I have always had a thing for coffee shops, even as a child. The dimly-lit atmosphere with small nooks that are fitted with comfortable chairs just waiting for you to curl up on them with a book or a notepad and pen. The smell of coffee, the sound of the steam hitting the milk, bustling baristas filling mugs, pouring shots and pumping flavored syrup into white cups with brown paper sleeves.
I try to consciously make decisions as a consumer that reflect my values. These lead me to send my kids to school with lunches packed in cloth lunch boxes that are filled with bento boxes and insulated stainless steel, and it causes me to ration my coffee house outings, opting instead to carry my insulated cup, filled with free trade coffee brewed at home and a bit of organic cream.
Still, each and every fall a drink appears in the coffee houses that has the masses flocking to them: the wonder that is a pumpkin spice latte. Here, I encourage you to give making your own a go. It's not as hard as you think, and the rewards are tenfold. Plus, you can enjoy it on your warm and comfy couch without having to make your way across town to find one. This one can be sweetened with molasses or honey or even sugar, if you like, but just remember that molasses isn't quite as sweet as sugar and honey has a distinct flavor. Adjust the amounts of either or a mix of them as you prefer to fit your personal taste.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
1/4 cup molasses or raw honey (or substitute sugar)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
Espresso beans for 4-5 shots
While pumpkin puree is still hot, mix in molasses. Push puree mixture through a fine sieve, straining any chunks or strings. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice to espresso grounds before brewing, grinding together with the beans if possible. Brew shots and steam milk. Add desired amount of pumpkin and molasses syrup to cup, pour in 1-2 espresso shots and top with steamed and frothed milk.
Makes 2-3 pumpkin spice lattes
Photos by Shaina Olmanson
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