Starbucks vs. McDonald's: Pumpkin Spice Latte Super Heavyweight Showdown

JK Grence
Guess who.
Years ago, the signs of autumn's arrival were geese flying south, leaves changing color, and a chill in the air. If you were a foodie, all you had to look forward to was the release of that year's Beaujolais Nouveau a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. None of these came soon enough for marketing executives. Now, the signal of the changing season is when seemingly every foodstuff in the country is infused with pumpkin spice.

See Also: 5 Metro Phoenix Pumpkin Treats to Try Before You Get Pumpkin-ed Out

There's a huge autumnal rumble brewing between two of the biggest coffee purveyors in the country. Some clown thinks that they have what it takes to take on the original pumpkin spice latte titan. Can the Golden Arches capture any of the Starbucks magic? There's only one way to find out.

In This Corner: Starbucks, locations absolutely everywhere

The Setup: The green Siren introduced the Pumpkin Spice Latte ten years ago. In so doing, they unwittingly unleashed a tsunami of pumpkin spice everything.

The Good: You know the drill by now. It's rich, it's lightly sweet, the milk is hand-steamed, and a swirl of whipped cream on top is nicely indulgent.

The Bad: For being a pumpkin spice latte, I feel like there isn't much pumpkin spice or coffee flavor going on here. This is easily remedied by adding an extra shot of espresso and an extra pump of pumpkin sauce (Does that sound dirty to anyone else, or is it just me?), but that brings the already high price over five bucks for the 12-ounce size.

The Low Blow: Part of what adds richness to the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is some condensed milk in the pumpkin sauce. Even if you get your Pumpkin Spice Latte with soy, it's still going to have dairy. Sorry, vegans.

Location Info


9140 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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