Friday, October 5, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Latte Love

A favorite fall ritual for coffee lovers everywhere is drinking up pumpkin spice lattes. Coffee companies cleverly save this special seasonal flavor for the fall, and millions of coffee lovers fall for the warm, spicy flavors.

This year Starbucks has been running out of the flavor, causing many to complain and even write haikus to express their love for the drink. But fear not, I’ve got other options including a homemade version to try. 

Peet’s has a delicious pumpkin spice latte that I prefer over Starbucks’ because it isn’t as sweet and doesn’t have such a strong nutmeg flavor. If you like cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa or sugar added, it’s easy to customize your drink. I happily received my latest at Peet’s gratis, unaware that they were offering the drink for free that week, which made it even more enjoyable.  

If you’re lucky enough to live by Philz Coffee, I strongly recommend their Gingerbread Iced Coffee offered year-round. Philz makes gourmet concoctions the slow and hand-crafted way with superior coffee and combinations. It’s worth the wait, and their out-of-this-world gingerbread flavors create a cold and satisfying coffee beverage. It’s almost a dessert but not too sweet, and packs a powerful caffeine punch. The paradoxical cold temperature surprisingly works well with the autumnal flavors. 

Lastly, consider making your own pumpkin spice latte at home, and experiment with the ingredients and spices to find the perfect combination that satisfies your coffee cravings. Here’s a recipe adapted from one originally found at Brew, blend, sip, and savor.

Pumpkin Spice Latte
1 T canned pumpkin
1 c nonfat milk
½ c hot brewed coffee (I prefer Peet’s French Roast)
1 t pumpkin pie spice
1 T sugar (or to taste)

In a small saucepan, heat pumpkin and milk until warm, mixing with whisk. Pour into blender and add remaining ingredients. Blend on high until thoroughly combined. Pour into your favorite coffee mug, and top with a dash of cinnamon. Ahhh...

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