Rating Pumpkin Spice Lattes


Image by Luke Porter from Unsplash

Taylor Lankin and Hailey Espinoza

Fall has just begun, and we have already started seeing so many festive items pop up in stores all around to celebrate this adored season. It’s getting colder as the nights get longer and the leaves begin to fall. What’s better than to cozy up with a pumpkin spice latte from your favorite coffee shop? We have rated pumpkin spice lattes from 3 of the most popular cafes to find the best one for you to sip on this fall (and winter!). 

#1 For Those Who Keep it Classy: Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

Hot (9.5/10)

Taste: So creamy and pumpkin-flavored, with just the right amount of spice.

Color: orange 

Opinions: This was the best hot drink we tried. We both thought it was the perfect pumpkin spice latte. 


Iced (9/10) 

Taste: Super smooth with a great pumpkin flavor, almost fresh tasting.

Color: real pumpkin color

Opinions: This was the best iced drink we tried. I feel it had a bit too much emphasis on the pumpkin flavor, but it is the exact same as its hot version. It was a great balanced flavor that is perfect for fall. 

#2 For Those Who Keep it Simple: Starbucks 

Hot (8/10)

Taste: Smooth with a nice pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon flavor.

Color: nice muted orange

Opinions: We both feel it was a very nice, not too sweet, very balanced drink. It is not too spicy nor does it have too much pumpkin. However, it could have been creamier.


Iced (5.5/10)

Taste: Burnt coffee flavor with a hint of pumpkin, and a faint spice.

Color: Carmel

Opinions: It wasn’t very good. I feel as though it was like I was smelling a very poorly made pumpkin pie from 6 houses away as I drank this. Hailey complained, “It got burnt.”


#3 For Those Who Like it a Bit Sweeter: Dunkin’ Donuts

Hot (4.5/10)

Taste: It was extremely sweet and had an overly spicy taste, a lot like artificial pumpkin. 

Color: Dirty milk

Opinions: To me, it was pretty unpleasant and left a weird aftertaste in my mouth. And Hailey, I quote said, “It gave me a headache, is it rotten?” 


Iced (4/10)

Taste: Grossly sweet and a similar flavor to eggnog. It was creamy but super thick. It lacked the “pumpkin spice” part. 

Color: Coffee color, nothing special

Opinions: Personally, I do not like eggnog, and so I couldn’t bear to take more than 2 or 3 sips of this. Hailey mixed in the whipped cream and ended up enjoying it, but only after the ice melted…


Our Final Thoughts:

Out of all six drinks we tried, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s Hot Pumpkin Latte was the best. Not only were its flavors so nicely balanced, but it was exactly what a pumpkin latte should taste like. If you want a true seasonal festive latte, you need to try it. I did prefer the Starbucks Hot Pumpkin Spice Latte because I like a more muted and sweet pumpkin flavor. As for Hailey, the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Iced Pumpkin Latte, due to its more subtle sweetness and very natural flavor. Our favorites might not be yours, or you may be a pumpkin hater, but don’t knock it till you try it, right? You may find a new favorite drink and a new reason to love the season. Happy Fall!