I review pumpkin spice lattes from five different restaurants in and around Huntington.

By Melissa Farthing, Copy Editor

On this crazy planet on which we are living, there is one thing that we simply can’t avoid no matter how hard we try. Politics? The coronavirus? Taxes? Nah, it’s pumpkin spice!

Even a worldwide pandemic can’t keep this fan-favorite fall flavor from returning to our cuisine. You can find just about anything pumpkin spice flavored nowadays, but one of the most popular items is the beloved pumpkin spice latte. This has to be my favorite coffee drink of all time, so as soon as the clock struck midnight on September 1st, I knew I had to begin my journey of trying every pumpkin spice latte in Huntington.

Today, I’ll be reviewing five different pumpkin spice lattes from various places around town and compiling them into a list from worst to best. Who will be crowned the pumpkin spice king? Keep reading to find out!

Number #5: Tim Hortons

Okay, so this one is technically a cheat since there isn’t a Tim Hortons in Huntington. I grabbed a pumpkin spice latte from this chain on my way back to campus from Ohio. The closest Tim Horton’s that is open to the public is in northern Fort Wayne (although there are two closer locations located inside a hospital and…the General Motors Assembly Plant, interestingly enough). Don’t even bother making the drive because it would not be worth it. 

This pumpkin spice latte was by far the weakest one I tried. Firstly, it was very small (which is good because it didn’t taste good). Although it was a bit cheaper than some of the others, the decrease in price did not make up for the lack of pumpkin spice flavoring in the drink. I could barely taste any hint of pumpkin; it was like I was drinking a regular, plain latte. Plus, it didn’t come embellished with whipped cream or any other fun toppings. A hard pass for me.

Number #4: Cafe of Hope

I’ve always enjoyed the coffee at Cafe of Hope, so I was excited to try their version of a pumpkin spice latte (which they call a pumpkin pie latte). It certainly did taste like pumpkin pie! While delicious in its own right, it wasn’t as sweet as some of the others I tried, which is why I listed it as #4.

Number #3: JJ Java

I have never tried JJ Java until this year, and I think it’s going to be my new go-to coffee joint. This pumpkin spice latte was the fanciest one on the list. Topped with whipped cream and lots of spices, it made for a delicious, cozy drink. Plus, it was a pretty big size. This drink is pricey on its own, so make sure you bring your Huntington University student I.D. with you to get a discount!

Number #2: McDonald’s

You may be wondering why McDonald’s beat out local favorites Cafe of Hope and JJ Java. Well, it’s based on one factor: price. While Cafe of Hope and JJ Java have more imagination when creating their drinks, they are significantly more expensive. With the cheapest pumpkin spice latte on this list, McDonald’s rolls out a drink that both embraces the sweet pumpkin spice flavor, and doesn’t break your bank. Grab one for only $2* at the McDonald’s in town.

*For a size small.

Number #1: Starbucks

Coming in at number one is a favorite amongst coffee lovers worldwide: Starbucks! I know, I know, this choice may feel obvious, but how can the java mermaid be beat? This latte has it all: the pumpkin flavor, the sugary sweetness, the delectable whipped cream and cinnamon topping, all packed into the perfect serving size. Pick one up at the DC or in town!

What did you think of my list? Did you agree with my choices? Did I miss any coffee locations? Leave a comment down below and tell me what you think.