Dear Pumpkin Spice Latte,

How do I put this lightly?
It's not you, it's me. 
I remember when Starbucks first created you, back in 2003.
I couldn't wait to try you.
Two of my favorite things (coffee and pumpkin) were now being combined together! 
Was it too good to be true? 
I eagerly ordered a Grande. 
I took my first sip......and I wanted to spit you out.
And, I did spit you out.
No. This was NOT a match made in heaven. 
I LOVE coffee. I LOVE anything Pumpkin.
But, I do not like pumpkin with my coffee. 
I was so confused. 
Everyone raved about the PSL.
I was disappointed in you and in myself.
Why didn't I like you, when everyone else did?!?!
(Side note: It reminded of the disappointment I felt in 1997 when the movie,  Conspiracy Theory came out. At the time, my favorite actress was Julia Roberts & my favorite actor was Mel Gibson. When they teamed up to do a movie together, I was thrilled!! 2 of my favorites in the same movie! I couldn't wait for it to come out....and when I saw it....WOMP WOMP. Didn't like it at all. FAIL.)
Anyways, back to you, PSL.
After my disappointment after our first meeting in 2004, I kept hearing how wonderful you were.
Every Fall, all people could talk about was "O-M-G. P-S-L!!"
So, in 2009, 6 years after our first meeting, I decided to give you a second chance. 
Reluctantly, I forked over $4 a gave you another shot. 
And, again....I took a couple sips and YUCK.
I just didn't like it. It tasted like burnt milk & coffee.
PSL in the trash, again.

Fast forward to yesterday.
In a weak moment at Starbucks yesterday, I had a gift card burning a hole in my wallet. 
October was here, I was happy, I needed caffeine.
I was going to order my usual (Grande Non Fat Vanilla Latte)
The chalkboard at Starbucks was filled with fall leaves & the PSL.
Both people in front of me ordered Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
The  PSL was haunting me. It was getting in my head. 
I mean it had been 4 years since I last tried you. 
When the barista asked for my order, I had a little chat with him.
I explained my dilemma.
 I love coffee. I love pumpkin. I love Fall.
I WANT to like the PSL, but the past 2 times I have ordered it  (in 2003 & 2009) I just didn't like it.
He told me to try it again. He said it is his favorite and their most popular drink during the Holidays.
He encouraged me to give it another shot.
So, in a moment of weakness & peer pressure, I ordered one.
I anxiously waited for my PSL to be ready.
I had a good feeling about it. 
3rd times a charm, right?
I took a few sips and it was as awful as I remembered it. 
Sorry, PSL. We just aren't meant to be.
It's not you, It's me.
I must have something wrong with *my* taste buds since everybody and their mother loves you.
Don't take this the wrong way, but I think you are Gross.
Like, I want to scrape my tongue off gross.
And, you are 500 calories?!?! No thanks. 
I'd rather drink those calories with a glass (or two) of wine.
I wanted to be one of the cool kids and like the PSL, but sadly, it's not going to happen.
Mel Larson just isn't a part of the Fall Cool Kids PSL Club, nor will she ever be.
I gave you 3 chances over a 10 year period. 
I have spent $12 on a couple sips of you and then you have gone in the trash.
3 strikes, you are out.
I am never, ever, ever going to order you again.
I should end this letter by wishing you a Happy 10th Birthday.
I am glad you have made so many people happy over the past 10 years.
Sorry I am not one of them. 
I hope we can still be friends.
Just remember....It's not you, It's me.

(Non Fat Vanilla Latte......Forever)


  1. Mel, I'm so glad I'm not the only one! I was beginning to think I just wasn't trendy enough for a PSL. Have a great weekend! Audra @ Keepin up with the Jahns.

  2. Maybe there is some kind of counseling you can go to to correct this problem? PSL therapy? Forget it...I'm just going to take this straight to the Lord himself and pray. You of all people, need to love a PSL! :)

  3. I don't like the pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks neither BUT I do love the ones from McDonalds! You should give it a try!

