File photo by Jeromiah Taylor
As temperatures drop alongside midterm grades we find ourselves in the fragrant, crisp midst of autumn.
For those us of us who function with crippling caffeine dependencies this means one thing – the return of the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte.
Are they really that good? Who knows?
What matters is that they are abundantly available and fall under that irresistible version of limited time supply, “seasonal.”
I went around town asking frenzied baristas if their establishment had a seasonal menu and endured the bemused glares so that you didn’t have to.
What’s more, I ranked the four best pumpkin spice lattes in Wichita.
No. 1 Reverie – Pumpkin Maple Spice Latte
Topped by an artfully decorated foam bespeckled by ground spice this latte is the absolute best in Wichita. The whole ingredients are identifiable, yet seamlessly fused into a veritable Thanksgiving dessert bar. The earthy taste of unsweetened pumpkin decadently deepens the umami of the espresso while audacious ginger and seductive maple round out the drink.
No. 2 Starbucks – The Original Pumpkin Spice Latte
It’s a household name for a reason: seasonal sweetness is balanced perfectly with Starbuck’s infamous caffeinated kick. Nutmeg and ginger make an appearance alongside perfect pumpkin. The best part? A generous dollop of whipped cream.
No. 3 Fairmount Coffee – Pumpkin Spice Latte
This unassuming drink does what it is supposed to – taste like pumpkin, coffee, spices and sugar. There are no unneeded embellishments or distracting additions. We all love Fairmount for the environment and location. If you need a pumpkin spice fix, you won’t go wrong here.
No. 4 Milkfloat – Pumpkin White Chocolate Spice Latte
Sometimes risks pay off and sometimes they don’t. Adding white chocolate, an already controversial ingredient, to a hotly contested drink such as the pumpkin spice latte was a risk. I’ll let you decide if it paid off. You’re decision will likely rest on your preference between the sweetness of added flavors and the acidic bite of espresso.