pumpkin spice

Erm, so apparently pumpkin spice contains no pumpkin at all?

Did we know this or am I just an idiot?

You don’t get more autumnal than a pumpkin spice latte. Forget Bonfire Night. Forget the golden husks of dead leaves crunching away between your brand new and shiny chunky-soled boots. Forget Halloween, and forget the actual pumpkin vegetable itself. Autumn is a season defined by one dusty little spice mix that everyone eagerly hankers to be sprinkled all over their warming lattes. Except me, because I hate the taste of pumpkin. I love the aesthetic of a pumpkin, but it’s never been a flavour I’ve particularly vibed with. Imagine my shock, then, when I’ve recently become aware that the pumpkin spice lattes I’ve been turning my nose up at for the last 25 years of my life contain absolutely no pumpkin at all.

Did the world know this? Am I behind on the times? Have I been living my life with my ignorant head wedged firmly into a caramel and vanilla latte echo chamber? Has my whole worthless lived experience in the autumn season been nothing but a lie?

Here’s what’s traditionally in a pumpkin spice mix

Pumpkin spice gets its name due to the core ingredients being the ones most commonly used when making a pumpkin pie. It’s traditionally a blend of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and ginger. Not a crumb of actual pumpkin to be found!

Right but what about actual, famous Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes?

In 2015, Starbucks adjusted its recipe to now contain actual pumpkin, but only to appease the customers who found themselves disgruntled to learn that the iconic drink had no actual pumpkin in. Food scientist Kantha Shelke PhD, speaking to IFT, said that to make the drink contain actual pumpkin the recipe now featured a small amount of pumpkin puree, but that the inclusion is more of a novelty rather than something that changes the flavour.

With all this in mind, I’m off to Starbucks RIGHT NOW to see if all this new info can make me a convert to the Holy Church of Pumpkin Spice.

Verdict’s in: Will I be a basic bitch PSL convert?

No. It’s vile. I don’t care if it’s got pumpkin puree in or if it’s just a blend of festive flavours, pumpkin spice lattes taste like you’re drinking a regular coffee whilst your mum waves her entire spice rack in front of your nose. I was excited for sweet, cinnamon flavours but to my palette it tasted more savoury. Like a strange, silky casserole your mum makes you in a slow cooker. Featuring coffee. It was made fresh and looked really appealing by the barista, of course, this is just my personal taste. But pumpkin or no pumpkin, this autumnal classic will never pass my lips again.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Make an iced coffee order and we’ll tell you what uni you should have gone to

• Tell us your coffee order, we’ll tell you your degree

• Here’s how to make the TikTok iced coffee everyone’s talking about