With smooth pumpkin flavor and spicy aftertones, it is easy to see why Pumpkin Spice Lattes are the ultimate fall staple. There are so many different options to choose from and the question remains: which coffee shop has the best PSL? To find the perfect PSL, I will evaluate Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Bobby B’s and Peet’s, and rate them based on flavor, texture, smell, presentation and cost. To keep it simple I’ll only be sampling the hot versions of these drinks.
A classic, AKA Ole Faithful. So reliable, and something I wait for all summer long. The Starbucks PSL started basic girl fall for me and is always consistent in flavor, texture, smell, presentation and cost. If you’re looking for a strong, sweet pumpkin with plenty of spice, this is the PSL for you. Compared to other coffee shops, Starbucks is about average in their prices, at $4.45 for a tall. Overall, this fun festive drink gets 5 out of 5 pumpkins this Halloween.
- Dunkin’ Donuts:
America runs on Dunkin’, and so do I when it comes to this fall favorite. Almost as good as Starbucks, Dunkin’s version of the PSL is packed with flavor. The presentation is usually well done, with whipped cream to top it off. The price beats Starbucks by over a dollar (the PSL at Dunkin is only $3). Plus, if you’re worried about nutrition, both the Starbucks and Dunkin PSL have very similar nutritional facts. Overall, this cinnamon sweet, whipped cream dream gets 4.5 out of 5 pumpkins. It’s down a point compared to Starbuck because it’s not nearly as consistent.
- Bobby B’s:
The most notorious, unreliable, spice filled monstrosity I have ever tasted. I hate to defame PLNU’s sweet little café, but these PSL’s are very unreliable. When smelling the top, spice fills your nostrils as if you just completed the 2016 cinnamon challenge. Not only is the PSL from Bobby B’s too strong in spice, other times it can be so watered-down it tastes like pumpkin stew. Although the presentation is usually pretty and it’s the most convenient PSL for most students, it’s unreliability has earned it 2 out of 5 pumpkins.
A quick walk away from PLNU’s main campus, Peet’s is a convenient option for students who want to get off campus to study. Their small PSL costs $4.55, which is more than Starbuck or Dunkin. This PSL still has notes of pumpkin and spice, but has a stronger coffee flavor than most other options. Nutritionally, it is also similar to Dunkin and Starbucks. One thing that sets this latte apart is that Peet’s PSL syrup is vegan, unlike both Dunkin and Starbucks. This fall treat, because it is less pumpkiny than the others, gets 3.5 out of 5 pumpkins.
By: Ally Andre