Review: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (Limited Time Only)

First of all, we are pretty sure some of you are looking at the title and thinking, “Starbucks isn’t for Fewd Snobs!”

It is true, Starbucks is a little trendy for our tastes.  But, that said, Starbucks has become kind of a standard these days.  They are everywhere.  And in our opinion, it is kind of tough to be a pissy trendy shop when there are stores absolutely everywhere.  Starbucks is no longer a local shop that only caters to hipsters.  So, we think that reviewing something from Starbucks is ok because it appeals to a variety of regular people these days.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, we will move on to the point…

Evidently, the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte has become a really big thing.  It is so big, it is often abbreviated as “PSL.”  Somehow, the Fewd Snobs didn’t get the memo.  We don’t remember this being such a big deal.  Maybe we are more in tune now that we are running a food site.  Either way, we saw a big hype about the drink this year, and decided to give it a review.

According to an article on Yahoo! Finance, the PSL is truly a phenomenon.  The drink was introduced in 2003.  Since then, Starbucks has sold over 200 million of these sons of bitches.  According to the article, it was Starbucks’ introduction of the PSL that has caused the pumpkin spice craze.  And there certainly is a craze.  It seems like in the last few years, there is pumpkin spice everything.  The only thing we haven’t seen is pumpkin spice toilet paper.  If somebody makes it now, we’re gonna be pissed!

If all of this isn’t insane enough, wait until you hear this.  The drink was being re-introduced on September 8.  People could get it a week early by going to Starbucks’ Tumblr page, signing up, and then the people would get a code to use at the store.  And if that isn’t enough, there are official social media pages JUST FOR THE PSL!  Perhaps this is a little bit out of control??

OK.  So, Starbucks started the trend.  Go figure.  Still, we never tried it.  You see where this is going…

For those of you that may not know, a latte is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk.  And in this case, pumpkin and spice.  That’s why it is called a Pumpkin Spice Latte!  Amazing, isn’t it??!

Starbucks is promoting that the drink is being made with real pumpkin this year.  In the past, it wasn’t.  We don’t know what it used to be made out of, and we’re not sure we want to know.

Starbucks describes the drink this way:  “Our signature espresso and milk are highlighted by flavor notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove to create this incredible beverage that’s a fall favorite.  Enjoy it topped with whipped cream and real pumpkin pie spices.”

Um…ok.  It is getting REALLY hard for us here (HO HO!).  Remember what we said about Starbucks NOT being so pissy these days?  Yeah…

So we went to Starbucks to get the drink that has everyone in a tizz.  We ordered a Grande (known in non-pretentious terms as a medium) PSL.  We gave no specific instructions.  We wanted the default drink.  And here is what we got:


How does that look to you, readers?  We will refrain from our thoughts here.

We were not asked if we wanted whipped cream.  We didn’t open the cup until we got back home to test and take pictures.  It seems like all the promo material for this drink shows whipped cream.  Either there wasn’t any, or it melted on the way back from the store.  But we don’t think there was any.  There was, however, room left for something.  What, we don’t know.  But the cup wasn’t full.  We aren’t sure what happened here.  But ok.  We’ll play along.

Now, to the real point.  The taste.  This will be the shortest part of the article, you people!

It tastes like…PUMPKIN!

Yes, indeed, there is a pumpkin taste.  Recall above where Starbucks says it has, “… flavor notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove…”  We don’t taste cinnamon, nutmeg, or clove.  There is some kind of spice we suppose, but we can’t pick out specifics.  It tastes like pumpkin mainly.

Here is where it gets interesting…

When you first take a sip of this stuff, the pumpkin taste hits first, then the spice mix, and then the espresso hits.  At first, the espresso flavor wasn’t bad.  As we got closer to the bottom of the drink though, the espresso taste is NOT GOOD.  At all.  It is BITTER.  VERY BITTER.  HORRIBLY BITTER.  It tastes like old, burned coffee.  No friends, it isn’t good.

Now, the last part of the problem.  The price.  Look, we realize Starbucks isn’t cheap.  We didn’t expect it to be inexpensive.  But for a MEDIUM…excuse us..GRANDE drink, the price was $4.95.  $4.95!!  With tax, this little shit set us back $5.32.  WTF?  Again, we know Starbucks isn’t cheap, but this is absolutely ridiculous.  Even with real pumpkin, this is just stupid.  Pumpkins grow in a patch, people!  This isn’t gold (despite the moron masses acting like it is).  The price in uncalled for.  Over FIVE bucks for a drink that tastes like pumpkin and burned coffee.

Overall, we absolutely do not understand what all the rage is for the PSL.  Maybe some branches put cocaine in it?  If not, then we don’t get it.  It isn’t very good, and the price is absolutely insane.

Keep in mind…we are not Starbucks haters.  Herman has been known to stop in for a Chai Tea Latte, and Denny and his girlfriend used to go for Mochas and Cocoa Cappuccinos (Yes yes, we know.  These drinks are kind of against Fewd Snobs standards.  Sometimes, even we branch out just a little!)  So we didn’t go into this hating on Starbucks and wanting to review it badly.

We just don’t get it.  The drink isn’t worth it on any level.

You read it here, people.  Because you probably won’t anywhere else.  EVERYBODY ELSE loves it.  Well, you can have it.  We’ll stick with coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts.