Friday, February 21, 2020

What I Really Think of the Infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte

Although the pumpkin spice latte has been around for years, I tried my first one today. Crazy, right?! It’s just that I generally dislike pumpkin-flavored things. But today was a different day. Today, I had eight hours of sleep and woke up on the right side of the bed. Hubs made me a super delicious breakfast before he left for work, and the construction workers outside apologized for their loudness. Today, the sun was shining bright in generally gray London. Today, the weather was warm enough to let go of a jacket but still cool enough for flannel. I saw an adorable pug that just communicated with his eyes, telling me, “Keep walking, you adventurer. Keep doing you.”

Listening to that adorable pug, I made my way to my favorite coffee shop only to end up on the wrong street. Instead, there was a Starbucks, and I scoffed to myself, thinking, “That’s so mainstream.” Then I saw the sign in the window for the PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE (PSL) and thought to myself, “Wow, that’s even more mainstream.”

I tried to keep walking, but for some reason, there was this nagging voice in my head that kept circling to the front, whispering, “You’ve never even had a PSL, you judgmental coffee snob-woman!” I just couldn’t in good conscience ignore that voice because she was absolutely right. Yes, I was being a snob. So I walked in and asked the barista for a pumpkin spice latte, tall, no whip. He asked me twice if I was sure I didn’t want the whip, and man am I glad he didn’t ask me a third time (my resolve is not three times strong these days).

Four minutes and 38 seconds later, the barista shouted out my false Starbucks name: “Sara, your pumpkin spice latte is ready!” I grabbed the warm latte, looked off into the distance, and thought about how I’ve actually put off trying this drink because I was so annoyed with how everyone called it the “white girl drink.” Horrible marketing strategy, whoever started that one. But I’m all about breaking down stereotypes, so really, trying this latte was an intellectual and social journey (…right). As I had these deep thoughts, I removed the lid to take in the spicy aroma, dipped my finger in to check the temperature, and finally took a sip.

Everything changed.

All my preconceived judgments about the latte were removed in an instant. The spices jump-started my joy this morning, with visions of calm babies and no traffic running through my mind. I felt like all the slow walkers on this earth were removed, and people didn’t take selfies and caption them “selfie Sunday” anymore! It was ABSOLUTELY DIVINE.

Even if you don’t like pumpkin, “mainstream” things, Starbucks, or waiting in lines, I assure you, this is worth it. You definitely should try it and experience the pumpkin spice latte because that is just what it is—an experience. Don’t tell me about the sugar intake or the calories, please; I know it probably sets me back 10,000 steps. But to balance that out, I’ll order it just once or twice.

In conclusion, I don’t love it enough to put it in my Instagram bio. I won’t obsess over it enough where I will try to make my own. But now I Aretha Franklin R-E-S-P-E-C-T the drink. Thank you Starbucks for this experience. it was lovely. Maybe now you can make a chai latte that doesn’t have more sugar than a Snickers bar, and then we can be best friends. I won’t go so far as to ask your baristas to say my name correctly; that would just be ridiculous.


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