Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Coffee Assessments

I need to talk to all of you about an important topic--my opinion of pumpkin flavored things! Fall is my favorite time of year for many reasons: cooler temps, beautiful scenery, Thanksgiving food, so many amazing races, aaaaand pumpkin flavored everything. Is it just me or does the marketplace seem flooded with all things pumpkin? I'm not complaining by any means, this is simply an observation.

Coffee is something I just can't get through my day without. Pumpkin coffee is something I have to have all the time during the fall (and even into winter). No negotiation. Here are my thoughts on the pumpkin coffees that I've tried.

1) Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte:
By far the most famous fall drink, it is available in September through the winter. When I first started to like coffee, these were a must. When I had a Starbucks in my old office building, these were a special treat. I don't know if they've changed their recipe in recent years, but either way, it just doesn't do it for me anymore. They are expensive (over $4 for a small) and not really worth it, in my opinion.


2) Dunkin Donuts pumpkin flavored coffee:
I only discovered that this existed last year and that is when the elusive PSL at Starbucks began to loose it's luster. The Pumpkin flavored coffee is much milder while still having that delicious pumpkin flavor. I think it even has more "spice" to it than normal brews, something that gives it a little extra "umph" so to speak. You can add sugar and/or milk yourself, according to how you like your normal coffee. The price is much more in my range (coupons are always available and the small is about $1.25). Also, there are Dunkin Donuts pretty much everywhere (except in Seattle, I think).


3) Caribou Coffee Pumpkin Latte
For experiment purposes, I decided I absolutely needed to pick up a Caribou Coffee pumpkin latte on my way to work today. Traditionally, I'm a fan of Caribou over Starbucks because of Caribou's plethora of dark chocolate options compared to Starbucks. (Plus, I think Starbucks can be much more hype and brand recognition than actually delicious products. But that might just be me.) It definitely had the strong coffee/latte  flavor, but I still enjoyed it. However, for the price tag of over $4 for a small, this isn't a treat that I will be getting all that often.


4) Green Mountain K cups, Pumpkin Flavor
I discovered this gem last year when I had a 30% off Kohl's coupon (yes, Kohl's sells K cups). I can never pass up something pumpkin flavored so I had to give it a try. As far as K cups goes, it was (and still is) delicious! It is similar to DD with the more mild coffee flavor while still giving you the needed caffeine that comes with coffee. They also sell these at Target (where you can find a great deal using coupons and your 5% off Target card), and I imagine other large grocery store chains as well.


5) Pumpkin flavored coffee creamer
Since these coffee creamers are heavily sweetened it can sometimes be easy to overdue it, especially if you're pouring it out of a bottle versus opening one of those mini cups at the gas station. For every day at the office, this is basically how I get through the fall with money still in my wallet. Free coffee at the office + on-sale-with-coupon coffee creamer = a delicious and satisfactory combination. I haven't found the differences between brands to vary the taste. They are sweet and they taste like pumpkin. Is there anything else we need? I didn't think so.


Have you tried any/all of these options? What is your favorite fall beverage? If you don't Instagram your coffee purchase, did it even happen?

19 comments:

  1. Amy B @ Second City RandomnessOctober 25, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    hahahaa... I'm actually more of a fan of pumpkin in my food, not my drinks. However, I do have to say I've had the DD option and didn't mind it. Starbucks can suck it. The end.

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  2. I'm still mad at you for claiming you had "too much creamer" in your coffee this weekend. There's no such thing-especially if it's pumpkin flavored.

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  3. See, I'm a fan of pumpkin in my food AND my drinks (there is one more pumpkin bagel leftover from the weekend that I plan on eating today). I'm glad that you also are not a fan of Starbucks.

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  4. Haha, I'm sorry but I don't like my coffee extra sweet. An easy way to fix "too much creamer" is just adding more coffee... That way it is win-win either way!

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  5. I agree with you on Starbucks vs. Caribou - I like Caribou much more, but they are hard to find. Also I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks Starbucks's PSL isn't all that great. I don't even know where there is a DD near my office, and that's the only time I buy coffee.

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  6. I don't like the Dunkin Donuts version. It reminds me of Asian food because it's basically all ginger.

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  7. I still love the PSL from Starbucks the best but it is expensive so I don't get them often. maybe that is why I can still tolerate them because I barely get one a season. I think you are right that they may have changed things around in the Starbucks pumpkin stuff. We have Tim Horton's here and their PSL is gross! I got it and hated it! SO i most likely will just stick to my regular coffee from home with creamer. I have been using the International delight S'mores one and love it!

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  8. Dunkin wins for me! Caribou would win, but their soy milk is vanilla flavor and just ruins it for me. Way too sweet!

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  9. I have major love for Dunkin Donuts, but I haven't had their pumpkin flavor yet. Apparently that needs to change. The PSL at Starbucks is super sweet and milky, so I usually just get a regular coffee with one pump of pumpkin syrup and it's amazing.

    Flavored coffee creamers were one of the things I missed MOST while living abroad...#truefact

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  10. Thankfully DD now has a very extensive app. I'm SURE there is one by your office! If not, what kind of town are you working in???

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  11. Hmm, strange. I've never thought of it like that before...

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  12. Ah, I never get soy milk in my latte, just regular milk. Why would anyone chose vanilla over original soy or almond or any kind of milk. The plain is sweet enough as it is!!

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  13. Hmm I haven't tried this pump of pumpkin in with the regular coffee. I may need to try this concoction. I will let you know my findings as I believe there is a need for me to test this out this weekend...

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  14. Hmm, I don't know what Tim Horton's is... TO GOOGLE!

    At-home coffee with creamer is sometimes just the best thing on a cold weekend morning, when pajamas are required, not optional. :)

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  15. It's actually my own recipe....I call it coffee with pumpkin syrup.

    1 Tall light roast coffee
    1 pump pumpkin spice syrup
    milk or half & half (to taste, approximately 1 Tbsp)

    Stir gently and enjoy.

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  16. I SHALL PIN IT... PLEZ POST PHOTO TO UR BLOG

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  17. I don't drink coffee so I was thrilled to find that Argo Tea has Pumpkin Chai Tea lattes. The first time I had one it was with almond milk and it didn't thrill me. The second time I tried soy and it was MUCH better.

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  18. I absolutely love Chai tea lattes and I just found out (thanks to Instagram) that Caribou has them too. I just might need to try both of these in the upcoming weeks. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  19. Lisa_earlymorningrunOctober 27, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Um, I love Caribou - my fav - but unfortunately we don't have any shops around here. I always stop by when I'm in Michigan or Minnesota visiting family. And we always have beans stocked in our kitchen!

    We have the green mountain pumpkin k-cups at our office and it's pretty good! Better than I expected.

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