  4. That Some e-card is hilarious! I also think the PSL isn't great.. definitely not worth the calories. The gingerbread latte, however... match made in heaven.

  5. laughing so hard. I think the PSL craze is actually kind of.....weird. The one thing I have tried is getting a regular latte with ONE pump pumpkin sauce. Have you done that?? It has the tiniest taste of pumpkin and doesn't taste like that overly strong gross taste of the PSL. I'm not a fan of that either. Mayyyyybe try that. And also...500 calories?? How do people drink these things a few times a day and not be blimps???

  6. I am not a fan either!! I've tried it a few times, and was only able to take a few sips. I'll stick with my plain old coffee!

  7. When I was pregnant last fall and avoiding coffee, the barista suggest that she make a pumpkin spice frappacino - it's the pumpkin spice flavoring blended with milk/cream and ice. It's amazing!! It's like drinking pumpkin pie, so delish! Maybe give it a try! :-)

  8. I could not agree more. SO nasty! BUT, I will say, I love a hint of pumpkin in my coffee so I do a Venti Non-fat Latte with 1 pump of the pumpkin. So much better!

  9. I feel the same way, I so wanted to like it, and I ordered one right when they came out and "yuck" not my thing, I will stick to my French vanilla latte, it never lets me down, ever!!

  10. I agree! (also the bizarre color really bugs me). SVL for me!

  11. So, so funny! I don't detest them like you do, but I don't love them either, so like you, can't justify the calories. I think they are just a bit too sweet and flavorful (can something be too flavorful?)

    Have you tried Green Mountain's pumpkin spice coffee pods for your keurig? While I don't love the PSL, I do love the pumpkin spice coffee (drinking it now...yum!) It just has a hit of yummy fall spiciness, but unlike the PSL it's not too sweet (actually not sweet at all unless you add sugar) and the flavor isn't overwhelming. Hopefully it might be a good alternative for you.

  12. You're so cute! I'm smiling as I sit here drinking my coffee with pumpkin spice creamer I made last night.

  13. Wait, what? 500 calories for mediocrity? I think the PSL is fine, but I'd rather have a salted caramel mocha...way more worth the calories :)

  14. You gotta try the chocolate chai. Its my new fave. well actually my only fave, im not a huge starbucks fan...

    1. You are the only person I know (not that I "know" you!) who likes the Chocolate Chai Tea Latte! I think it was made just for you! I seriously almost vomited when I tried it. I'm glad someone likes it, though!

  15. Bleh. I'm with you. I am NOT a fan of the PSL. I tried one and also tossed it after the first few sips. (I much prefer their other holiday drink - Peppermint Mocha). You are not alone!! :)

  16. Get the pumpkin spice chai tea latte mix from Trader Joe's. You got me hooked on the regular kind...........the pumpkin is magical. I'm drinking one right now over ice. Magical.

  17. I am with you. I think it is disgusting! My favorite thing to get there is the Caramel Apple Spice. I have heard the Salted Hot Chocolate is really good too, so that is on my list to try as soon as it gets a little chilly here in Houston.

  18. Now I completely love the PSL but understand its definitely not for everyone. I actually think there are more people that dislike it than like it and lots like you that feel they are supposed to like it. Pumpkin spice Via is almost better than the latte and the TJ's pumpkin spice chai is what I've drinking at home, I add a scoop into my homemade coffee misto or latte.

  19. Ok. We are friends forever. That is all.

  20. AMEN! AMEN and A M E N!! Last year they had a salted caramel mocha that I would get just so I wouldn't get boo-hissed when friends ALLLLL wanted to go to starbucks for their beloved PSL's and now? it's just a frappucino. So there went THAT.

    Honestly, I'm counting down the days til everyone starts wah-wahing about the PSL gonig away again. Don't let the door hit ya....

    haha! All in good fun, PSL Lovers!

