Warning: If you like pumpkin spiced lattes, it doesn’t mean we can’t be BFFs. We just might take a little longer to get there. Please keep reading.
Chicago usually stays warm through October, but then it’s pretty much cold until May. However this year, the cool down started on Labor Day weekend. People were all too eager to switch out of their summer whites and into fall gear.
Nearly every coffee shop and cafe has put their fall menu on display, which frequently includes items with a pumpkin flavor.
If you have Twitter, go to the search bar and type in “pumpkin latte”. Go ahead, do it. A lot of originality there, right? You probably saw variations of the following:
“Happy Fall! Just got my first pumpkin spiced latte of 2011. Yummy ” or “OMG How good are pumpkin spiced lattes? So effing good” or “ You know what’s better than pumpkin spiced latte? Pumpkin spiced Yankee Candles!!” or “I knew my man was good for something. Baby just brought me a pumpkin latte. XX”
Why are people so eager to forget summer for flavor nostalgia? I have a September birthday, so I’m not totally anti-fall. In fact, it’s a great season, but what brilliant marketing team decided that spiced gourd drinks would do it for people? And why do we need it on Labor Day weekend? Aren’t we supposed to buffer pumpkin spice with a transitional flavor like apple?
Now, as I started to formulate this rant of sorts, I realized that I couldn’t remember the last time I had actually ordered a Pumpkin Spiced Latte or PSL, if you will. So I went to Starbucks on my way to work and ordered one. The barista there, who went to my high school, asked me if I was going to get my usual Grande Americano. “No, not today,” I told him. “I’ve actually been hating on the Pumpkin Latte so I’m going to give that a try.” He instantly disclosed his roommate is obsessed and then I heard 3 other people in line order the same drink.
I’m being honest when I tell you that I really hoped to take a sip of PSL and instantly adore it, proving myself wrong. Instead, I took a drink and had to remove the lid to see if there was actually a piece of pumpkin pie in the cup that I was sipping through the lid. This drink was entirely too sweet for my liking. I’m fairly certain Paula Deen had something to do with it’s creation and I half expected to find a donut at the bottom of the cup when I finished the drink. Full disclosure: the first sentence of this paragraph was a lie. I know myself and I never like to be wrong. I knew I’d hate it but I owed it to PSL lovers to try.
Not only has the PSL sparked a national craze, but other food chains have tried to get in on it. Take Einstein’s Bagels for example, which happens to have a location near my apartment. Current pumpkin items on menu include pumpkin bagels, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin poppers.
I’m being surrounded by pumpkin. You know what I need? I need something to remember the summer as it slowly slips away. Only one thing comes to mind- GAP’s fragrance Grass from the late ’90s – every middle schooler’s favorite gift for birthdays. That would do the trick.
The image of Grass above was actually one I took on my iPhone in a bathroom in Indiana last year. I could not believe it when I saw a girl actually take this fragrance out of her purse and apply. I made her let me take a photo.
So just remember, as they say on Game of Thrones – “Winter is coming.” Don’t let slugging back Pumpkin Spiced Lattes inhibit you from enjoying what’s left of summer. Joni Mitchell said it best in her 1970s hit ‘Big Yellow Taxi’: