It’s finally the season of the Pumpkin Spice Latte (AKA the PSL), when the air gets cold and the only thing that can warm you up is a hot, sugary beverage. While the PSL is vital to every autumn-lover’s diet, there are some things you may not know about the drink itself. Sure, it’s a delicious drinkable version of your fave autumn dessert (pumpkin pie, of course), but that doesn’t mean there is actually pumpkin in it. Weird, right? What IS a pumpkin spice latte anyway?!
Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out, because I’ve gathered some interesting facts about a PSL that you definitely didn’t know before, and they will totally surprise you. While some of these facts might gross you out, there is nothing wrong with treating yourself every once in a while with a warm PSL. I wouldn’t recommend scarfing one down every day, though. Take a look at these facts to see what exactly you are drinking when you order a pumpkin spice latte.
The Starbucks PSL Didn’t Contain Actual Pumpkin Until Last YearAlthough the PSL was introduced in 2003, it didn't actually contain pumpkin flavoring until 2015. The change came after backlash from costumers once they learned there was no actual pumpkin ingredients in the PSL. Starbucks quickly changed their recipe to include pumpkin puree, although we still aren't exactly sure what that is. Image Source: iStock
It Has As Many Carbs As A BagelIf you're in the mood for a latte and a bagel, you might want to think twice before going for both. A regular plain bagel, without any butter or spreads, can have 56 grams of carbs, while your PSL has around 52 grams. While the right amount of carbs isn’t unhealthy too many can not only make you gain weight, but also cause a number of different health problems. Image Source: iStock
It Has Two Times The Recommended Amount Of SugarThe American Heart Association suggests a daily intake of 24 grams of added sugar per day. Unfortunately, the PSL can have up to 116 grams of sugar, depending on the size you get. That's three times the amount of sugar in a can of soda. That is a LOT of sugar TBH. Image Source: iStock
It Has Less Caffeine Than CoffeeIf you're looking for a morning pick-me-up, you might want to skip out on the PSL. While the drink does have caffeine, it has about half the amount of caffeine as a regular cup of coffee, which means you're probably better off grabbing a cup of coffee instead of a pumpkin spice latte in the morning. Image Source: iStock
It Isn't VeganWell, obviously the PSL isn't vegan, but even if you order it with soy milk, it still contains condensed milk, which is an animal bi-product and therefore not vegan. So if you're planning on going vegan this fall, or if you have a dairy allergy, you're going to have to say goodbye to your fave PSL. Image Source: iStock
We Don't Know What Natural Flavors AreIn order to produce mass amounts of spices and flavorings, Starbucks uses "natural flavors" to make their Pumpkin Spice Lattes taste so delicious. While they do taste really good, Starbucks doesn't specify what types of "natural flavors" they use, which would mean that they can be basically anything. Image Source: iStock
It Can Empty Your WalletYou might think that since your PSL is limited edition, you should have it as often as possible. And you can, if you want, but just know that doing so is kind of a waste of your money. The average tall pumpkin spice latte is $4.25, while a regular latte is $3.45. It might not seem like a lot, but it adds up over the three months that the PSL is available! For example, let's say you buy a PSL every morning before school from September to December (NOTE: you probably shouldn't do that). That will cost you about $360 vs buying a regular latte every morning, which would cost you about $280. Sure, it’s delicious, but that’s a lot of cash! Pumpkin flavored coffee is cheaper and easier to make at home, so if you really need your pumpkin fix, have that and save the PSL for a weekly treat. Your bank account will thank you! Image Source: iStock
Which of these facts surprised you the most? Tell us in the comments!