffee a rather unappetizing orange color no, you should not guzzle it down by the liter.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Is Back

You can order from Starbucks’ fall lineup starting Tuesday.

Corinne Reichert

Senior Writer

Corinne Reichert grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently oversees the CNET breaking news desk for the West Coast. Corinne covers everything from phones, social media and security to movies, politics, 5G and pop culture. In her spare time, she watches soccer games, F1 races and Disney movies.

Starbucks‘ revered seasonal beverage, the pumpkin spice latte, has returned. The PSL is back Tuesday, just in time for the final long weekend of the summer, with Labor Day kicking off the beginning of the fall season.

It’s the 19th season of the PSL, which mixes espresso with real pumpkin and flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spices.

The pumpkin cream cold brew is also back for the fourth year. Starbucks is slightly changing the recipe for its apple crisp macchiato, which debuted last year. It’s now made with oat milk and blonde espresso.

Other fall offerings include the pumpkin cream cheese muffin and pumpkin scone, an owl cake pop and a new line of cups and mugs.

Is There A Difference Between Pumpkin Latte And Pumpkin Spice Latte

To begin, it has a much reduced amount of sweetness, and the pumpkin spice cream is complemented by the genuine coffee tastes. The Pumpkin Spice Latte comes in a 16-ounce grande size, which has 380 calories and 50 grams of sugar. The grande version of the regular Pumpkin Spice Latte has 250 calories and 31 grams of sugar.

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Does Starbucks Use Real Pumpkin

As a direct result of this, public demand increased, and in 2015, the headquarters of Starbucks declared that they had made the huge decision to utilize actual pumpkin. Pumpkin may only be there in the form of pumpkin puree, but at least it is there.Use your gourd In 2003, when the Pumpkin Spice Latte was initially introduced to consumers, Starbucks was a pioneer in the use of the taste of pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Is Back At Starbucks

Pumpkin Spice Latte

It’s not autumn without the pumpkin spice latte, is it?

But this year, it’s not alone – it’s being joined by the new pumpkin cream cold brew , which is landing in the UK after major success across the Atlantic. The new beverage sees Starbucks Cold Brew brewed in small batches, combining water with ground coffee.

Steeped for 20 hours to create a smooth coffee with a rich flavour, the pumpkin cream cold brew is infused with a touch of vanilla and topped with pumpkin cream foam, where vanilla cream is frothed and blended with pumpkin spice sauce to create layers of creamy texture and flavour. To finish, its dusted with pumpkin spice topping for an extra taste of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.

Joining the pumpkin spice latte and the pumpkin cream cold brew is the iced salted maple and caramel latte which sees Starbucks blonde espresso roast and milk infused with a salted maple sauce for a creamy and balanced taste. Poured over ice, the beverage is then topped with a crunchy caramel topping.

It’s not just new drinks heading onto the autumn menu – the new American deli meats focaccia and the vegetarian mushroom and egg muffin will also be making an appearance, while vegans will be able to enjoy the plant-based fiery no’ chicken wrap . Egg bites with three cheese and ham is also now available from £3.20.

Here’s the full line-up of new menu items:

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We Got Different Ingredients

Overall, the ingredients were similar, but there were slight differences. We initially called Starbucks customer service and they said that all of the syrups sold in their online store are the same ones that are used in the restaurant, and that specifically the Pumpkin Sauce is the same. The online version here says Pumpkin Sauce contains high fructose corn syrup. They also divulged the ingredients in the whipped cream, spice topping, and soy milk.

Whats In A Pumpkin Spice Latte

In pumpkin spice lattes youll find at your average coffee shop , the ingredients can get a little dicey and often include natural flavors, carrageenan, and a lot of sugar. These arent things we necessarily avoid entirely, but do choose to limit whenever possible. Our homemade version includes real food ingredients like:

  • coconut milk
  • & espresso or your coffee of choice

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Are There Pumpkin Spice Latte Alternatives To Sip On

Tere are some simple tweaks you can make to your order to swiftly bring down the calorie count. ‘Swap to a “short” or “tall” size,’ advises Lauren Helen Marsh, nutritional therapist and health coach at holistic wellness platform Able. ‘Also, try asking for less syrup, and lose the whipped cream.’ Similarly, opting for skimmed fat milk can help.

If you’re WFH, why not take the DIY approach? ‘Homemade versions made with pumpkin purée and spices, which are balanced with some whey protein would make a better alternative,’ suggests Humphries. In fact, why not give a pumpkin spice protein shake a go for after your workout.

If you’re still after a season-appropriate fix on the move, then try upgrading your regular caffeine order instead. ‘If the grab-and-go situation is the only option, then adding the pumpkin spice topping or cinnamon to a regular coffee could provide all the autumn vibes without the extra sugar,’ recommends Humphries.

