Every where you look, coffee shops and convenience stores are stocking up on their pumpkin-flavored coffees. But are they good?
The hype for Starbucks pumpkin spice latte was so much that they even held a contest to see what city should get pumpkin spice lattes first. My region didn't win, sad to say!
I got a jump on my pumpkin coffee early and had my first one at Dunkin' Donuts around the first week of September. Then I caught wind that Wawa (local convenience store chain) also was going to have some sort of NEW! pumpkin coffee. I have now tried three different brands of Pumpkin coffees: Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts and Wawa. Let's run them down.
Dunkin' Donuts coffee is always hit-or-miss because you don't prepare it yourself. Upon ordering any coffee, you are asked "cream and sugar?" I always answer, "skim milk and Splenda?".
My first DD pumpkin coffee was good, though pretty sweet. Not very spicy, though, and very syrupy.
My second, which I had yesterday, was VERY overly sweetened. I could barely finish it. I almost want to say that it was teetering on gross. And I like sweet things, so this is saying a lot. Their pumpkin MUFFIN, on the other hand, is always done right! Moist and perfect.
C+ -- though it depends
Wawa serves its coffees in carafes, so I assume that their flavoring was not a syrup. I wasn't expecting too much, because Wawa coffee is weak and watered down. I sweetened it with a little half-and-half and two Splendas.
Wawa's pumpkin coffee is subtle. Not too sweet, not too spicey. I thought it was pretty good, though not overly impressed. It's still Wawa coffee, afterall, but at least you get to control how flavored it is.
B: Good, but not great.
I love my local Starbucks. I don't go there very often, but it is always quiet and peaceful in there, with such friendly and chipper servers. I'll never forget how, when I was pregnant, I spilled a cup of coffee and they helped me clean it up, then replaced it for free. Once, at a different local Starbucks, I had forgotten my wallet and they were about to let me take my latte for FREE (I did pay for it in the end, though).
So I am already a little biased.
I went in with an empty bag of store-bought Starbucks coffee, which is good for a free tall coffee. I thought I'd have to pay the difference for the flavoring, but I didn't. It was completely free. That might make me a even more biased! Their pumpkin coffee is flavored with a syrup, so I knew it would already be pretty sweet. I added just a bit of half-and-half and about half a Splenda.
And it was delicious! AND it was piping hot. I burnt my tounge a bit. Dunkin' and Wawa's coffees were hot, but not piping hot! It was perfectly spicey and tasted just like fall in a cup. It didn't have an artificial taste like Dunkin' coffee does. Starbucks advertises that it's pumpkin SPICE, though, so its not expected to taste like a pumpkin. Instead, it is presumably is flavored with pumpkin spices: cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
I enjoyed my tall my entire car ride to work and savored the last bit when I got to work. I would drink these every day if I could.
Sizes: It's worth noting that Wawa and Starbucks' tall/small coffees are a full 12 ounces, while Dunkin' Donuts are 10 ounces. I don't know why that is, but I don't like it!