I like pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bars, baked pumpkin, pumpkin pie martinis, and yes... pumpkin latte's. I like pumpkin flavor so much in fact that I just purchased a new bottle of flavoring syrup in case for some reason I could not get out of the house for weeks on end and needed to make pumpkin flavored coffee drinks at home.
Every year in the fall I look forward to October when 'pumpkin latte season' officially opens. In the last (approximately) 38 days I have sampled 3 versions at some of my favorite coffee places. I provide this review and encourage your input in case I have missed your favorite.
The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is available widely. It is creamy, super-sweet, and has "full-on pumpkin flavor". It also has that nice cold whipped cream on the top that I so enjoy. Whenever I have one I make sure I am firmly seated when I take my first sip so I don't swoon and fall all over myself with joy.
The Maple Pumpkin Latte from LatteLand is thick. It has real pumpkin in it and tastes exactly like a piece of pumpkin pie topped with a thin layer of whipped cream that has been drizzled with maple syrup. Just imagine that - blended with espresso and super creamy milk and you have it. Not as sweet as the Starbucks version and did I mention it is thick and has real pumpkin in it? I die.
At Signs of Life bookstore in downtown Lawrence, the Pumpkin Latte is first and foremost a coffee drink. Then you taste the subtle pumpkin flavor with a vanilla undertone. It is the least sweet of the three and is completely delicious.
Which one do I like best? Don't be silly. I want to be friends with all of them and simply could not choose one over the other.