Friday, August 14, 2015

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

PumpeDD for Dunkin Spice

While the Starbucks PSL is the grandfather of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, they are also much like an actual grandfather in many ways. You know you'll find the same ridiculous ambient temperature every time you go to his house, and he's comfortingly going to have the exact same sorts of sarsaparilla and cookies he's had for your visits for your entire life. You can count on good ol'Grandfather Starbucks to be wherever you are when you need him.

Dunkin' Donuts, though, is your goofy aunt who sneaks you sips of her sangria and tells you about living on a commune for the summer, making hammocks in the nude while seeing things like 'auras' and something about how the earth is her mother and they have deep conversations. She shows up when she feels like it and half the time she wants you to sample some kind of bizarre "taste experience", but she smells like cookies and encourages you to explore your youthful freedom and seek happiness before things like paychecks. Where were we? Right. When DD first introduced its Pumpkin Spice K-Cup coffee packs, I was thrilled. At the time (2009?), the only way to get my hands on pumpkin-flavored coffee (which is to say, not a coffee mixed with a flavored syrup) was to mount a scavenger hunt in for Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice K-Cups on foot and online. Dunkin' has brought back their pumpkin coffee product seasonally and reliably ever since, while at the same time offering new and intriguing pumpkin products in an effort to grab the attention and moneydollars from people like me with pumpkin "taste experience" money to be spent, the only question being "who wants my pumpkin taste experience moneydollars?"

As of September 1, 2014, more of my pumpkin moneydollars are going to Dunkin', because of these four beautiful words: Pumpkin Crème Brûlée Latte

According to Beverage Industry, which is apparently a thing that exists and is also apparently "the best read and most widely distributed magazine covering the entire $400 billion North American beverage marketplace", returning favorites include "hot or iced Pumpkin coffees and lattes; hot or iced Pumpkin Mocha coffees and lattes; Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Flavored Coffee K-Cups; and 8-ounce packages of Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin ground coffee.

Accompanying its seasonal beverages, Dunkin’ Donuts also released seasonal foods, including Pumpkin Pie Donuts, Pumpkin Donuts, Pumpkin Munchkins Donut Holes, Pumpkin Muffins," and the return of the I-see-what-you-did-there-but-honey-just-no Spicy Smoked Sausage Breakfast Sandwich.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Welcome to Pumpkin Spice Season 2014!

The Reason for the Season Arrived Before The Season

Starbucks, in all of their flannel-wearing fishtossing mountain rangey wisdom decided to launch their much anticipated pumpkin spice line earlier than ever before, with (woohoo!) more options than ever before, too.

VIA® Pumpkin Spice Latte
VIA® Pumpkin Spice Latte is a blend of Starbucks VIA® 
instant coffee, pumpkin spice flavors, cane sugar, and dairy
powder. With just 8 ounces of hot water you can
abracadabra up a PSL whenever, wherever. While we here
at @pumpkinsw have yet (yet!) to test taste this one personally,
we will be doing so as soon as possible. Oh yes, we will indeed.
It's probably going to take a lot of taste testing.
We'll keep you posted.
Fontana™ Pumpkin Sauce
If you're not into that whole "instant coffee" scene and can't
bear to be seen toting a Starbucks cup with the telltale PSL,
well, Fontana™ Pumpkin Sauce is the awesomesauce for
you. Finally available for consumer purchase, this is the magical
ingredient Starbucks adds to create that pumpkin spice goodness
we crave. Many prefer Torani Pumpkin Pie Sauce, but if it's
the authentic fake pumpkin pie flavor you want, it's the Fontana
sauce you need.
Tazo® Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Concentrate
Starbucks describes Tazo® Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea 
Concentrate as "Cinnamon and cardamom sit by a crackling fire,
knitting black-tea scarves and catching up over mugs of
honey-laced steamed milk. Ginger waltzes in with a just-baked
pumpkin pie, and the room turns aromatic with sweet spice."
Equal parts concentrate and hot milk (or milk substitute) will
produce the black tea coffee-free equivalent of the PSL, if
that's a thing you want. We won't judge.

Pumpkin Bread
Starbucks writes "Under a topping of crushed pepitas, this super
moist slice is full of rich pumpkin flavor. It's a little bit spicy, a little
bit creamy, a little bit chewy..." and with that we welcome you to
the first item on this list to contain actual pumpkin (it's the second
ingredient, after sugar). While no pumpkin bread can ever be as
awesome as The Greatest Pumpkin Bread In The World, it's a
pretty good store-bought option.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin
"A moist, richly-spiced pumpkin muffin from La Boulange.
Topped with a sprinkling of chopped caramelized pepitas and filled
with indulgent cream cheese, this new offering from La Boulange
makes a sublime autumn treat." Another actual-pumpkin-containing
Pumpkin Spice item from Starbucks (ingredient 12).
Pumpkin Scone
"Introducing a moist new pumpkin scone from La Boulange
that’s bursting with seasonal flavors--pumpkin pie spice, brown
sugar and cinnamon. Topped with a delicious icing drizzle." From
what I can tell, the only "new" part of this scone is the drizzle,
foshizzle. It's still wonderful, it's still delicious, it's still close to
450 calories per serving.

Why We're All Here

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte: The Best Invention Ever!
"Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove? Check. Creamy milk for a delicious taste and texture? Check. Real pumpkin pie spices atop whipped cream? Check. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is back, with all the amazing ingredients that make it a beloved fall favorite."

Here it is, my friends. The PSL. The "Pumpkin". Spice. Latte. No, I actually don't care even a little bit that there's no "real actual pumpkin" in it, but that's another post for a different day. No, I still don't care if Pinterest can tell me 419 ways to make one at home. The Starbucks PSL was my first PSL, and it will always hold a special place in my pumpkin-loving heart.

Today, September 2, 2014, is the official launch date for a Starbucks store near you to begin offering the PSL, although basically everybody in the world was ordering them a week ago. Living in South Carolina, my preference for the PSL is in the wondertwin power activated form of a Pumpkin Spice Frappucino, at least until the end of October when temperatures may - hopefully - begin to dip below seventy degrees Fahrenheit. November, I really want to be in you. Hurry it up.