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Trying a Pumpkin Spice Latte for the First Time

The transition from a relaxing fall break back into the swing of the school week was smooth for me. My nine o’clock Wednesday class had been cancelled, so I caught an extra hour of sleep. When I finally woke up, I had a craving for coffee. I resolved to grab something from Starbucks at the library, then have a nice morning catching up on my Her Campus articles. 

Immediately when I mentioned I was heading to Starbucks, my roommates swarmed me:

“Are you getting a pumpkin spice latte?”

“Can you get me a pumpkin spice latte?”

“PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES ARE MY LIFE!!!” 

Okay, the last one may have been exaggerated, but nevertheless I could not escape the hype surrounding this popular fall drink. And I figured, why not just try one? I’d never had one before, as I usually opted for a Strawberry Acai Refresher or a White Chocolate Mocha iced coffee instead. 

With my laptop in my backpack and a novel under my arm, I headed off across campus to the library. 

As I walked on that cool October morning, I thought about how momentous this morning was. Today I was going to learn if I loved fall, or if I lived and breathed it. Back in high school, I worked at Dunkin’ Donuts, the rival of Starbucks. From the end of August to November — if my memory serves me correctly — everything in the store was orange: decorations, donuts, drinks, oh my! And customers couldn’t get enough of our pumpkin flavored treats, though a few brashly let me know that our pumpkin spice lattes were awful in comparison to Starbucks’s. 

The lobby of the library was empty when I walked in. It was a little after nine now; the rush I normally noticed didn’t happen until ten, when everyone on campus, it seemed, got out of their nine to nine-fifty class. 

I walked right to the front of the line and ordered my pumpkin spice latte, with whipped cream and caramel and cinnamon on top (because, of course). In addition, I ordered my white chocolate mocha iced coffee with a marble cake; I just couldn’t resist. 

I set my belongings down at a nearby table as I waited for my drinks to be ready. I watched the baristas behind the counter and had flashbacks to my days of making coffees: the rich smell of freshly brewed espresso, the whirring of the milk steamer, the complaints of Karen’s whose hot coffees were “too hot.” Ah, good times. 

The barista called my name, and I rushed up excitedly to get my drinks. When I got back to my seat, I took a sip of the white chocolate mocha, smiling as the liquid happiness filled me with warm fuzzies. Then, I looked at the pumpkin spice latte. 

The drink itself was a dark tan color with a hint of deep orange swirled in. The whipped cream on top was flat, more like a deflated balloon than a full dome shape; the cinnamon was sprinkled more evenly on one side than the other; the caramel drizzle was almost nonexistent. Definitely not Instagram worthy. But how did it taste? 

I took a sip of the latte through the paper straw, and…and…

Eh. It was alright. 

All I could taste was the overwhelming combination of cinnamon and super sweet pumpkin syrup. It was a drink to be sipped, not to be drank all at once; however, I was not the one to be sipping it. I sighed and trudged back to my dorm room, having realized I’d also forgotten my laptop charger. I was going to give the pumpkin spice latte to one of my roommates before the ice inside turned to water and the whipped cream completely melted. Or, rather, I was going to set it on the counter and let them fight over it like dogs. 

Well, the morning did not pan out quite as I had hoped. However, I still was able to enjoy my iced coffee and pastry while I got some writing done in the study lounge. 

If you love P.S.L.’s, good for you! If you’d rather get something else from Starbucks, or even Dunkin’, that’s also cool. The main takeaway from this experience I wanted to share is to not be afraid of trying new things, because in the end, you can get a really solid article out of it. 

HCXO, Cam

Camryn Gurecki

Millersville '25

Camryn is in the Class of '25 at Millersville University. She is currently pursuing a degree in English Writing Studies. In her spare time, Camryn enjoys reading romance novels, writing (obviously), crocheting scarves, and listening to music.
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