What Is a Pumpkin Spice Latte? (+ Other Common FAQs)

One of the things that Starbucks customers love is the introduction of new drinks plus the return of old favorites as the season changes.

When the leaves start turning and the smell of woodsmoke is in the air, it’s time for the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte to Starbucks stores.

If you haven’t yet tried this signature drink, you may wonder what a Pumpkin Spice Latte is and why it is such a popular drink. Well, look no further for answers because I’ve researched everything there is to know! 

What Is a Pumpkin Spice Latte?

Pumpkin Spice Latte is a signature Starbucks drink made with espresso and steamed milk and flavored with comforting fall spices like pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. The topping is whipped cream and pumpkin pie spices. Pumpkin Spice Latte is a favorite customer drink for the Fall that returns to the menu every year in August.

If you want to know more about the nutritional content of a Pumpkin Spice Latte, what kind of coffee Starbucks uses, and if you can make one at home, read on!

What Are the Ingredients in a Pumpkin Spice Latte?

Pumpkin Spice Lattes were first introduced by Starbucks in 2003 and quickly became a favorite drink with customers.

That said, Forbes magazine estimates that Starbucks has sold over 500 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes since its introduction.

So, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is one of the seasonal drinks that Starbucks brings back to the menu every year.

With that, the warm, comforting flavors of fall spices like pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove make it such a popular drink.

Every year, customers eagerly await the announcement of the date when Pumpkin Spice Lattes will return to the menu at Starbucks.

In fact, the Pumpkin Spice Latte release date is considered the unofficial start of the fall season.

What makes it such an appealing drink? Here’s the full list of ingredients so that you can see for yourself:

  • Milk
  • Pumpkin Spice Sauce (sugar, condensed skim milk, pumpkin purée, natural flavors, sugar, Annatto, salt, and Potassium Sorbate)
  • Brewed espresso
  • Whipped cream
  • Vanilla syrup
  • Pumpkin Spice Topping (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove flavors)

With all the tastes and flavors of Fall, it’s not surprising that many people make this drink part of their seasonal ritual.

What Kind Of Coffee Is in a Pumpkin Spice Latte?

The standard recipe calls for two espresso shots in a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Starbucks uses its Blond Roast Espresso for the espresso shots.

But you can ask for a decaffeinated espresso if you prefer, without affecting the delicious taste of the drink.

How Many Calories in a Pumpkin Spice Latte?

How Many Calories In A Pumpkin Spice Latte? Starbucks

With all those delicious ingredients, a Pumpkin Spice Latte is relatively high in calories, with 390 calories in a 16-fluid-ounce serving size (Starbucks size Grande).

However, because it’s more of a seasonal drink than a daily one, most people feel that it’s all right to splurge on the calories once in a while.

Further, here’s the complete nutritional information for a Pumpkin Spice Latte in a 16-fluid-ounce serving:

  • Calories: 390
  • Calories from Fat: 130
  • Total Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 50 mg
  • Sodium: 230 mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 52 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0 g
  • Sugars: 50 g
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Caffeine: 150 mg

But, if you’re watching your calories for any reason, you can make some substitutions to reduce the total amount of calories in your drink.

For example, when customizing your drink, you can ask the barista to make a few substitutions to make it a little healthier.

What Is a Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks?

If you want to reduce the number of calories in your drink, you can get a skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte instead of the regular one.

That said, simply ask the barista for a skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte when customizing your drink.

Then, you can reduce the number of calories by replacing 2% milk with nonfat milk or unsweetened non-dairy milk.

Furthermore, you can reduce the number of calories even more by skipping the whipped cream, though that will affect the taste of your drink.

Also, you can try a few other substitutions if you want to keep the delicious taste of pumpkin spice without all the calories.

For example, you could ask the barista to skip the syrup and use unsweetened almond milk instead of 2% milk.

How To Make a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Home

If you want to serve Pumpkin Spice Lattes to guests at home or just want to be able to make one whenever the craving strikes, you may be wondering how to make one at home.

To make the drink at home, you can find plenty of Pumpkin Spice Latte copycat recipes online!

Or better still, you can check out the Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe in the Coffee at Home section of the Starbucks website.

What Is an Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte?

There is an iced version of the Pumpkin Spiced Latte, which contains the same ingredients but is served over ice.

That said, a Starbucks Iced Pumpkin Latte contains ice, espresso, and milk with pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove flavors, topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spices.

Although the Iced Pumpkin Latte is a seasonal drink, you can get it as early as August, when it’s still warm enough to enjoy the sweet, icy flavors.

On the downside, the iced version is quite heavy on calories, too, and a 16-fluid-ounce serving of the Starbucks Iced Pumpkin Latte has 370 calories.

To find out more about Starbucks, you can also see our posts on what is a Java Chip Frappuccino, what is a Chocolate Chip Frappuccino, and the most popular Starbucks drinks.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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