After about 3 weeks of having the ingredients ready, I was finally able to make a pumpkin spice latte at home. All I can say is that I don't know what I've been missing after all these years of pretty much having Starbucks made versions for the most part. I will say that I did try versions from other coffee shops that made them to compare and see if it was any different to which I will say, variances aside, that they were all about the same. That is, until I made it at home. What follows is the ingredients I used and my process for making it. My recipe is combination of techniques found online which seemed in the end to yield the same results. The only ingredient I avoided was whipped cream which of late I don't really like or feel the need for (I haven't had any for a few years now except for the off times I forgot to tell the barista not to include it). I could have purchased organic whipped cream but since it would not have enhanced the taste for me, I didn't use it but it is at your discretion to use if you want to use it.
Without further ado, let's get into it. To start, I mixed the milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and sugar into a bowl and hand stirred it. I then heated it up in the microwave for 30 seconds. Some recipes said to do it in a pan but for me that was a bit more work for the result so the microwave sufficed. I put that aside then heated up the remaining milk and mixed in the coffee grounds in a french press. This can really be done however you want to get black coffee prepared as long as in the end you have hot black coffee. Then I mixed the pumpkin mix and coffee into a blender and blended on low for about 45 seconds. The length of time depends on how frothy you want the latte to become. I then microwaved the latte for another 30 seconds to get the temperature up again as I was reading my instructions and taking my time so I'm sure it was cooler than I wanted it to be. The end result came to 1 cup (approximately 8 ounces) which was the perfect size. Since the recipe had nice even numbers, I can just as easily adjust the quantities to create more or less as needed.
To summarize the experience, I thoroughly enjoyed my pumpkin spice latte not only because it tasted infinitely better but because I never got the crappy feeling I got from drinking the retail version about 30 minutes after drinking it. I equate this to the notion that I am using the actual ingredients with no listed chemicals (including the organic versions where I could) and not the unknown versions available at the coffee shop. While Starbucks did say they planned to use real pumpkin this year in their version of the Pumpkin Spice Latte there were still ingredients that indicated extra "stuff" which I really didn't want to see if my result would taste the same or better and could be healthier.
In the end, I think I will say mission accomplished. For my next version I plan to try a cold/iced version where I make hot coffee but not heat the pumpkin mix, blend that and drink it over ice to see how that comes out.
- (2 tbsp) Organic Pumpkin Puree (purchased from Sprouts)
- (1 tbsp) Organic Vanilla Extract (purchased from Sprouts)
- (1/2 tsp) Pumpkin Pie Spice (purchased from Sprouts)
- (2 tbsp) Coffee Grounds (received as gift but originally purchased in Costa Rica)
- (1 1/2 cups) Milk
- (1 tbsp) Sugar