Pumpkin Spice Latte
You guys asked, and you got it…..
By popular demand, this month we reviewed the best Pumpkin Spice Latte in Kelowna!
The pumpkin spice latte is a coffee beverage made of traditional fall spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. The drink is a blend of these spices, steamed milk, espresso, and topped with whipped cream. The PSL is only available on a seasonal basis – typically starting late August lasting until the later months of fall. Though Starbucks first popularized the Pumpkin Spice Latte, you can now get a version of them at most coffee establishments.
I brought my first guest along, Brett, from The Good Time Boys. You’ll recognize him when he had me as a guest on his podcast. If you missed it, click here.
The PSL is known as a female drink aka the “basic white girl” drink. Why not bring a male to have the contrasting opinions? Even better, Brett had never had a pumpkin spice latte in his life! He was a pumpkin spice latte virgin! Can you imagine!! Lol.
Before we sampled any of that lattes, we discussed what we were looking for in a good Pumpkin Spice Latte:
-natural pumpkin flavor (not artificial tasting syrup) – I actually don’t love sweet drinks. I’m more of an americano kind of girl. But if done right and is home made, I like a PSL. Homemade pumpkin puree is the way to go.
-whip cream – Again, I appreciate home made. Get that fake whip cream out of here and give me the real stuff.
-proper use of fall spices – Nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, I want to taste the spices. Plain pumpkin on its own can be a little bland so the proper usage of spices really makes or breaks a PSL.
Let’s review where we went:
First off, I will inform you that Naked Cafe is a vegan restaurant here in Kelowna. Therefore their Pumpkin Spice Latte is vegan. Instead of regular milk, you have the choice of soy, almond, coconut, or oat milk as a substitute for regular milk. Brett and I both went with the oak milk option. The whip cream was also their speciality coconut whipped cream. In terms of the presentation, they made their PSL look very pretty by swirling the whip cream and dosing some cinnamon on top. Taste wise, I loved that it was home made and that they used real pumpkin. This is always a big yes in my books! And if you haven’t tried their coconut whip cream, you need to! It’s delicious. I also enjoyed the oat milk, however, found it had a prominent taste. This could change the taste of the latte if you are used to regular cow’s milk. The only real critique I had was that the latte itself wasn’t overly pumpkiny tasting. If you watched my IG stories, it doesn’t “knock you in the face” with pumpkin as Brett perfectly puts it haha. But overall a super tasty PSL!
Marmalade Cat Cafe
The second place we checked out was Marmalade Cafe. This is a super cute homey cafe with awesome baked goods. Their take on a Pumpkin Spice Latte was very classic. Presentation wise, the two that we ordered looked quite different from each other. They also weren’t served with whip cream which was a bummer in my books, but I wasn’t about to judge a book by its cover. In terms of taste, these lattes screamed pumpkin! The complete opposite of Naked Cafe. That being said, the pumpkin flavor didn’t taste home made, it tasted quite artificial tasting which is a big no-no for me. Furthermore, I couldn’t taste any cinnamon or nut meg notes – it was a very one note tasting kind of drink. We ordered small sizes but I found it to be too rich and heavy, perhaps a smaller amount would have been more enjoyable. On a positive note, if you’re a pumpkin lover, you will definitely not be disappointed with how pumpkiny their PSL was!
Our last stop was at Gio’s! This is an adorable little place with super friendly staff. They had an Italian twist on their PSL with being an Italian coffee shop. The blend of the cold whip cream on top was super delicious and looked pleasant to the eye. However, I wouldn’t have minded some cinnamon or sugar sprinkled on top. In terms of taste, Gio’s good quality coffee came through which definitely contributed to the overall taste of the latte. They added a unique twist by adding cayenne to their drink which really brought out the nutmeg and cinnamon spices – which I actually really enjoyed as it gives a lot of dimension to the taste! However, adding cayenne put the drink more on the spicier side so not all will necessarily enjoy that. Overall, still a very delicious spin on a Pumpkin Spice Latte!
Which which Pumpkin Spice Latte takes the cake?
I could be happy with any Pumpkin Spice Latte but Gio’s was definitely my favorite. The usage of cayenne really brought out the pumpkin flavors and was a unique touch. I also appreciated the appropriate size of the latte so I wasn’t walking away feeling super heavy like how some PSL’s can make you feel. The taste of Gio’s high quality coffee also came through. I don’t enjoy overly sweet beverages and appreciate good coffee so that is what determined Gio’s being the winner.
Stay tuned to November’s #stuffwithsvetfoodchallenge – veggie burgers!!! Thanks for tuning in.