Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Pumpkin Spice Chai Lattes

It's October, and Fall is in full-swing. Except here in Alabama where it was 85° this past weekend. BUT, the leaves are changing color & falling, football season is well under way, and, considered by some to be the most important indicator of fall, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks



I don't go to Starbucks. Not because I'm too cool for Starbucks, or because it's too commercial or mainstream. I don't go to Starbucks because I am a total cheapass. I don't drink coffee regularly, but when I do I prefer Dos Equis, I make it at home with the Keurig. Haters gonna hate.



Since I don't drink coffee regularly, I like to go a little frou-frou with it when I DO drink it (hence why I have a Keurig, which my cheap ass was given as a gift from the parents). However, I do drink a LOT of tea. Unlike pretty much every other Southerner I know, I only drink my iced tea unsweetened (blasphemy here in the heart of Milo's country). Cooler weather means I transition from iced tea to hot teas - the tea aisle at our local Earth Fare knows me quite well. 

I HAVE tried the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. Once. It was fantastic. Spicy, creamy, and so, well, FALL. At once I GOT IT. I understood the addiction. And I knew I had to find a way to make it myself at home. 

The key is all in the syrup. Starbucks uses a pumpkin spice syrup, which is easy to replicate. It's a simple syrup (literally, a 1:1 mixture of water and sugar is known as "simple syrup"), flavored with a bit of pumpkin puree (not the pie filling!, JUST the canned puree), and all the spices that conjure up the flavors of fall - cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. 



This syrup can then be combined with coffee and milk for a latte, or with chai tea and milk for chai lattes (for the tea-loving, coffee-abstainers like myself). 

Oh yeah, I worked out the cost, and the lattes will cost about $1.15 apiece, and the chai lattes $0.90 apiece - and that's WITH the whipped cream! A whole bottle of the syrup only costs $1.25 to make. Not bad, huh? 

Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Pumpkin Spice Chai Lattes
Syrup recipe adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

Ingredients:
Pumpkin Spice Syrup:
1 1/2 cups filtered water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 Tbsp canned pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Chai Latte:
1 cup milk (dairy, soy, etc)
1 Tbsp vanilla 
1 chai or black tea bag
Latte (Coffee):
1 cup milk (dairy, soy, etc)
2-4 Tbsp strong brewed coffee or espresso
Toppings (optional): 
Whipped cream
Pumpkin pie spice

Prepare the syrup - Combine the sugar & water in a small pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is clear. 






Add the pumpkin and spices; cook, whisking, for about 5 minutes - do not allow the syrup to come to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes; the syrup will thicken up as it cools. 










Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve; keep the syrup chilled. 




To make a Chai latte, combine the milk, 1 Tbsp of pumpkin spice syrup and vanilla; heat until just simmering. Add the tea bag and let steep for 4-5 minutes. If you want it frothy, simply beat with a wire whisk. 










 To make a coffee latte, heat the milk until just simmering; stir in the coffee (I didn't have any espresso, so I just used 4 Tbsp of Keurig "Breakfast Blend") and 2 Tbsp of pumpkin spice syrup. Beat with a wire whisk to make it frothy. 









Top with whipped cream and a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice if desired. 

Chai Latte: 




Coffee Latte:




13 comments:

  1. Sounds yummy...but I think I'll stick with pumpkin pie and spiced wafers. :-)

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  2. O.O Oh my!! looks so yummy. I cant wait to try it! :)

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  3. I love you forever! This sounds awesome. I do have the pumpkin spice flavor for my Keurig and even found pumpkin milk at Target, but it doesn't quite do it for me. I'll definitely try this.

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    1. Noel, please tell me how you like it! I have the pumpkin spice K-cups as well, and I STILL prefer this version better!!

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  4. Lovely presentation, Julia. Thanks for popping over and putting your additions to the collection in. Cheers

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  5. Absolutely wonderful! Just made it with coffee and it's perfection! Can't wait to try the tea! Thank you!!

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    1. You're welcome, Nanci! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I don't consider it 'Fall' until I have one of these :D

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  6. I have now made the syrup about 4 times!!!! This is the BEST! My friend (who goes to starbucks all the time) said it tastes better than their pumpkin spice lattes!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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    1. Wow! I've gotten to where I now sometimes pour a little bit of the syrup over ice cream or even into yogurt!

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    2. I am totally going to try this on my yogurt. Great IDEA!

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  7. How long does the syrup last? It seems like it would take awhile to use up even if you had a pumpkin drink every day.

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  8. Julia
    This is my absolute favorite recipe ever!
    I just made my third batch and all with Swerve Confectioners sugar. It dissolves better than their granulated version.
    A cup is healthified now to 53 calories. I like one TBSP of Coffeemate French Vanilla
    (not the perfect choice but miles better than a starbucks cups ingredients) and I still add the vanilla and a sprinkle of nutmeg. I don't bother with the whip cream because I drink one to two cups a day and make them for friends and family. Im addicted.
    Thank you for sharing.

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