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Column: Pumpkin Spice Lattes


Of all the seasons, fall could easily be my favorite.

Leaves change color, apples taste better, days are colder, and my birthday happens (obviously the best part).

Almost everything about fall is cheery and fun, except, of course, for one thing. And that brings us to my least favorite thing about fall: the pumpkin spice latte craze.

Starting around late August (which is not even close to fall!), a certain drink comes surging back into popularity, reminding us that peer pressure and fads are still a thing.

The thing about pumpkin spice lattes and my disdain for them is not actually the drink itself. Sure, I think it’d be more beneficial to save the massive calorie punch one drink will give you, but overall, the concept of pumpkin spices swirled with coffee and whipped cream isn’t wretched. No, the worst thing about pumpkin spice lattes is how they have taken over fall, turning a drink into a season.

In falls past, people would focus on the great, special things unique to fall, like hayrides and pumpkin carving and bonfires. Now, not a day goes by without someone mentioning pumpkin spice lattes or drinking pumpkin spice lattes or Instagramming a picture of a pumpkin spice latte or talking about getting a pumpkin spice latte in order to Instagram.

My theory is that the only reason pumpkin spice lattes are bought by millions is for the sake of tweeting or posting pictures of them, not because the drink tastes that phenomenal.

Starbucks accidentally agrees with me, estimating the hashtag “#pumpkinspice” was tweeted 29,000 times in 2012. Sadly, in most people’s minds, fall has been replaced by pumpkin spice latte season.

The time has come to settle the issue of how pumpkin spice lattes should be treated.

First, note that a pumpkin spice latte actually has no pumpkin in it, just a blend of spices pretending to taste like pumpkin.

Second, for all you pumpkin spice worshipers, realize the days of holding a tall Starbucks cup with “PSL” on the side, cheesing for a picture and looking cool are long gone.

Last, save yourself the $5 a cup costs and actually celebrate fall with true fall activities. Getting lost in a corn maze, hiking among the beautiful trees or trying real pumpkin-flavored food all count as part of fall; plus, they offer great opportunities for creative pictures.

Help me this year in taking back fall — one grande, frothy, fake-pumpkin cup at a time.

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Column: Pumpkin Spice Lattes