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The Daily Tar Heel

Viewpoints: How we feel about the pumpkin spice latte

DTH Photo Illustration. There are mixed opinions on the classic Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks.

Every fall, America looks forward to the return of seasonal drinks at Starbucks. From the salted caramel mocha to the caramel apple spice, there's nothing like indulging in a warm drink on a crisp fall afternoon. However, in recent years, one particular drink has sparked controversy across the internet: the pumpkin spice latte. 

At our most recent meeting, the Editorial Board discovered that we, too, share opposing opinions on this popular product. We hashed them out here: 

Pumpkin Spice Latte deserves the hype

Starbucks specialty drinks, particularly for the fall season, are the pinnacle of coffee achievement.  Here’s why the pumpkin spice latte, endearingly called the “PSL," is the highlight of our autumn.

Ordering the pumpkin spice latte gets straight to the point — the point being a delicious fall beverage with enough caffeine to get you through midterm season. It contains a non-overbearing, yet simultaneously intricate, blend of fall-themed spices. Highlighted by an undercurrent of pumpkin, the PSL avoids tasting artificial — unlike other fall-themed foods, which can't hold a pumpkin vanilla crème Bath & Body Works candle to the beauty of the PSL. 

For the non-experienced coffee drinker, the PSL is a great introduction to specialty drinks while simultaneously saving you (and your barista) the headache of reciting a complicated list of syrup pumps.  Ordering the PSL allows you to branch out from your typical order without holding up the line.

You’ve probably heard of the PSL before, and we’re here to tell you the drink deserves the hype. In addition to being incredibly tasty and a stress-free order, the PSL is enjoyed by many different people, bringing them together in the most delicious way. Enjoying a PSL comes with an excuse to take a break from a hectic schedule and spend time with friends, or enjoy some self-reflection and contemplation. 

The PSL embodies what any good coffee does: rejuvenating your mind and body. However, it takes the mission of coffee further by evoking the serenity and bliss of the fall season.  Any autumn is simply incomplete without it.

It's time to move on from the Pumpkin Spice Latte

This is sugar, spice and nothing nice. Indeed, it is the pumpkin spice latte that desecrates the sacred name of pumpkin. 

The Pumpkin Spice Latte is disgusting. Like our president, it is artificially orange and makes me want to cry. Stop trying to be something you’re NOT! 

There are many things that should never be consumed in drink form, and pumpkin is easily one of them. Not only does it taste unseemly, but a standard tall (the smallest size!) pumpkin spice latte also contains about the same amount of sugar you’d find in 50 Skittles. You’d be better off trying the caramel apple spice, which doesn’t taste like cough syrup (and your arteries will thank you). 

This season, the leaves will change color, the weather will get colder and we will be inundated with everything pumpkin. Pumpkin has somehow become synonymous with fall. While we adore the flavor of pumpkin, whatever is in the PSL is a disgrace to the honorable gourd. The PSL tastes so artificial, it hurts.

If this article is any proof, the PSL does anything but bring people together. The division surrounding this drink is notorious. Why order something that will have everyone staring you down and judging your decision? Dare we say, the PSL is quite … basic.

With so many great options this fall at Starbucks, why go with something so boring? There are so many great drinks to try. Additionally, we should all be looking to support local businesses, including our local coffee shops (PSL or not). The pumpkin spice latte is so 2015. 

It’s time to move on. The age of the pumpkin spice latte is over. 


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