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Food Matters

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Review: Starbucks’s New Pumpkin Spice Latte

The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte has become a fall favorite since its introduction in 2003. People indulge in the spiced coffee beverage without feeling too much guilt, so it wasn’t surprising that Starbucks customers were upset when the dirty, secret ingredients were revealed last year, along with the fact that there wasn’t even real pumpkin in the beverage! The company quickly jumped into action, solving the crisis and ultimately saving autumn! Well not really, but they made a lot of people happy.

I know this will shock you, but I was not a huge fan of the famous "PSL." Gasp! My mouth always felt dirty after drinking it, and it honestly made me queasy. Still, my mom and I would head over to the nearest shop and get one every September, for festivity’s sake. (I know, that's a terrible reason to drink of a cup of sugar.)

Starbucks has been actively promoting the new Pumpkin Spice Latte. PSL even has its own Twitter page, which is pretty adorable. So, I did some reading on the coffee shop’s blog and learned that they have removed some of the artificial stuff, like caramel coloring, and there is now REAL pumpkin in it. So obviously, I had to try it.

pumpkin spice latte with whipped cream
Photo by Fotolia.

The Ingredient List

• Espresso
• Milk
• Pumpkin Spice Flavored Sauce (Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% or Less of Fruit and Vegetable Juice for Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto (Color), Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Salt)
• Whipped Cream (Light Whipping Cream [Cream, Mono and Diglycerides, Carrageenan])
• Starbucks Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Citric Acid)
• Pumpkin Spice Topping (Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove)

My Thoughts: A New and Improved PSL

The drink tastes so much better after these tweaks. It has a cleaner taste and doesn't leave my mouth feeling, well, "ew." I taste real flavors and just felt generally better about indulging in one. It still isn't considered a health drink. The level of fat, carbohydrates and sugar are really high, so use caution if you choose to indulge. Overall, I praise Starbucks for moving in the right direction and really listening to customers. Keep up the good work!

Karyn WoffordKaryn Wofford is a type 1 diabetic, EMT and Certified Wellness Specialist. For years she has educated herself on wellness and natural, wholesome living. Karyn’s goal is to help people be the healthiest they can be while living fun, happy lives.