Rant of the Week: 'Not so pumpkin spice' Lattes

Victoria Young rants about the hype of Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Perhaps she has a right too... considering "there's no real pumpkin in the thing!"

13th November 2017
Image Credit: Food & Wine Magazine

October and November are wonderful months - let's face it, it's Autumn, there's dark cosy nights, the trees are yellow and things are starting to look festive... What's not to like?!

Pumpkin Spice Lattes, that's what!

Now, you may be wondering why I think a drink is such a disappointing big deal. Well, i'm going to focus on two of many reasons why I dislike the traditional hot beverage.


Every Autumn, coffee companies and cafes jump on the bandwagon to roll in as much money as possible. By toying with the idea that it's getting cold, it's getting festive, and you subconsciously love consumerism and  tradition in your whitewashed capitalist society, these companies persuade you that this drink is what you NEED to satisfy your Autumn. 

I've seen posters at bus stops and posters on bill boards, in magazines, and even on loyalty cards.

Starbucks kicked off the tradition, now even McDonald's is falling into the trap of making festive frothy coffees, and it's become so cliche for the "typical white girl" that even the Internet is full of memes and the promotion of this "not even that nice" drink. I mean, why is it such a "white girl" drink? Why has the Pumpkin Spice Latte become so seemingly exclusive?


While "the white girls" and coffee companies rave over the idea of a festive pumpkin coffee, those who are more wised up may be aware that... there's not even any pumpkin in the thing!

The original Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte contains the following:

-2 doses of Caramel Colour Level 4
-Mosanto Milk
-Sugar (50g of sugar in a 'grande')
-Artificial flavouring
-Preservatives and Sulphites
-coffee beans
Absolutely no pumpkin at all!

The pumpkin flavouring most often comes from added spice such as nutmeg, clove and cinnamon, but there is no trace of any pumpkin in the drink. 

I suppose what bothers me so much about the pumpkin latte lovers is that they don't even delight in proper coffee. Coffee should be an art, and this is just a consumerist disaster. When we look at festive drinks we should pause and ask ourselves "what am I paying for?" "why am I buying this?" and "what am I putting into my body?"

Next time you're tempted to get a Pumpkin Spice Latte or paste your "white girl" standards of coffee in an Instagram post, think again, it's not quality, you've simply been swept up by the commercial fad.

Image: food & wine magazine

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