It’s safe to say that Autumn is definitely here. Leaves have started to fall bringing to the street of London the pattern we love during this season (do you know that the leaves are not collected?).
But we also love Autumn for another reason: the pumpkin spice latte, the signature drink of the season. You may have already tasted it but have you ever known about the story behind the drink?
Anyway, it’s time to enjoy a pumpkin spice latte while writing down the article.
If you’re not familiar with this drink, do not worry, I’m getting you covered in a minute.
Let’s first have a look at the origin of the pumpkin spice latte, where all has started and why it become so popular.
A bit of history: the pumpkin spice latte
First thing, before the origin of the drink (make sure you’re sitting right and to hold on tight), there’s no pumpkin in the drink (some add pumpkin puree). Now, we can move on assuming you did not have your socks knocked off.
The pumpkin spice latte came as a reinterpretation of the pumpkin pie spice or rather, something that could keep the same flavours. Already in the 16th century, we heard about a sweet pie made from a mix of spice such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves but even pepper and many others and, of course, pumpkin, the main ingredient.
There wasn’t any official recipe but rather, the flexibility for the chefs and baristas to make their signature one.
For the pumpkin spice latte, we need to wait until 2003, year in which Starbucks made the first-ever pumpkin spice latte recipe, made of espresso, pumpkin spice flavoured sauce, steamed milk, whipped cream and a touch of spices on top including nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.
The green mermaid kept the same name perhaps to maintain the tradition of making sweet and spice things that remind the pumpkin pie during the Autumn season and so it conceived the pumpkin spice latte.
The drink had so much success in America that it was then introduced in Europe. It then quickly became the most-selling signature drink of the green mermaid, selling more than 20 million pumpkin spice lattes every year.
Now, big chains but also independent coffee shops, add this drink to the menu.
Some stick to the “original pumpkin spice latte recipe” while others make their signature syrup adding more spices for an extra kick.
The pumpkin spice latte is sold during Autumn especially for the Halloween festivity which sees the pumpkin as one of the main elements (people traditionally use pumpkins to decorate their homes, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns).
You will never find this drink throughout the year but, if you really love it, you can always make it at home whenever you like.
How to make a pumpkin spice latte
You may have an interest in how barista makes the pumpkin spice latte.
Let’s have a look at a standard recipe.
Pumpkin latte recipe
Making a pumpkin spice latte is easier than you thought. I love to start from scratch for a fuller experience.
Here are the steps to follow for a homemade pumpkin spice latte:
A – start with making your pumpkin spice, adding:
- 4 tablespoon of ground cinnamon;
- 2 tablespoon of ground ginger;
- 2 teaspoon of ground cloves;
- 2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.
TIP: buy everything fresh and grind it just before making the mix.
B – make an espresso directly into a coffee mug;
C – add the mix into it (and add sugar if you normally like thing sweeten up or vanilla extract) and give it a stir;
D – the last step is to add milk. You can:
- steam the milk if you’re in a coffee shop;
- make your frothy milk at home with the help of milk frothier, French Press or automatic coffee machine.
As you can see, it takes only a couple of minutes to make a pumpkin spice latte whether you’re at home or in a coffee shop.
That’s my standard recipe but it’s just down to you and your taste.
There are no ideal recipes to deal with: someone adds more spices as they like an extra kick from them or someone play around adding booze or even adding real pumpkin.
You can also use the prepared syrup that you normally found in groceries.
For instance, you can add some spirits such as agave or rum but also add more spices such as cardamom, pepper or ginger. When mixed up thing with booze, also try to add some smoked sea salt to give a boost at the drink.
Anyway, if you’re lazy, head on the net as there are plenty of video tutorial on how to make a pumpkin spice latte.
Now, I’m not judging you if you like the pumpkin spice latte or not. I understand is not something that encourages speciality coffee lovers.
After all, it’s just down to you. In case you are curious about the drink and you’re worried about making it at home, pop by Prufrock Coffee in Leather Lane. It’s actually worth a try. But hurry up, as it not going to last forever.
After that, you would discover how simple is to make your own one at home saving money on your pocket and cutting down sugars instead of going in a big chain like Starbucks (with all due respect to the brand). According to Starbucks website, a pumpkin spice latte contains up to 380g for a 16 fluid ounce beverage.
Just bear in mind that quality is achieved only by using the best ingredients. So, try to skip all the sugary stuff that you normally find on the shelves of most of the grocery, buy organic milk, brew speciality coffee and…enjoy.
I hope you enjoy the article. Let me know about your pumpkin spice latte, write down your recipe and I will give it a try.
I am an Italian coffee lover that pushed for the love of this “amazing drug” decided to come to London to study about coffee and its different extraction procedures and tastes.