How to Make a Real Pumpkin Spice Latte

If you would rather not drink plastic and chemicals.

Health food usually isn’t my thing to write about, but this article that’s been going around about what’s actually in a Starbucks PSL stuck with me. Bottom line, it’s pretty gross.

Not abnormally gross, mind you–if you eat any mainstream candy found in an American grocery store, or any burger from a fast food joint, you’re probably consuming the same ingredients. They’re not food, and if you don’t have ongoing health problems (like food sensitivities or mental health problems) because of eating these kinds of things, your kids probably will. (Looking forward to that conversation in 20 years?) So knowing that one of my favorite ways to spend a fall afternoon–at a coffee shop with a good book–was actually a long-term investment in illness didn’t exactly rub me the right way.

There’s more to fall than pumpkin. Seriously. Maple, cinnamon, apple, and butterscotch, to name a few, are definitely getting the short end of the stick right now. But as for the latte, my wife found a great recipe for the syrup you can make at home.

Check it out here.

The syrup stays good for a couple weeks, and it seriously does taste like the real thing. (You can even put some in your coffee with some regular ol’ milk for a ridiculously easy, 90%-of-the-way-there alternative.) Only thing I had trouble with was the strainer–use one with big holes, or it won’t work.

Enjoy your fall!

Brian Brown
Brian Brown loves building the environments, habits, and networks that make people thrive. He is the founder of Humane Pursuits, where he writes a featured column and edits the Give channel. He started his consulting company, Narrator, to help great mission-driven organizations modernize and grow. He lives with his wife Christina and son Edmund in Colorado Springs, where they mix cocktails, hunt for historic architecture, and see how many people they can squeeze into their house for happy hour.

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