The Great Pumpkin Spice Latte Quest

I have gone on a quest, a noble quest, a quest to find the best pumpkin spice latte in the greater Ann Arbor area. I have traveled near and far and sampled many lattes. I love pumpkin and I love coffee and I adore their intersection-the pumpkin spice/pie latte. I love the savory taste of pumpkin and the mixture of the various spices that go into a pumpkin pie. I also find the taste of soy milk to be an excellent addition to the mix of spices.

So where did I go to become an expert on this all important matter? And which latte did I like best? Read on…

  1. Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea-This latte is the perfect mix of sweet and savory. It has a delightful spice taste to it and a nice pumpkin taste as well. I love it. This was my favorite.
  2. Starbucks-very sweet, it has a nice mix of pumpkin and spice but it’s too sweet. Pumpkin ought to be more savory.
  3. Espresso Royale-very pumpkiny tasting, not strong in the way of spice but that’s fine since the name of the latte is “pumpkin pie” and not “pumpkin spice.” Also, the sweetened condensed milk gives it a nice pumpkin pie feeling. I enjoyed this one thoroughly.
  4. Biggby-very pumpkiny tasting, but not very strong in the way of spice. It has a very nice pumpkin flavor to it that is sweet but not too sweet. But it needs more nutmeg, allspice, and cumin.
  5. Panera-very good in the spice department, but not much pumpkin; I actually had to remove my lid and check to make sure that I had a PSL and not a chai latte.
  6. Great Lakes Chocolate and Coffee-This one was the roughest to drink. The latte was very poorly mixed, which made it mostly (unflavored soy) milk for about 30%, then about 60% of pumpkin, and then 10% spice. When I told her about my quest, barista told me that she thought GLCC’s latte would be an excellent option. I would definitely choose Starbucks or Biggby over GLCC. And I would obviously choose Sweetwaters.

So, in my humble opinion, Sweetwaters has the best pumpkin latte. I plan on revisiting it at least a few more times this fall.

Disclaimer: These are just my opinions. I was not paid for them. Anyone is free to disagree with me.

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