For the Love of Pumpkin


Lila Harakles, Author

Pumpkin spice lattes are fall’s most widely consumed staple. Finding the best local latte is a must to be able to thrive this season. It is important to remember that not all Pumpkin Lattes are made equally. One must find the latte with perfect balance of espresso, milk, and flavor. So, I have decided to do the dirty work for you. I visited three local coffee houses: Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Perfecto’s. At each site I ordered a large, or in Starbuck’s case, venti, hot, Pumpkin Spice latte made with skim milk.
My first stop was Starbucks. First of all, Starbucks, you owe me a dollar for the toll I had to pay just to get to your store. I’m just saying that if I’m not leaving my own town, I shouldn’t have to pay a toll. Second of all, don’t go to Starbucks expecting to get to school on time. The line is always long, but the service takes even longer. And finally, to my actual critique of the latte. I am going to come right out and say, straight up, this latte is too creamy. I felt like I was drinking a cup half full of pumpkin flavored creamer and the other half full of milk foam. I am sorry, Starbucks, but you are out of the running for my go-to PSL destination.
Coffee run number two brought me to Dunkin Donuts. You really can tell that America runs on Dunkin by the line of cars in the drive through every morning. I chose to order inside, which I prefer anyway because I find the experience more personal this way, and the barista is less likely to mess up your order. I have ordered a PSL here before because of the convenient store location. Seven out of ten times the flavor and texture of a Dunks’ PSL is a hit, but consistency is not their forte. Also, I found my pumpkin latte to be too luke warm for the chilly morning I had ahead of me. All in all, the Dunks’ Pumpkin Spice just couldn’t beat Perfecto’s.
My Perfecto’s latte would have been perfect if I hadn’t had to parallel park to get to it. I figured out too late how to get to the super secretive back parking lot that only the most elite Perfecto’s customers know about. The only thing that could have made my latte any better was if I had splurged for that bagel with veggie cream cheese that I oh so desperately wanted. As I walked out of Perfecto’s, my mood was lifted by the charismatic staff and my perfect temperature latte that had the perfect amount of foam and flavor.
In conclusion, my devoted readers, I have a few pieces of advice. If you decide to disregard my advice and fend for yourself in the world of lattes, give yourself plenty of extra time in the morning when going to Starbucks. I would also urge you to order your latte made with coconut milk instead of skim or whole, because that slightly lessens the super creamy feeling of the drink. When you are at Dunkin Donuts, go inside. Check the cashier’s work on the register screen and make sure you are getting what you ordered. And finally, when in Perfecto’s, splurge on the bagel, you won’t regret it!