  21. This just made me LOL. I love that e-card so much. I finally figured out how to thoroughly enjoy the PSL this year. It has always been my least favorite of all holiday drinks. The Grande non-fat vanilla is my go to too... so, I have been ordering my usual but with 2 pumps of vanilla and 1 pump of pumpkin. You still get the deliciousness that is the vanilla latte with just the tiniest taste of pumpkin. It's not too sweet and doesn't taste like burned milk.
    Get your yoga pants and Uggs on girl and get yourself a vanilla psl. haha

  22. haha... I feel the same way! I try it and retry it and always yuck. I love pumpkin in just about everything...except my coffee! :)

  23. Amen! I love pumpkin. I have wanted to like the PSL and have also tried it on several occasions and it is just gross. I don't get the love. Skinny vanilla latte or nonfat hot chocolate for me!

  24. hahaha! This post cracked me up! I do not like it EITHER! And so want to too! haha... I'm glad I'm not the only one. :)

    You need to try to cinnamon dolce latte. It is delish! And year-round too. :)

    Hope you are doing well and hope your school year is going well!


  25. I don't like the PSL either. I'm definitely a nonfat vanilla latte girl, too! I tried the Chocolate Chai Tea Latte the other day and seriously almost barfed. SO GROSS!!! During the holidays I do like the salted caramel mocha, the caramel brulee latte, and occasionally a peppermint mocha. But the nonfat vanilla latte can;t be beat!

  26. So funny! I have to say this makes me feel better though--the PSL isn't kosher and with all of the gushing, I've been feeling bummed I can't have it! I do LOVE the cinnamon dolce though, that's my classic order!

  27. You're not alone! That's for sure! PSL = major gross-ness for me

  28. this was hilarious! And I agree with you 100%

  29. I couldn't agree more! But I gave it only one chance. DONE. FOREVER!

  30. I'm not cool either. I don't get the PSL or the big whoop about it. I think people are lying about how awesome it is and how much they like it. I've come to the conclusion that as much as I LOVE all things pumpkin, I do not at all like LIQUID pumpkin products. That being said, I don't waste my money just to try something- Starbucks is always willing to make you something you do like, so don't trash them, just return them and ask for your standard vanilla latte. Tell them the PSL told you to. ;-)

  31. That is hilarious! I actually was a fan of the PSL myself, until I learned how to make something even better at home...wanna give it a try?

    Pumpkin Spice Tea

    Brew 4 cups of black tea and put it in your blender then add to it:
    1 cup hot (but not boiling/burned) half n' half
    1/4 cup pumpkin puree
    just shy of 1/4 cup sugar
    1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice (the trader joes brand is my favorite!)
    1 tsp of vanilla
    (you can adjust your sugar, spice and vanilla to your liking)

    Blend it up for 30 seconds or so and you have yourself an amazing fall drink! It even gets a nice froth on it. I was making this on a daily basis (I stock up on the TJs pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice when I can) but I now make it only for a really special treat since I've gone over to the Paleo side. Now I drink Bulletproof coffee and for this fall/winter season I'm adding pumpkin pie spice and vanilla to my bulletproof! Which is also delish!! So, give the Pumpkin Spice Tea a try...maybe since it's made with tea instead of coffee, you might like the taste more...it's perfect on a fall day : )

    Best wishes!

  32. So funny Mel!
    I agree. PSL isn't for me either.

  33. Mel, keep thinking about this post...I do like the PSL but I can see how it's not for everyone. I got some pumpkin spice coffee creamer the other day and wondered if you had tried that? Gives a much tamer pumpkin flavor to your coffee.

  34. LOL... you just made my day!! This is so well written.. I have to say I AM a fan of PSL, and always look forward to October for that reason! Still love your post and you blog :)

  35. Just linked to your post in my Favorite Things post! You crack me up. :) Hope you're having a great weekend!



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