A Pumpkin Latte a Day Keeps the Witches Away

In an alternate universe, the harvesting of crops, a crisp chill in the air and shorter days would mark the arrival of fall. Instead, the release of the pumpkin spice latte (#PSL for short) triggers the transition. Starbucks — of course — holds the keys to this sacred tradition.

This year Starbucks released their pumpkin spice latte in late August. I’d be cautious to call the PSL a cultural phenomenon, although the company did trademark the acronym in 2013. Customers are invited to connect with the PSL on Twitter and Tumblr, and Starbucks reports more than 200 million have been ordered since their introduction in 2003.

The recipe has remained the same for the past 11 years. However, missing from the formula is real pumpkin. Feeling duped by the lack of actual pumpkin, I devised my own pumpkin syrup that’s heavy on the orange stuff.

Once cooked, the syrup takes on a thicker consistency, akin to applesauce. A full batch makes almost two cups. For those less inclined to hit the caffeine, I’ve found steamed pumpkin milk (almond milk would also be amazing) hits the spot. I’ve also sautéed firm pears and apples with a few tablespoons of the pumpkin syrup to serve over ice cream.

Don’t worry if the finished product tastes overly sweet — it invariably will! Any strong espresso or dark coffee will cut through the sugar.

Pumpkin brews have also found shelf space this season, including Phillips’ Crooked Tooth and Crookeder Tooth pumpkin ale, and Sea Cider’s Witches Brew semi-sweet cider.

If you’re looking to pick up a pumpkin latte around town, Starbucks is an obvious option. Tim Hortons has recently made a move on the pumpkin drink market but, apologies, I haven’t worked up the courage to test out their offering. Fernwood Coffee has a honey macchiato on their fall menu. Hey Happy Coffee’s seasonal drink is a sarsaparilla (root beer) latte, made in-house with autumn roots and spices. Shatterbox Coffee are serving a graham cracker latte, complete with its own hashtag, the #CGL. Share your favourite fall beverages with EAT on Twitter or Facebook.


We’d also love to see your fall food traditions. Tag your photos with @eatmag on Instagram or tweet us using @eatmagazine and show us how you’re using the maple pumpkin syrup.


prepping the ingredients


Maple Pumpkin Latte


1 ½ cups real pumpkin puree (Not canned pumpkin pie)Ingredients.pumpkin.brown sugar. maple syrup

1 cup water

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup maple syrup

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix (Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove)

2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Combine water, sugar, and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat and cook until all sugar has dissolved. Turn heat to medium-low and bring to a light boil, reducing the liquid by a third.
  2. Add pumpkin, spices and vanilla. Stir to combine and cook for another 5 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Cool completely and refrigerate in a sealed container for up to two weeks.
  4. To make a latte, brew your favourite espresso and steam your milk of choice. Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin syrup (depending on the size of your mug) with the coffee. Combine with milk and top with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg.
  5. For those without an espresso machine, brew an extra strong cup of coffee and combine with the syrup. Heat milk over the stove and froth with a whisk. Combine with coffee.finished product

Written By:

Kaitlyn Rosenburg holds a BFA in creative writing with a minor in journalism and publishing from the University of Victoria. Her work has appeared in local publications such as The Martlet, as well as national publications like ...

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