Pumpkin Spice Lattés Are Nostalgia

But why do we have to have pumpkin spiced everything else?

Pumpkin Spice Lattés Are Nostalgia

Let me start by saying that until my second daughter was born, I had little to no interest in drinking coffee. That was eight years ago, and at some point during those eight years, my good friend Stacey suggested I try a pumpkin spice latté from Starbucks. I was dubious — outside of anything with peanut butter flavoring or chocolate, I tend to be a little bit of a purist and don't generally put anything in my coffee but milk and sugar. The notion of consuming pumpkin spice anything was at first off-putting, but I figured I might as well try it.

That was about six years ago and I'm looking forward to the launch of pumpkin spice lattés (again) in the same way some children look at Christmas.

I didn't get why the pumpkin spice latté was so appealing at first. I do now, with its sprinkle of all the spices that make pumpkin pie so welcoming: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove, mild hint of pumpkin purée, and the steamed milk; I end up feeling a little like I'm wrapped in a blanket on a chilly autumn day. God knows I've had enough of them on chilly fall mornings on my way in to work. I just need to smell it and my day seems instantly better.

Maybe it's the connection to the pumpkin pies my mom used to make. I'd come in the door from a long few weeks at university for Thanksgiving and the magnificent blend of heat and spices told me I was well and truly home. It's like your loved ones are finally there to take care of you when you've been on your own for the first time; at least, that's what the smell reminds me of and, as I'm becoming increasingly busy in the run-up to the first day of school, I know for sure I'll be heading out to grab one shortly.

What I don't understand, though, is the abundance of pumpkin spice product that is now popping up on store shelves. While I definitely try to be a part of the "don't knock it til you've tried it" club, I definitely think there's a bit of overkill happening on store shelves.

While the pumpkin spice latté is something I enjoy at this time of year, I have tried the pumpkin spice coffee some stores offer, including Starbucks, and it's just not the same. The bitterness of the coffee almost overwhelms the sensation generated by the spices, and without the steamed milk there isn't that sense of comfort that the pumpkin spice latté brings. I have also been known to occasionally enjoy the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen; that said, the thought of pumpkin spice cereal in my cereal cabinet turns my stomach a little. Again, I can be something of a purist; Mini-Wheats, for instance, should be either white or brown sugar. I don't know if I can embrace a pumpkin spice Mini-Wheat or Cheerios.

Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispie Squares? Nope.

Pumpkin Pie Toaster Strudel? While I love Toaster Strudel, I tend to be an apple flavor adherent, so I can't see me grabbing these for a try.

Pumpkin spice caramels from Werther's? This news made me sad, as I love Werther's Originals products. There's something really comforting about putting one of their caramels in my mouth and just letting it melt. It's kind of like having hot caramel on a sundae, decadent and smooth, and throwing pumpkin spice in there just seems really strange.

Perhaps the biggest shocker to me about the whole pumpkin spice explosion was news about pumpkin spice deodorant. Deodorant?CBC Life writer Marc Beaulieu put it succinctly when he wrote about Native's plans for pumpkin spice deodorant.

"Enter the age of the autumn armpit," he said, also noting that with its all-natural ingredients "you'll be doing your body gourd."

Here's the deal. When I work out, I sweat a lot. After I shower, my only interest is in smelling good so I don't cause the masses to run away screaming. I don't want to smell like a pumpkin patch. While I understand that many deodorants and body sprays are scented now, I also think that those who are "scent"-sitive will definitely have a real problem with this new pumpkin flavored offering from Native.

With all of that being said, you'll have to excuse me.

There's a pumpkin spice latté calling my name.

pop culture
Christina St-Jean
Christina St-Jean
Read next: Easy, Cheating Prawn and Cream Cheese Risotto
Christina St-Jean

I'm a high school English and French teacher who trains in the martial arts and works towards continuous self-improvement.

See all posts by Christina St-Jean