Pincidents: DIY pumpkin spice lattes

Hayley Glatter, Columnist

Coffee just tastes really bad. It has a gross aftertaste, and I didn’t suffer through six years of orthodontics to stain my teeth.

Yet I find myself spending more money at Starbucks than is probably necessary.  My spending is partially driven by my quest for a Gold Card (only 10 stars to go … get on my level), but it’s mostly influenced by my addiction to pseudo-caffeinated mocha and latte beverages. That brings us to the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

PSL devotion is well-documented. The notion of “fall in a cup” is equally as appealing on a hot September day, when you’re totally over-sweating outside, and a crisp November night, when you want to curl up with your poodle and a sweater.

I’d like to say I’ve been with PSL since it’s introduction 10 years ago, but that would just be false. First of all, it would have been strange if I was downing lattes at age 9. Second of all, I am a firm believer in the less-publicized, but still top-notch, Caramel Apple Spice. Norbucks, however, was out of apple juice one day last year, so I was forced to step outside my fall comfort zone. I took a bold step where almost every man has gone before and tried a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Needless to say, my taste buds and wallet have not been the same since.

Despite its deliciousness, the beverage costs close to $4, and I’m not trying to go bankrupt on Starbucks purchases. As a result, I went on Pinterest to curb my PSL wallet woes. There are a multitude of “DIY Starbucks” pins to choose from, but I turned my attention to a Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe that looked relatively tame.

I began this journey tentatively. I was initially skeptical that coffee, milk, sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice could recreate the majesty of PSL. I also didn’t have the milk frother that the recipe describes, but #sorrynotsorry I live in a dorm, and we don’t have nice things. My final setback was that I don’t have a coffee maker, either, so I lifted some decaf from Allison and decided it sufficed for the espresso blend I needed.

After channeling my inner Emeril and hitting my penguin mug with a combo of ingredients, I popped my concoction into the microwave. Upon removal, I looked at my creation with disdain. It was basically slightly orange milk with some swirling pumpkin pie spice at the top. I abandoned all expectations and took a sip.

It was really good.

No, it didn’t taste exactly like a Pumpkin Spice Latte, but it definitely captured the spirit of fall and certainly cost less than Starbucks. I absolutely foresee myself making this again in the future, and I think my taste buds and wallet will thank me for it.

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