All of the 2019 Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Ranked
Did your favorite make the cut?!
Though fall doesn’t officially start until September 23, lots of people (inlcuding some Food Network staffers!) have been embracing everything pumpkin spice since early August. From savory pastas to pumpkin-scented candles, we just can’t get enough. And you can’t celebrate pumpkin spice season without a piping hot Pumpkin Spice Latte. With half a dozen options to choose from, there’s truly a PSL out there for everyone — even those who swear up and down that they can’t stand the taste of pumpkin-flavored coffee (we’re looking at you Ina Garten).
Armed with a need for caffeine, we set out to try each and every hot PSL available to give you an unofficial ranking of which one you should be sipping this fall (and winter). Keep reading to see where your favorite landed on the list — and remember taste is personal, so no judgement if our favorite is your not-so-fav! Happy pumpkin (latte) picking!
It's the OG for a Reason: Starbucks
We’re not going to lie — some of our editors were waiting for the return of Starbucks' classic PSL with the same excitement little kids have waiting for Christmas morning. And though we're head-over-heels in love with Starbucks' newest Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, we're still big fans of the OG version, too. What we liked most about this PSL is that it tasted exactly like it did when it first debuted 16 (!!) years ago: There’s no fancy bells or whistles, just good old-fashioned pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and espresso. Grab one before heading up to the apple orchard to give yourself a picture-perfect fall day.
For Those Looking for a Guilt-Free Option: Le Pain Quotidien
If you’re looking for a latte that’s not too sweet, this first-ever PSL from Le Pain Quotidien may be for you. Made with certified organic pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla syrup, the latte has only 34 grams of sugar compared to Starbucks’ 50 grams, and a large, 16 oz. size with whole milk clocks in at just 270 calories. One quick note: the latte’s fragrant spice elements reminded a few of our editors of a pumpkin spice chai tea more than it did coffee, so you may need to add an extra shot of espresso if you’re searching for that early morning jolt to wake you up.
For Those Who Don't Mind Going the Extra Mile (Literally): McDonald’s
Our editors had to go on a bit of a scavenger hunt to find this PSL because it’s only being sold at participating McDonald’s locations for a limited time. After going to a few stores and striking out, we finally found one and the results were pretty mixed — one of our editors said it was better than Starbucks, while another found it to be a bit too sweet. Made with McCafe’s signature espresso and a few pumps of pumpkin-flavored syrup, this latte definitely depends on your own sense of taste. With that in mind, it’s also the cheapest — a small size costs about $2 — so we totally aren’t against having this latte for dessert on a crisp fall night with one (or two) of Mickey D’s baked apple pies on the side.
If You're Not the Biggest Fan of Pumpkin, But Still Want a PSL: Krispy Kreme
We weren’t sure what to expect from the doughnut giant’s PSL offering, but were pleasantly surprised once we had a sip. Though a few of our editors found themselves wanting more pumpkin flavor, its subtle hint of cinnamon and clove was perfect for the 87-degree day we were drinking it on. Pair it with one of Krispy Kreme’s glazed pumpkin spice doughnuts (which are available until 9/22) for double the pumpkin fun.
All About the Caffeine: Godiva
The very first thing our editors happily noticed about this PSL was the lack of orange coloring that usually accompanies other pumpkin drinks. The second thing was the robust coffee flavor. Unlike some of the other retailers we tried, Godiva adds their pumpkin spice mix directly into steamed milk to give their PSL a lusciously delicious froth. Stop by your local Godiva cafe to pick one up and grab a set of their Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Truffles while you’re in there to be ready for whatever fall throws your way.
For Those with a Sweet Tooth: Dunkin'
If you're a fan of sweeter coffee beverages, Dunkin’s PSL is the one for you. With its blend of pumpkin syrup and rich whipped cream, this latte had some of our editors questioning if there was actually coffee in their carry out cups or a slice of pumpkin pie. Talk about a sweet treat!