It’s that time of year: the leaves are turning orange, the weather is getting a little nippy (well FINALLY), and coffee shops are dusting off their coveted pumpkin latte recipes for another autumn season. Here’s the lowdown on a bunch of variations of this seasonal favorite we tried at various cafes around Berkeley:

What their pumpkin spice latte cooould look like...

What their pumpkin spice latte cooould look like...

Drink: Pumpkin Spice Latte

Place: Starbucks (Center/Oxford)

Price: $3.75 (tall)

The low-down: Starbucks is the home of the most well-known Pumpkin Spice Latte, so we thought we’d give this one a try first. There is lots of spice, but unfortunately not enough pumpkin taste, which is crazy overpowered by the bitterness of the coffee. Is it delicious? Yes. Is it overpriced? Also yes. So if you  are in the market for a PSL that actually tastes like pumpkin, don’t bother. But if you’re in the mood for a nice coffee beverage? It’ll satisfy.


Surprise! It looks like a latte.

Drink: Pumpkin Chai Latte

Place: Peet’s Coffee (Qualcomm Cafe)

Price: $3.25 (small)

The low-down: This is not your average-grade pumpkin latte. No, Peet’s took the classic beverage a step further by introducing chai to the autumn infusion. If you don’t need that caffeine buzz from a coffee-based latte, we recommend giving this drink a whirl. The subtle pumpkin flavor mixed with the aromatic spices of the chai? It’s pretty much liquid pumpkin pie.


Come on, Coffee Bean, step up your game.

Drink: Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

Place: The Coffee Bean (ASUC)

Price: $3.55 (small)

The low-down: Okay Coffee Bean, be serious with us: is there any pumpkin flavor in this drink at all? Either you forgot to add in the syrup for my drink, or your Pumpkin Spice Latte is a misnomer. Even Spice Latte is a misnomer. And hey, it was mostly ice anyway. We want our money back! If you want ice on a hot day, look somewhere cheaper.


Drink: Pumpkin Latte

Place: Micro Yali’s (VLSB)

Price: $3.25 (small)

The low-down: This Pumpkin Latte was one of the few that was very decent! It has a very smooth consistency and strong coffee taste, yet there is actually a nice pumpkin aftertaste! If you find yourself in the heart of VLSB on a blustery day and are craving something to match the mood, this is the way to do it.

Image source: Hailey Simpson, Daily Cal

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