Pumpkin Spiced Lattes - What is all the fuss about?

Pumpkin Spiced Lattes - What is all the fuss about?

Pumpkin spice has now become the main indication of autumn beginning. Thanks, in large part, to a certain second wave coffee shop and its astronomical marketing budget, the Pumpkin Spiced Latte is coffee's way of getting involved with this autumn indication.

But what actually is the pumpkin spiced latte? What is pumpkin spice? What do you mean it doesn't actually have any pumpkin in it? Let’s find out together…

What is pumpkin spice?

Surprisingly to some, including me researching this, there’s not actually any pumpkin involved. It’s simply a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, which got its name because it was traditionally used to flavour recipes like pumpkin pie. So no, a pumpkin spice latte, doesn't taste like pumpkin at all. I've made myself one to try as I type up my findings and honestly, it's actually quite delicious. I can see why I see so many people on Instagram get all hot in the collar about it every October.

The earliest-known reference of pumpkin spice dates to a British recipe from 1675 with pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

In the 1930s, spice manufacturing companies like Thompson & Taylor Spice Co came out with a product that would change it all: Pumpkin Pie Spice, a pre-blended mix that meant bakers could buy one spice instead of several.
You can make pumpkin spice by combining all of the above mentioned spices, however a pumpkin spice syrup is the easiest way to add this flavour into your coffees.

How did pumpkin spice end up in my latte?

In the 15th century, coffee was traded by spice traders in places such as Yemen as a spice therefore people would blend the coffee with the pumpkin spices to create a flavoursome drink. So pumpkin spices and coffee have always had a bit of a connection.

However, it is the aforementioned second wave coffee shop that ‘invented' the Pumpkin Spiced Latte in late 2003, or ‘PSL' if you love the 'gram. After testing a Winter seasonal menu, including drinks such as the Peppermint Mocha and Eggnog Latte, their developers realised that was something special around the pumpkin flavour for autumn. After much testing of spice blends, both with and without actual pumpkin, the standard pumpkin spice mix was used and the pumpkin spiced latte was born. And to be fair, due to its limited availability and high marketing budget, it doesn't seem to have done bad, with over 500 million recorded cups sold worldwide.


How to make the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte:

So, now you know all about the Pumpkin Spice Latte I imagine that you're beside yourself with excitement to inject this seasonal, instagrammable coffee into your life.

I'm going to make an assumption that by stumbling across this blog, you already love Recent Beans coffee and home brewing. So let's make the perfect PSL at home, without the somewhat shocking price tag to get it in that famous instagrammable cup!


Optional Spice Blend

  • 1/2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 healthy pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 healthy pinch ground allspice
  • 1 healthy pinch ground clove
  • 1 healthy pinch ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Add William Fox Pumpkin Spice Syrup to favourite mug
  • (If using the spice mix, stir spices into micro-foamed milk)
  • Mix in coffee
  • Add microfoamed milk
  • If your latte art didn’t go as well as ours, hide this with a swirl of Whipped Cream & Pumpkin Pie Spice for garnish (optional)

As well as making an awesome PSL, you can also use the William Fox syrup to add flavouring to baking and to any cocktails or mocktails you may like.

If you want to get that fluffy jumper autumn feeling, without the pumpkins, check out our Autumn Drink Recipes, that don't include pumpkin Spice.

Well, there it is. You've graduated from PSL camp and you're ready to go live on Instagram, or TikTok or something with your fancy autumnal drink. Make sure as you ascend the ranks of social media influencer stardom to tag your old friends Recent Beans. We'll be sure to throw you a like, or retweet or whatever you do…

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