Pumpkin Spice Lattes

In the US, I didn’t drink coffee like I drink it here in England. Most weekdays, I would drink a cup or two of tea. When we found out that we were moving here, I upped my tea intake thinking it would help me fit in. I couldn’t have been more wrong. For being known for its tea-drinking, I drink more coffee and less tea now that I live in England. You see, my last job didn’t really allow for breaks into the daily routine. You made time if you wanted to get coffee with a colleague. It definitely wasn’t incorporated into the daily plan. In England, the story is completely different. I drink coffee with co-workers not once, but twice per day. The lab incorporates this into a schedule. You have responsibility to the lab to be a part of the team; there is a rotation of who is making coffee every day for a week. And it isn’t American-styled coffee; it is European-styled: dark and strongly brewed. And my co-workers take their coffee time seriously. Don’t mess up, be off schedule, or miss making coffee; if you do, you’ll be making a cake to please the crowd (cake offense).

As the temperatures cool down and the sun begins to set earlier, I realize that autumn is now upon us. While unpacking, we found all of our autumn decorations (all three of them) and are thinking about turning on the heat soon. Autumn is also marked in the US by the addition of a few things, notably a lot of pumpkins, winter squash, and apples at the farmer’s markets and grocery stores, pumpkin picking with hayrack rides, and by what the coffee stands are turning out: pumpkin spice lattes, spiced vanilla chai lattes, and hot apple ciders. This year, one of those big coffee chains debuted pumpkin spiced lattes at the end of August. I haven’t seen them here yet, so this is my attempt to make them at home. Ultimately, I will say that this is a work in progress and may never completely replace the original. That being said, these are still cheaper and healthier than the real deal.

Single serving of Pumpkin Spice Latte*:
*US measurements used in this recipe

To the vessel of a single-serving blender, add the following:
1 shot of espresso (or concentrated coffee)
2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice mix**
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp pumpkin puree
1/4-1/2 cup almond milk
Optional: 1 tsp cocoa powder

Blend or pulse for approximately 30 seconds, creating a frothy drink.

To heat, place in microwave until desired temperature. Alternatively, add hot water to the blended mixture to warm and dilute it. For me, the blended drink goes straight into a coffee mug, where another shot of espresso goes in along with some very hot water to fill the mug.
Alternatively, you could mix and heat the ingredients over low heat on the stove.

**I use the following for pumpkin pie spice mix:
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves

By addicting the cocoa powder, something glorious happens in my kitchen. I feel like I’m eating something that is totally sinful. In reality, this is not the worst thing in the world for you, especially in comparison to its original counterpart. For now, this chocolatey pumpkin spiced latte is my favorite morning drink.

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