Sorry, pumpkin spice lattes, there just isn’t a place for you here

November 13, 2023 — by Caitlin Stoiber
Graphic by Isabelle Wang
Just the sight of pumpkin spice fills me with despair. 
As the fall season begins every year, the annual rise of pumpkin spice lattes continues to disappoint.

As I pull open the heavy black doors and step inside of Starbucks, I am immediately assaulted by the disgusting smell of bitter caffeine and sickly-sweet pumpkin spice. My once-high spirits immediately plummet as I gaze upon advertisements menacingly displaying the same horrifying words: pumpkin spice lattes. 

For years, I have been famously anti-pumpkin spice latte. 

I’m an avid hater of the idea that a potentially delicious latte is poisoned by the inappropriate use of a carrot-orange powder. Even as I’m writing this, I cringe at the thought of the brainwashed masses that flock to their closest coffee shops to take part in the societal pressures that force them to pretend to enjoy this atrocious seasonal drink.

Pumpkin spice lattes are obviously merely another manipulative marketing method by corrupted corporations, who only want to wring more cash from our already deprived wallets.

Not to mention that all the delicious taste of coffee is ruined by  pumpkin spice. Once that first sip is taken, I have to fight the urge to grimace as the unnatural taste floods my mouth. Expecting the rich, earthy flavors of a latte, I get only the overpowering grainy taste of pumpkin spice instead.  

Now I’m not saying there isn’t a place for pumpkin-flavored foods. Pumpkin pie is a perfect exception. Used properly, pumpkin spice can be quite delightful. Pumpkin spice and lattes separately? Sounds fine to me. But pumpkin spice and lattes combined? Sounds like I need to puke. 

Some combinations just aren’t justifiable. Pumpkin spice lattes feel like  forcibly combined twins that can’t cooperate with each other. Pumpkin spice and coffee? Seriously? That is to say, I wouldn’t want to get boba with tomato sauce either. 

All I ask is that we don’t continue to butcher perfectly acceptable lattes by unnecessarily polluting them with pumpkin spice. And we don’t need to keep pretending to like these atrocious drinks just because society has deemed it necessary to make pumpkin spice lattes synonymous with an “aesthetic” fall season.  

So the next time you open the doors to Starbucks, resist the urge to give in to the majority by ordering what you know deep down you’ll hate, and instead order something you’d actually enjoy — like a classic hot chocolate with whipped cream.

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