Best pumpkin spice flavorings
September 14, 2020 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Yes, I love pumpkin spice. And working from home, I'm not going to Starbucks once a week for my pumpkin spice latte or chai. I'm not looking to recreate the Starbucks PSL specifically, but curious about various flavored coffees, teas, creamers, etc. that might be tasty. Difficulty level: no caffeine.

I am looking for either pumpkin spice flavored drinks, or drink additives, that you've liked the flavor of. I can't do caffeine, so if it's a drink it will need to be caffeine-free/decaf. I saw that Starbucks does pumpkin spice in their Via Instant coffees, but not in decaf. The internet seems strongly divided on whether the Starbucks PSL creamer is amazing or total garbage. I buy Stash's decaf pumpkin spice black tea every year. Any recommendations?
posted by skycrashesdown to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Try Celestial Seasonings' Bengal Spice. It is very strongly cinnamon-flavored, but there's some depth. It's entirely herbal, no caffeine.

For a strongly caffeinated version (sorry! but just in case anyone else wants the rec) I have been buying Mariage Frères Chai Chandernagor, which is a fancy black tea with cardamom and other spice. It's delicious with milk and sugar.

You could try making chai in a more traditional way, with black tea (decaf) and milk and spices simmered together?
posted by Lawn Beaver at 2:21 PM on September 14 [4 favorites]


You can make your own pumpkin spice blend from dry spices. There are about sixteen million copycat recipes floating around online, all subtly different. You can also buy premixed pumpkin pie spice blend. Then, brew this with loose leaf red rooibos tea - you can use a fine mesh tea ball, or little cheesecloth bags, or even brew a pot and pour through a strainer into your cup. Add milk and sugar to get that latte feel. Red rooibos is a fantastic combo with the warm flavors of pumpkin spice.
posted by Mizu at 2:24 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


I agree with Mizu, with a slight modification. Numi brand rooibos chai tea. Brew strong. Torani brand pumpkin pie sauce. Milk of choice to taste. Whipped cream if you are feeling fancy.
posted by Night_owl at 2:34 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


Stash Pumpkin spice decaf Chai is pretty good, but I have a hard time finding it. You could also get your pumpkin spice through a creamer and add it to a decaf Chai. Starbucks has one and also Califia, but I find a lot of them overly sweet so a little can goes a long way.
posted by ljesse at 2:45 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


I just bought the International Delight pumpkin spice creamer and I liked it - not too "chemically" although I know this is personal taste. I've also been putting ice cream in my coffee at home for the milk/sugar combo, cuz fuck it, and I bet pumpkin ice cream or its variants would be delicious.
posted by nakedmolerats at 4:00 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Basic pumpkin spice recipe.
posted by Splunge at 4:53 PM on September 14


(Yes, I am aware that pumpkin spice is just a particular blend of spices. I have multiple jars of it in the cupboard. I am looking for drinks such as coffee or tea, or add-ins such as creamers, in this flavor profile that taste good.)
posted by skycrashesdown at 5:46 PM on September 14


Depending on if or where you are in the US, my local micro (Schlafly, St. Louis, MO) makes a pumpkin beer that is pretty much, one dollop of whipped cream away from being pumpkin pie.
posted by notsnot at 6:03 PM on September 14


I just bought this Harney & Sons pumpkin spice rooibos, which is caffeine-free.
posted by rebekah at 6:40 PM on September 14


I've been on a similar search lately. I can't do caffeine nor dairy, so I had an added constraint, but so far I've really enjoyed Silk's pumpkin spice creamer (almond milk based). I can't compare it to the PSL creamer due to my dairy intolerance, but one advantage was that it was about $2 cheaper at my local Target for the same size.

The one PSL that I got at Starbucks was with oat milk, and was more creamy than I expected, so my next thing I'd like to try is foaming up some oat milk and adding the Torani syrup previously mentioned to see how that tastes.
posted by unid41 at 7:29 PM on September 14


I would advise against Monin's Pumpkin Spice syrup. I bought it last year with high hopes and the flavouring was... not great. (Their salted caramel syrup is great, but that's neither here nor there).
posted by VirginiaPlain at 7:34 PM on September 14


I know what you want. I want it too and am watching this thread with hope.

Popped in to advise against the Trader Joe's pumpkin spice coffee. Bleh.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:10 PM on September 14


+1 international delight.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:39 PM on September 14


Starbucks' PSL syrup is "fontana" brand - which you can sometimes find in a black-market way using ebay or amazon marketplace in half gallons! if you really want to commit ;)

I have tried quite a few PS creamers and syrups and found most of them kind of bad - the "skinny syrups" pumpkin caramel one is actually pretty good, but sugar free and has the artificial sweetener flavour. Also a little heavy on the caramel flavour for my taste, but surprisingly better than some others.

I used to really like hazelnut lattes but found it hard to get a hazelnut syrup that compared to starbucks, so I used to occasionally do a thing where I would go to a starbucks, and get a single shot grande americano with six pumps of hazelnut syrup in it. And then I would pour that drink into a bottle which I kept in my fridge and used as a syrup for my own lattes at home. It would have actually been better without the shot of espresso in it, but I was way more comfortable just pretending that I wanted a very disgusting coffee drink than I was clearly running some kind of syrup con.
posted by euphoria066 at 9:28 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Try stirring in some pumpkin butter.
posted by jgirl at 11:48 AM on September 15


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