I am a tried and true autumn fanatic. I love all things about the season from the bright colored leaves to the delicious holiday treats, but most of all I especially love the Pumpkin Spice Latte [aka the PSL]!
I wasn’t a fan of the PSL right away. I was skeptical, perhaps like many of you. I remember my very first PSL. The flavor complexity and gritty feel of the spices swirling around in my mouth wasn’t exactly my cup of tea (or should I say, joe!). I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t obsess over it…yet.
My taste buds have grown up significantly since that first cup, especially since I joined the Givaudan Flavors Sensory Team in 2008. I now crave a ton of spice, seasoning, and flavor – and the PSL brings that to life for me. With its traditional fall notes of ginger, nutmeg, clove, cream, sweetness, and even bitterness. The PSL taste experience provides me with great comfort, satisfaction, and satiation. However – truth bomb: I always modify the PSL menu item to watch my sugar and calories, while still maintaining the same delicious flavor (my modification for the hot beverage: half the syrup, use non-fat or non-dairy milk, no whip, and add a Splenda if you like!).
In addition to my affection for the taste of the beverage, the idea of pumpkin spice triggers delightful memories of college football weekends with my family and friends in the fall. No road trip to Neyland Stadium is complete without a PSL in one hand and an orange and white pom pom in the other!
So, enjoy your flip flops and wide-brimmed hats while summer lasts! As for me…I’ll be instagramming from Target with this year’s release of my favorite beverage!
Pictured: Instagram post from the 2018 release day for the PSL
Brought to you by our guest author and sensory expert: Natalie McElwee