Pumpkin Spice Is Back!

And Here’s Where To Get The Best One in Frederick


Lucy Adkins, Writer

The fall season is once again upon us, and with fall comes the inevitable rise of pumpkin spice. This flavor has become a staple in our country, and has been made into things such as pumpkin spice deodorant, dog treats and pop tarts. Every fall, pumpkin spice is brought into full swing until the end of November. But where did this flavor come from, and why is it so popular?

The pumpkin spice that is most popular today is made out of cinnamon, ginger, mace, nutmeg and cloves. In the late 1700’s, the Dutch East India Company took control of a group of islands in Southeast Asia nicknamed ‘The Spice Islands’ that are now a part of Indonesia. The spices from these islands led to great success for the Dutch East India Company, who were using these spices to create new blends and then selling them around the world.

Blends that included ingredients very similar to the ones found in modern day pumpkin spice were sold, but it wasn’t until 1934 when McCormick, the world’s largest spice company, introduced a spice named ‘Pumpkin Pie Spice’ that the flavor we know today hit the big stores.

Smell plays a big part in why we like pumpkin spice so much. Smell has a more direct connection to the memory regions of the brain, so if we are smelling spices that are more mass produced during the holiday season, our brain will start to connect those smells with happy times. And, because pumpkin spice is made of spices most commonly used during the holidays, when we smell pumpkin spice we automatically connect it to holidays. 

The most popular pumpkin spice flavored product during the fall season is the pumpkin spice latte. Starbucks alone has sold 200 million pumpkin spice lattes since the drink debuted. The latte is the star of the fall season, and for many, they are a great way to start the holiday season.

“Personally, I love pumpkin spice lattes. They are a great reminder of the holidays and when the holidays come around, people are always happy.” Fiona Wilfong, junior, said. 

Others have different opinions on the drink. “They’re a good seasonal treat, but I wouldn’t drink them all year round,” said Alexandra Cumber, senior. 

Around Frederick, there are a plethora of coffee companies who get into the fall spirit by making different versions of the pumpkin spice latte. Dublin Roasters, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Frederick Coffee Co. and Market Street Boba and Beans are just a few of the many shops in Frederick who sell the fall treat, but which one really makes the best pumpkin spice latte?

The first drink that I tried was from Dunkin Donuts. They don’t specifically make a pumpkin spice latte, but if you order a hot latte with pumpkin swirl you can sort of imagine you’re drinking a regular pumpkin spice latte.

A medium was $3.19, and my first impression was that it was very watered down. The drink had a lot of syrup in it, almost to the point of being gross, but it was hot when it was given to me which I think is part of what makes a good pumpkin spice latte. Overall I gave it a 4/10, just because of the amount of syrup that was in it and because of how watered down it was. 

The next pumpkin spice latte that I drank was from Dublin Roasters. Their medium drink was $4.25, and was at the perfect temperature of being hot but not too hot that I couldn’t enjoy it. Their latte had an amazing pumpkin flavor as well. It tasted like real pumpkin with cinnamon, and not like store-bought syrup. The milk-to-coffee ratio was perfect as well, and overall I gave Dublin Roasters a 9/10.

Starbucks was the next shop on my list, with its famous pumpkin spice latte. A grande (medium) was $5.45, and while drinking it I definitely understood why it was so popular. Starbucks has mastered the pumpkin spice flavor, and it was perfectly creamy.

The only thing I could really pinpoint that I didn’t like about this drink was that there definitely was a syrup taste to it, not an obvious one, but one that you could taste after a few sips. All in all, I gave Starbucks a 8/10 because they do really know what they’re doing with the pumpkin spice latte.

I went to Market Street Boba and Beans to try the next pumpkin spice latte on my list, and they did not disappoint. Even though they are known for their boba, they also can make a good latte.  The pumpkin spice flavor was perfect, and the drink also had an amazing richness to it that I don’t think you could get at a chain store. 

The only downside to it was that it did taste a little watered down, but not to a point where I couldn’t enjoy it. The latte cost $5.20, and overall was a great fall drink. I gave Market Street Boba and Beans a 7/10 for their pumpkin spice latte because I enjoyed drinking it.

The last drink I tried was from Frederick Coffee Co. They always have cute stickers on their coffee cups, and this time was no different. There was a little pumpkin on my cup, which made me smile. Their pumpkin spice latte was alright, it could’ve been better but I didn’t hate it. It was a little watered down, and I didn’t taste much flavor with it as well. 

I liked the foam that was on top, and for a medium $3.99 coffee it was okay. I would give it a 5/10 because while it wasn’t the best pumpkin spice I’ve ever had the stickers really made up for it. I would’ve expected to give Frederick Coffee Co. a higher score since usually their food and drinks are so good.

All in all, I believe that Frederick has really gotten into the fall spirit this year with the amount of pumpkin spice lattes that I have been drinking. The best pumpkin spice latte that I had definitely has to go to Dublin Roasters. They had just an amazing latte, with the perfect spice-to-milk ratio and a perfect temperature as well. I loved the pumpkin spice flavor of their drink, and with the cinnamon on top it just topped the drink off for me. It was reasonably priced, and was great quality.