The New York Times Breaks Down the Iconic Pumpkin Spice Latte

Nothing sucks me into a news story more than combing my two loves; wellness & cuisine. This week the Well newsletter by The New York Times did just that with their article analyzing the nutrition profile of Starbuck's iconic pumpkin spice latte. While totally delicious, the author went on to say the drink is pretty much just a dessert disguised as coffee.

"According to Starbucks, a grande (16-ounce) pumpkin spice latte made with 2 percent milk has 390 calories and a staggering 50 grams (about 12 teaspoons) of sugar. The Starbucks label doesn’t break out how much of that is added sugar. About 22 grams of sugar probably comes from the natural sugars in milk, giving the pumpkin spice latte about 28 grams of added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar a day for women and nine teaspoons (36 grams) for men.

Much of the sweetness in a pumpkin spice latte appears to come from the pumpkin spice sauce. The first ingredient is sugar, after all, followed by condensed skim milk, pumpkin purée and some additives. The whipped cream topping also contains sugar, in the form of a vanilla syrup.

If you’re trying to cut sugar, there are still ways to enjoy a pumpkin spice latte. A regular grande pumpkin spice latte has four pumps of pumpkin spice sauce as well as whipped cream. If you want to cut back on the sugar, skip the whipped cream and try it with just two pumps of sauce next time you order. You’ll get pretty much the same flavor and cut out more than half of the added sugar."

While a PSL at Starbucks won't be our fall ritual, we do love what coffee roaster Bone's Coffee has done with their Jacked o Lantern pumpkin spice whole bean or ground coffee. It gives you all the autumn vibes with none of the sugar. And if you're feeling extra adventurous they have a fall favorites sample pack with flavors like Frankenbones (Chocolate Hazelnut) and Peaches and Scream (Juicy peaches and cream). 


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