It’s PSL Season: Here’s Your Guide to the Trendiest Drink of the Fall

I rated the pumpkin spice lattes around KPU campuses based on creaminess, coffee taste, sweetness, and latte art

A pumpkin spice latte from GrassRoots Cafe on KPU’s Surrey campus. (Mackenzie Rhode)

October signifies the beginning of my favourite season: pumpkin spice season. My obsession with the pumpkin spice latte began years ago and has shown no signs of slowing down. With this in mind, I taste-tested the famous fall drink from four popular coffee shops to give you a quick reference guide for where to get your next PSL.


Love at first glance. My latte was adorned with latte art in the shape of a panda. The first taste is coffee, followed by strong spice. This pumpkin spice latte exudes autumn flavours. Each sip is strong with spices and a hint of pumpkin. For those who want more coffee, less creamy, this is the drink for you.

Rating: 7/10 creamy, 9/10 coffee taste, 7/10 sweetness, 11/10 latte art.


The OG pumpkin spice latte. The spices are subtle, the flavour of pumpkin is hidden in the foam, and the creaminess? Off the charts. This drink is for those who want to warm up their souls on a cold fall day, but aren’t into a strong coffee taste.

Rating: 10/10 creamy, 6/10 coffee taste, 8/10 sweetness, 0/10 latte art (for takeout, at least).

Tim Hortons

“Canadian Starbucks,” as I like to call it. Tim’s has two options for pumpkin spice fanatics: the classic pumpkin spice latte or the new pumpkin spice tea latte. I like to stick with the classic. Like Tim’s original latte, there is minimal coffee taste, but what it lacks in coffee it makes up for in creamy. This take on the pumpkin spice latte leaves a pleasant pumpkin spice aftertaste.

Rating: 10/10 creamy, 5/10 coffee taste, 9/10 sweetness, 0/10 latte art (I’m starting to think that no takeout coffee drinks have latte art).


This is our Surrey campus coffee shop, where you can grab a latte and a KPU-brewed beer. They gave a choice of having whipped cream or not. I chose whipped cream, of course, which was topped with caramel crumbles. At first sip I was hit with a perfect blend of creamy and coffee. This latte feels a little bit heavier than the others due to the sweetness, but it’s just as delicious.

Rating: 9/10 creamy, 8/10 coffee taste, 10/10 sweetness, 7/10 latte art (Whipped cream? Yes, that is an art).

So which one is the best? I can’t say. But I will keep taste testing them all for as long as the season lets me.


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