Ditch The Starbucks And Drink This Instead

How to Make MOST ACCURATE Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

Mama Natural has a version of a homemade pumpkin spice latte that actually uses real pumpkin! And 100 Days of Real Food has a few quick and easy alternative recipes see help graphic below.

You can also try a latte with my homemade pistachio milk, which is one of my favorite treats! Also, seek out locally-owned organic fair trade coffee shops in your area. My favorite is Larrys Beans Organic Fair Trade coffee.

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A Pumpkin Spice Recipe To Try

Thinking about going rogue and trying to make your own pumpkin spice concoction? Go for it! After all, experimentation was how the pumpkin spice latte was created in the first place.

However, if you are more of a recipe follower, try out this pumpkin spice muffin recipe that will complement your latte perfectly!

Is The Pumpkin Spice Latte Healthy

This entirely depends on your wellness goals. But first, let’s get the facts. A ‘grande’ order of the drink will provide you with 361 calories, along with 17g fat, 36g sugar, 4.1g fibre and 9.4g protein.

Aside from its lack of nutritional value, Eva Humphries, a BANT-registered nutritionist highlights the sugar content as something to be aware of. ‘A “grande” Pumpkin Spice Latte has more sugar than most cakes available at Starbucks,’ she notes. ‘Ideally, it should be treated like dessert. If you aren’t inclined to have dessert every day, then reaching for one of these shouldn’t be a daily thing either – but more of a treat from time to time.’

This is particularly important if you are aiming to change your body composition. ‘Excess sugar can really mess with our capacity to mobilise fat which may negatively impact both weight loss and maintenance goals,’ explains Humphries. As a reminder, the NHS recommends adults have no more than 30g of free sugar total per day.

On top of this is the temptation to swap out your regular coffee for a PSL with breakfast in the AM. ‘Studies suggest a large amount of sugar first thing in the morning may ramp-up sugar cravings for hours to come,’ warns Humphries. ‘This may then impact on our ability to make healthy choices for the rest of that day.’ Plus, leave you vulnerable to an unpleasant sugar crash .

The takeaway? As always, enjoy, but in moderation.

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Why Does Pumpkin Spice Taste Good

Why precisely are so many Americans obsessed with pumpkin spice flavors and products?Researchers who study perception at Johns Hopkins University have determined that the strong odor is to blame.The aroma of this fall taste typically brings back warm and comforting memories, which contributes to a widespread sense of melancholy and an increased desire to get back in touch with the impending season.

All 23 Ingredients In The Best

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Were often told that you should never eat anything if you dont recognize everything on the ingredients list. But since most of us have no idea what xanthan gum or potassium benzoate are or more importantly, what theyre doing to our bodies were decoding the ingredients in the many things Americans put in themselves with the help of an expert.

This edition: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, which is made from 23 separate ingredients that weve broken down in the exact order they appear on their website.

But before diving into the ingredients, lets quickly address the question were all asking: What the hell is pumpkin spice, anyway? In truth, theres no one recipe for pumpkin spice: Many iterations, including the pumpkin spice found in this latte, consist of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves . But as food scientist Kantha Shelke explains in the video embedded below, some pumpkin spice mixtures can be made up of more than 300 flavor compounds:

The popularity of pumpkin spice can be almost solely attributed to Starbucks, who first released their pumpkin spice latte in 2003 . As for why pumpkin spice has become so incredibly popular since then, the explanation is some combination of nostalgia and seasonalityin parts of America where fall doesnt always mean lower temperature and falling leaves , the availability of the pumpkin spice latte acts as the only real marker of the fall season.

Now that you know all about pumpkin spice, lets look at these ingredients

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Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte


  • 1/4 c. of your favorite strong hot coffee
  • 1 c. unsweetened milk*
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • Optional: whipped cream for serving


  • Brew coffee and add to a large mug and set aside
  • Stove top method: In a small saucepan, add the milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk together until smooth and heat until milk is hot , stirring to prevent scalding. Microwave method: Add the milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice to a large mug or glass measuring cup. Whisk together until smooth and heat in 30 second intervals until hot.
  • Froth your milk and pumpkin mix from step 2 using a milk frother, or whisk by hand. Pour the mixture over the coffee/espresso, top with some whipped cream or some of the remaining frothed milk mixture , sprinkle lightly with more pumpkin spice and enjoy!
  • *Customize your PSL with an unsweetened milk option: 2% and whole milk will create a creamy drink, whereas almond milk will taste watery. Soy and coconut milk will be creamier than almond milk. If you only have sweetened soy/almond milk, try adding only 2 teaspoons of maple syrup.

