Pumpkin spice or spite?

BY VICTORIA PIGNATELLI
Entertainment Editor

Finally, the season changed to autumn, and everyone’s favorite seasonal items have begun to trickle out into stores once more. As is the yearly ritual of bringing scents and images that conjure thoughts of cooler days and falling leaves, the autumn season brings forth a recent cult favorite: the pumpkin spice latte. From Starbucks to Dunkin’ Donuts, nearly every cafe or coffee chain in the United States has some form of the pumpkin spice latte. Each and every one of these companies has been gearing the public up for these decadent beverages since early August.

First of all, what is it? As Starbucks’ webpage on the drink states,  “…Our signature espresso and milk are highlighted by flavor notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove…” But what is the need to advertise and promote the drink to the extent that we have seen over the past few years? Perhaps it is the advent of instagram, and other social media outlets where some people feel the need to share every single thing they consume throughout their day.

Nonetheless, the pumpkin spice latte is here and thriving, even at County College of Morris. In discussions with several students, most of them have either heard of, tried or love the infamous beverage.

“I don’t want to be a ‘pumpkonformist’, meaning I don’t necessarily want to try the drink.” said Gerald Neely, a history major at CCM.

“It is way too overhyped. No more pumpkin spice, thanks. I don’t care about the formula, I just don’t like it.”

Katarzyna Gedzior, a barista at Starbucks, said she loved pumpkin spice. This year, Starbucks has changed the ingredient to real pumpkin.

“I wait for this drink all year,” Gedzior said. “It is super smooth, and sweet, which I like.”

Gedzior was unsure if the drink was overhyped or not.

“Guests ask about other fall drinks throughout the year, but not the pumpkin spice,” Gedzior said. “But when August comes, everyone wants one.”

Brandon Wenzel, a CCM student who was found drinking a pumpkin spice latte, said it can definitely be overhyped.

“As you can see, I fell for it,” Wenzel said. “I think it’s exciting that they changed the formula, it makes me think they’re trying to make it healthier.”

There does not really seem to be a consensus on the matter of the pumpkin spice latte. From interviews and simply casual talking amongst fellow cafe goers, it appears to be a polarizing topic. You will either love it to the ends of the earth, or have distinct loathing for the drink.

The autumn season brings many things to mind, like falling leaves, Halloween and cozy sweaters. But, in the consumer’s paradise that we live in, it is blatantly obvious to see that the pumpkin spice latte reigns supreme in all thoughts of autumn.

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