Everyone has heard of the pumpkin spice latte, or PSL if you will. It is a classic fall drink that we look forward to all year. But, what makes this drink so popular? The sweet syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon, some whipped cream, and best of all, the spice. A pumpkin spice latte can be enjoyed hot or cold and if you’re like me, it can be enjoyed at any time of day. And the earlier they release this fall flavor, the better. Nothing is more disappointing than pulling up to the drive-thru speaker at the beginning of October and they don’t even have it yet. Once I get the first sign of fall, a slight chill, some color in the leaves, I need that PSL.
There’s even a ‘pumpkin pie spice’ that you can buy at most food stores to make your own PSL. Some places, like your regular chain grocery store, sell this little spice container that I’ve seen at most for about nine dollars. I would recommend Trader Joe’s if they’re in your area. You can get a pretty decent sized glass container for about half the price.
All you need to create your own fall classic pumpkin spice latte is; milk, pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, sugar, a strong brewed coffee or espresso, and the optional whipped cream and cinnamon topping. Don’t forget the festive mug and a place to set your cup that screams “PSL” for all of the Instagram photos that are required. Preferably by some pumpkins or leaves, or a good selfie in your finest flannel and winter scarf taking a sip of your beautiful creation.
Pumpkin spice isn’t just a drink anymore either. Companies have caught on to our need for PSL, and put that flavor into a variety of other food items. There’s pumpkin spice baked goods (Trader Joe’s also has a good pumpkin cinnamon roll that just needs to be put in an oven), pumpkin spice toast, multiple brands of pumpkin spice cereal, pumpkin spice egg nog and creamer, the possibilities are endless. I wish pumpkin spice was an all year round flavor, but something about the chilly fall weather just makes it taste better. Would we not worship the pumpkin flavor if it was regularly available to us? I like to think I would stay loyal to pumpkin spice no matter what, but it wouldn’t be the special fall treat if I could order it all year. Imagine a common flavor, we’ll go with hazelnut. If hazelnut wasn’t available all year round then it would become the new PSL. I would love it if I could get all flavors at all times, like peppermint coffees that are typically only for the winter or a fruity iced tea I can only get in the summer but would be just as refreshing in the fall.
Another thing to consider is new flavors, if you kept all flavors all year then you would have a hundred flavors to choose from. Unless they did the worst possible thing and discontinued a flavor, who do they think they are anyways? New things are always exciting to try out and it’s how they lure you in. I remember the time that Sonic came out with a pickle juice slushy. I love pickles, therefore I needed to try this. A friend and I ordered our food at one of the speakers you park at and then out came my slushy. After one sip I got out of the car and threw it away. It was awful. But they sucked me into coming to their restaurant and ordering a meal to go with my disgusting slushy.
Seasonal flavors or limited time anything are what drive people into these places. I go to Dunkin’ probably ten times more in the fall for my PSL. If I always had the pumpkin flavor choice, it would probably be one of my regulars, but it wouldn’t be the only flavor I get like in the fall. Long story short, cherish every moment with your pumpkin spice latte, you’ll have to wait another agonizing year until she returns.