Every fall, I suffer an amnesiac episode and think that maybe this year will be the one I buy into Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte hysteria. And every fall, I suffer through exactly one saccharine-yet-mysteriously-bitter pumpkin spice latte and wonder what the hell is wrong with me.
Now, I’m not here to yuck anyone’s yum, as my kid says. There are legions of PSL fans, and I think we can likely credit the beverage—even more than its predecessor and rightful idol actual pumpkin pie—for launching the flavor profile of a million processed foods. (Read this Eater rundown of 65 pumpkin spice foods you should definitely not be eating.)
But since this is Seattle, there’s no reason to drink a coffee beverage that is not your personal version of optimal deliciousness. And I’m here to tell you that whether or not you’re in love with Starbucks’ PSL, there’s a better pumpkin spice latte in town: Anchorhead’s pumpkin stuff latte. OK, maybe “pumpkin stuff” sounds dubious. But the downtown coffee shop's house-made syrup is an all-natural concoction made of pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, ground ginger, allspice, vanilla bean paste, brown sugar and maple. Combined with espresso and milk, it’s very subtly sweet and richly spiced. I dare say the pumpkin is not even necessary. It’s essentially the antithesis of the PSL—and I think that’s a good thing.
Should our warm weather of yesterday recur—I’m not hopeful—staff at Anchorhead say it’s really great iced as well as hot.