It’s officially Pumpkin-Spice-everything season and I am HERE. FOR. IT.
I love fall and everything that comes with it. But to be honest, this year was the first time I ever had a Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL as they’re affectionately known.
And to be even more honest, I wasn’t super impressed. I did an IG poll before I tried it and asked if you guys thought it was worth the hype. Almost 80% said NO! So I guess I’m not alone.
I tried it two different times at two different Starbucks. The first was pretty good but I wasn’t overly wowed by it. Both times they tasted pretty artificial and the second didn’t taste anything like the first. I took 2 sips of that one and had to throw it out it was so gross. I think a newbie made that one or something.
But even if I did love it, I wouldn’t want to have to go to Starbucks every time I wanted one, and I want to be able to have one year round if I want. So I set off to make the perfect Fall-in-a-cup drink that is the PSL. And after a few days of trial and error, I think I got it!
I wanted to create a recipe that could be made without an espresso maker since they’re pretty expensive and not something most people have. You can make this recipe with either a French Press or a Keurig. This recipe is also healthier and has WAY less sugar (about 20g) than the Starbucks drink (50g in a grande).
I do recommend using a milk frother/steamer, but you can also get around this, too, if you have a mason jar laying around. I use this one and it’s less than $40 and I LOVE IT. It takes less than a minute to get the milk to the perfect temperature and consistency and literally all you do is push a button.
I’ll share the substitution options below!
What you need:
- French Press, Keurig or Espresso Maker
- Milk frother/steamer (or mason jar with a lid, see below)
- Measuring spoons
- 8 oz strong coffee or 1 shot of espresso. I recommend a dark roast.
- 1 TBSP pumpkin puree
- 2 TBSP Vanilla Creamer (you can sub this for 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup milk of choice, steamed
- 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice (more if desired)
- a dash of nutmeg
- a dash of cinnamon
- Gather all the ingredients. You want everything nearby when you do this to get the max use of the heat of the coffee.
- Make the coffee.
- If using a French Press (FP), use 2 TBSP of coffee packed down and 8 oz boiling water. Put the coffee in the FP and give it a splash of water to let it “bloom” (release flavor) for 30 seconds. Then add the rest of the water and put the lid on. Don’t push down yet! Let it steep for about 4 minutes while you get the other things ready.
- If using a Keurig, fill a reusable k-cup with coffee all the way to the top and pack it in tightly. It should be a little difficult to close. Set to the 8 oz setting and brew.
- While the coffee is brewing, grab your coffee cup. Put in the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie seasoning, creamer, maple syrup and nutmeg. The nutmeg is for flavor and you can use as much or as little as you like. It is strong, so I recommend starting with less and adding if you want more flavor.
- Once the coffee is ready, pour it into the coffee cup with the other ingredients and mix them together. The heat will mix everything well, which is why you want to have it all ready and waiting to get the best result.
- Put the milk in the frother and turn it on. The easiest step!
- If you’re using a mason jar, put 1/2 cup milk in the jar and put the lid on. Shake the jar for 1 minute until it’s foamy. Remove the lid and microwave for 30 seconds. Voila!
- Add the milk to the coffee cup and sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on top! ENJOY!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!