Finding the Perfect PSL

Embrace your inner basic and seek out a 10/10 PSL this fall season

Selfless? Brave? Ambitious? Whatever adjective feels most appropriate for this voyage, use it. Two women, embarking on a weeklong journey. While we started our quest for the best Pumpkin Spice Latte, we soon discovered the plethora of fall themed beverages out there. 


Fresh Gatherings Latte with “That Bitch Autumn” Syrup: With the title of “That Bitch Autumn,” I was expecting something spicy, daring and sassy—all wrapped up in one caffeinated beverage. I was pleasantly surprised by Fresh’s take on a fall classic. They bypass any pumpkin flavor and infuse the spice by using syrup. While I ordered my drink hot, (be warned!) the flavors do not work in Fresh’s classic iced latte. I ordered the hot latte with whole milk and “that bitch autumn” syrup. 

Grace’s Score: 8/10


Rise Fall Spice Latte: Wowza. What a cozy drink! Not overly spicy, but warm enough to produce strong fall vibes! Not pumpkin flavored, which I enjoyed. The latte was made with oat milk which provided some added sweetness. The outdoor patio at Rise offers a sweet, social distanced oasis as well!

Sydney’s Score: 9/10


Starbucks Classic Pumpkin Spice Latte: As a PSL virgin, I expected the Starbucks classic to knock my socks off. Boy was I disappointed. Their PSL was so sickly sweet that it overpowered any coffee flavor. While I did get some subtle pumpkin, by the end of the drink all I could taste was spice which presented itself in gritty mouthfuls. This drink is exactly what you expect: basic. I ordered a hot, tall PSL with whole milk.

Grace’s Score: 3/10


Starbucks Pumpkin Cold Brew: Big fan on Starbucks nitro cold brew, it’s really the only thing I order. But this, no no no. The pumpkin cream was a weird orange color, quite unnatural and overly sweet. Not only was the color jarring, the residue that was left in my mouth after just one sip was very unfavorable. The only saving grace is how delicious the cold brew is! 

Sydney’ Score: 4/10 


Crave Pumpkin Spice Latte: BY FAR, the BEST PSL of the experiment. On the first sip, I was hit with the comforting flavor of pumpkin pie. The spice was still present but not overpowering and grew as you drank. Overall, it had all of the flavors that you expect in a PSL with a good quantity of each. Great! My only criticism is that the spices collected at the bottom and I got one big gulp of it. I got the hot, 12 oz. latte with whole milk.

Grace’s Score 9.5/10


Blueprint Coffee Cherry Pumpkin Potion: This drink was practically perfect. Exclusively at the Blueprint on Watson road, this drink sent me soaring (which could have also been because of my desperate need for a midday pick me up). A really great blend of sweet, bitter and spicy. I watched the barista literally shave fresh nutmeg in the drink. Sweet in the beginning and a little bitter spice at the end. Great service and super cozy tasting, even on an 80 degree fall day. 

Sydney’s Score: An extremely enthusiastic 10/10! 


Northwest Coffee Honey Latte: With a few fall options, I went with the honey latte, iced! A really great balance of sweet, creamy honey and bold espresso. This was a superb drink to have iced on a warm day, but could have used a little spice to make it feel more like fall. Perhaps a little cinnamon perhaps? Overall a lovely drink for any season, and close to campus! 

Sydney’s score: 8/10