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Agree to Disagree: the infamous pumpkin spice latte

by Sam Smith and Baylie Clevenger Every year, autumn brings about the same argument: Is the pumpkin spice latte worth the hype? Is it delicious? Is it disgusting? Where did the spices from the infamous fall flavor even come from and do they count as pumpkin-flavored? Nobody can agree, but we can still hear the arguments: 

Pumpkin spice is very nice

Image by Baylie Clevenger
This viewpoint is by Sam Smith October is over and the fall season is sadly coming closer to its end, meaning it’s extremely important to talk about the absolute best part of the fall season: pumpkin spice. McCormick, the spice company, created the first pumpkin pie spice blend in 1934. This magical blend of cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg was created as a shortcut for those making pumpkin pie from having to use all 4 spices. Little did McCormick know that this combination would change the food flavoring world as we know it.  You always know fall is around the corner when the pumpkin spice-flavored treats show up on the shelves. This is because that iconic mix of spices has become a staple of the season. That flavor has been recreated in countless products as well. From pumpkin spice Oreos and Cheerios to pumpkin spice spam, there’s a flavored item everyone can enjoy. How can you not find something pumpkin spice flavored to fall in love with?  If you enjoy the smell more than the taste, or if you just love the smell in general, there are also pumpkin spice candles to make your home smell just as amazing as the snacks do. More abstractly, there are even pumpkin pie-scented pet shampoos. Even your dogs and cats can smell like the best part of the fall.  The most iconic of these pumpkin spice things would have to be the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. The PSL was created in 2003, and Starbucks has sold an estimated 424 million PSLs from 2003 to 2018. It very quickly became their most popular seasonal drink, and for very good reasons. Nothing on this earth can beat the feeling of taking your first sip of your first PSL of the year. It’s like if you took the fall season and made it a nice hot beverage.  This year Starbucks released its PSL on August 27th. This is the earliest the chain has ever released their fall flavors. PSL lovers of all ages were excited to have their favorite drinks easier than ever before, but if you ask me this isn’t soon enough. Why doesn’t the PSL come back on August 1st? According to a survey done by YouGov, fall is the favorite season in America. Sure August is technically still summer, but why wouldn’t we want to bring the feeling of fall a little bit early. Especially if fall is America's favorite season!

Pumpkin spice is a disgrace

Image by Baylie Clevenger
This viewpoint is by Baylie Clevenger At the end of August, Starbucks released its infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte. This year, the release of the popular fall drink came earlier than ever before, falling on Aug. 27. This early release is unneeded and annoying, to say the least.  The idea of pumpkin spice has been around for quite a while, making its debut from McCormick in the mid-30s.  Since then, pumpkin spice has sky-rocketed to celebrity-treat status… and for what? The spice does not even taste like a pumpkin — it is a mixture of different spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. The idea of pumpkin spice is kind of like when something is advertised as grape because it is purple but tastes nothing like grapes actually do.  The mixture of spices has just come to be so heavily associated with pumpkin-flavored treats that this pumpkimpostor has been allowed to run rampant through our fall treats since Starbucks brought it to fame in 2003. We now have pumpkin spice cereal, bread, and even pumpkin spice Spam. If I could insert the puking emoji here I would.  Not to mention that pumpkin spice does not even taste that great, especially in the PSL. The last thing I need from my morning coffee is to be punched in the face by a multitude of spices. They even throw in some nutmeg on top of the foam to make it extra spicy. It smells so inviting but tastes like someone threw a clump of nutmeg and dirt into an already mediocre latte. Not only is this an over-hyped impostor flavor, but the arrival of the PSL is coming sooner and sooner every year. I expect to soon see it pop up in June, as all of the Ugg-boot-and-scarf-clad fanatics demand its arrival. Overall, pumpkin spice has never lived up to the hype. It doesn’t actually taste like pumpkin and it is bringing summer-y fresh drinks to an untimely retirement far before temperatures even reach below 70. I love fall just as much as the next gal, but it’s time to put a stop to the tyranny that is the PSL. 
Sources: YouGov, Today, Amazon, Cooking Light, NPR Images: Baylie Clevenger Featured Image: Sam Smith

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