It was one of those cool fall days. The low was 40, the high was 55 degrees; it was that perfect sweater and vest weather. As I made my way to Olin, I decided to stop at Café Jennie, because it was going to be the day that I would finally try something made with “Pumpkin Spice.” I had sipped the Starbucks PSLs before, but I was never truly committed to the cause. Pumpkin spice is the epitome of fall, so who was I to not make that “perfect” fall day complete?
As I approached the counter, I confidently ordered a pumpkin spice mocha latte with skim milk (because, yes, I can taste the difference). Five minutes later, I Snapchatted my first pumpkin spice product of the season, and took that much anticipated sip.
In retrospect, I shouldn’t have taken that Snapchat. After the first sip, I was convinced it was just a fluke–I would definitely like it after the second, third, fourth tasting. Unfortunately for me, and basic girls everywhere, I was wrong. The mix of dark mocha and pumpkin was the opposite of a match made in heaven. Where was the magic? Where was the warm feeling inside that told me fall was here? What was the hype all about? I walked to the library attempting to finish my sub-par drink (I had paid too much to just throw it out) and decided it had to be just this drink. There had to be a better pumpkin coffee drink out there.
Later that week, I went for round two: a pumpkin decaf roast K-cup. K-cups are usually safe, I thought, so this couldn’t be as bad as the Café Jennie disaster. Again, I was flat-out wrong: there was nothing even semi-enjoyable about the taste of coffee combined with pumpkin. Were my tastebuds broken, or is pumpkin spice one hundred percent hype? Pumpkin might be in every food product in October and November, but it’s definitely just a marketing ploy. Ask yourself this next time you find yourself pulling out your credit card to buy something with pumpkin spice: Would you really eat pumpkin cereal or Oreos if it wasn’t fall? If your answer is no, don’t be ashamed– we’re all susceptible to the pumpkin scheme.
It’s hard accepting that you’re the victim of an excellent marketing scheme, but as the holiday season approaches and “peppermint” steals pumpkin’s spotlight, beware. Approach “peppermint” with caution; don’t believe the hype and just stick with your usual mocha lattes– with skim milk (because I can still taste the difference).