    The Backlash Is About Our Anxieties Around Capitalism

    The fact that the pumpkin spice latte which, to many, conjures the scents and imagery of Thanksgiving is released in increasingly hot weather year after year is often touted as an ominous harbinger of the evil forces of seasonal creep. Its agricultural revisionism! argue some, citing the fact that pumpkins arent actually in season until autumn proper.

    A viral John Oliver clip from 2014 declares as much, noting that that bottle of pumpkin-flavored science goo sits behind the counter of Starbucks, never aging, like Ryan Seacrest:

    Perhaps in response to such criticism, in 2019 Starbucks released its second pumpkin spice beverage since the PSLs introduction, but this time, its cold. The Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is a vanilla cold brew with pumpkin cold foam and topped with pumpkin spice, which CNBC describes as less sweet and has a stronger coffee taste than a pumpkin spice latte.

    The success of the PSL is also largely responsible for the barrage of pumpkin spice-flavored everything else, including cream cheese, dog treats, Kahlua, and an especially wacky seasonal crossover, Peeps. There have also been air fresheners, deodorant, even Four Loko , resulting in the expected amount of hand-wringing about a food trend gone too far.

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    Why This Recipe Works

    Why is this PS latte recipe so great?

    • It’s made with real food ingredients. That means it tastes better and is much healthier!
    • It’s customizable to your diet. You can easily reduce the sugar, make it dairy free, gluten free, or caffeine free.
    • You can make it ahead. Mix up a batch of the pumpkin milk and keep it in your fridge for up to 5 days, then make a latte whenever you please!

    Pancakes For A Perfect Fall Breakfast

    The Pumpkin Spice Latte Of Boots… LL Bean Boots

    A perfect fall breakfast involves pumpkin spice pancakes! Most reviewers are loyal return customers of this ready-to-make pancake mix from Krusteaz, complimenting its taste, convenience and how fluffy the pancakes turn out every time. Add chocolate chips, blueberries or pumpkin spice powder for extra zest and have fun with it.

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    Starbucks: Stop Putting Toxic Chemicals In Your Pumpkin Spice Latte

  • Tell Starbucks to remove unnecessary carcinogenic caramel coloring by commenting on their and pages.
  • Call their customer service department at 1-800-782-7282 and ask them to remove these harmful additives and post all of their ingredients online.
  • Join GMO Inside and sign the petition asking them to serve organic milk at all locations.
  • Thank you for your activism and spreading the word in advance. Together we can change the food system. Hopefully in the near future, we can have treats like these without worrying about the toxic chemicals in them!


    Update 4/6/2015: I received an email from Starbucks representatives that they have started to remove caramel coloring level IV. we recently transitioned the vanilla syrup in our US and Canada stores to a new formula which is free from caramel coloring. We prioritized vanilla as it is an ingredient in our whipped cream, so with this one change we removed caramel coloring from many beverages. We are actively working on the rest and dont have a specific timeline to share at this time. Go Food Babe Army Go!

    Complete Ingredients In Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte:

    Milk, Espresso , Pumpkin Spice Flavored Sauce , Annatto , Natural and Artificial Flavors, Caramel Color , Salt, Potassium Sorbate ), Whip Cream ), Pumpkin Spice Topping: Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove, Sulfites.


    Starbucks Organic Soy Milk : Filtered Water, Organic Whole Soybeans, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Calcium Carbonate, Organic Vanilla Flavor, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Carrageenan, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin B2 , Vitamin B12, Zinc Gluconate.

    Starbucks Organic Soy Milk : Filtered Water, Organic Whole Soybeans, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Vanilla Flavors, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Carrageenan, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin B2 , Vitamin B12.

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    Is Pumpkin Spice Latte Very Sweet

    A pumpkin spice latte, often known as a PSL , smells and tastes like autumn bottled up in a cup, and drinking one is like getting a warm embrace for your soul.Its a warm and comforting mouthful of spices thats sweet, but not sickeningly so.All right, so its quite sweet, but not sickeningly so.Regardless, as soon as it is available again on the menu, you will make it your go-to coffee drink.

    Whats In Pumpkin Spice Seasoning

    The Best Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe Plus 5 Bonus Fall Drink Recipes ...

    If you already have ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and either allspice or cloves in your spice cabinet, you wont need to purchase a pumpkin spice mix from the shop. You can make your own using the spices listed above. You only need to combine the two ingredients and then youll be ready to bake all of your pumpkin spice goodies.

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    Are Pumpkin Spice Lattes Healthy

    During the fall months, pumpkin spice lattes have established themselves as a must-have beverage.Although these beverages often include a lot of sugar and calories, they are nevertheless OK to have on occasion as a special treat.You may improve the nutritional value of your PSL by following a few simple instructions, which are shown below.Pumpkin spice becomes ubiquitous as soon as one detects even a whiff of fall it may be found in everything from baked goods to beverages.


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