Photo Credit: Nisa Notta
We got very caffeinated to make sure you’d find your favourite latte.
Darian Trabold, Managing Editor, and Arib Hassam, Contributor
Hey everyone! Did you miss us? Well, we missed Pumpkin Spice Lattes (PSLs). We are back again this year to try some old favourites and some new ones.
Arib’s Review: Ah, Starbucks — the patriarch of pumpkin spice lattes. Its offering remains a paragon of tradition, evoking a timeless essence that resonates with the autumn season. Though it leans toward a sweeter note, its iconic and balanced flavour transports you to the nostalgic hues of fall.
Darian: What is there to say about Starbucks? It is the OG PSL and taking the first sip makes me want to listen to “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” and watch Gilmore Girls. Even though it tends to be on the sweeter side, autumn would not be complete without at least one Starbucks PSL.
Arib: A worthy rival, Second Cup’s rendition triumphs with its delicate equilibrium. Unlike its sweeter competitor, Starbucks, here the sweetness is artfully subdued, allowing the genuine pumpkin flavor to shine through. A commendable balance indeed.
Darian: Some may call it a Starbucks dupe because it tastes as good, if not better than Starbucks for a lower price. Second Cup has yet to disappoint me with any of their coffee, with this one being the perfect blend of pumpkin and coffee.
Arib: Once a cherished emblem of Canadian coffee culture, Tim Hortons seems to have lost its way in the pumpkin spice arena. Each passing year sees a decline in the quality of their PSL, leaving a regrettable aftertaste that lingers longer than desired.
Darian: You literally could not pay me to drink regular Tim Horton’s coffee, let alone their PSL. The aftertaste is really jarring because it does not resemble anything pumpkin, spice, or latte. Tim’s seriously needs to improve their coffee.
Arib: In a surprising turn of events, 7-Eleven emerges as an unexpected gem in this caffeinated chronicle. Exhibiting a remarkable focus on the coffee element, the PSL retains a subtle but distinct pumpkin spice presence, elevating it above expectations.
Darian: This is my Roman Empire; I will tell anyone and everyone about 7-Eleven PSL. The fact that it comes out of a machine rather than a barista making it can be off-putting, but whatever 7-Eleven is doing they need to keep doing it. Taking the first sip is an enjoyable experience with its perfect mix of pumpkin flavour and coffee.
Arib: Neo, known for its elevated offerings, disappoints with its PSL rendition. The anticipated pumpkin spice essence is conspicuously absent, leaving an unfulfilled promise in its wake. A stark contrast to the elevated standards set by their other beverages.
Darian: This was my first time ever trying Neo and I was excited. That excitement quickly faded to disappointment. This barely tasted like pumpkin at all; to be frank, I am not sure what they put in it. I could not really pinpoint any flavour and it left a strange aftertaste that is hard to verbalize.
Arib: Alas, Good Earth, known for its natural allure, stumbles in the realm of pumpkin spice. The discernible artificiality overwhelms the taste, akin to a diluted semblance of what a genuine PSL should embody — a disheartening revelation indeed.
Darian: Advertised as the Pumpkin Pie Caffe Latte, I thought it would lean more into the pumpkin flavour and have less of the spice. Instead, it tasted artificial and had too much cinnamon. I was really looking forward to this one only to be let down; seems to be a theme for me in this article.
Arib: In a surprising twist, Krispy Kreme stands out as an unexpected champion. Mirroring the qualities of 7-Eleven but with a slightly sweeter undertone, this donut haven unveils a delectable pumpkin spice latte, defying preconceived notions.
Darian: Krispy Kreme is just good at everything. It was love at first sip. Drinking this is what listening to snippets of Reputation (Taylor’s Version) feels like, phenomenal. Not only does it taste like heaven, but the price cannot be beat. With its proximity to the exam center, this will definitely bring me back to life after midterms.