Pumpkin Spice Lattes Taste Like Hot Jack-O’-Lantern Garbage

I love fall – the cooler temperatures, the crisp night air and magical return to school year structure and routine. Forget #HotGirlSummer – I want sweater weather, Blundstones and those ridiculous, oversized scarves that hide the fact that I’m wearing a shirt I slept in to school drop off. Lenny Kravitz is my fashion role model and no one can tell me that’s wrong.

If this makes me a basic suburban mom, so be it. I also drive a gleaming white crossover and co-chair parent council, so I’m hardly able to deny such a thing. Mom life is MY life and I’m good with that. But even the most basic suburban moms have to draw the line somewhere, and I know where mine is: at the local Starbucks, where innocent lattes are being violated by pungent, spiced-gourd fetishists that dare to call themselves baristas.

I hate the Pumpkin Spice Latte, and I will make no apologies. THIS IS MY TRUTH.

Like many moms, coffee is my lifeblood and my true love. If I had to make a list of things I would save it a fire, it would include my children, that stuffed dog from my childhood, my laptop and my Starbucks app. I might save my favourite mug before I’d save our cat, who chews up all of our things and subsequently throws up everywhere. (I’m kidding, sort of. I’d probably save the cat, too.)

Coffee is delicious in so many forms, and it transforms us from exhausted, sleep deprived monsters to productive (or at least tolerable) members of society. I am on a first-name basis with the staff at my regular coffee spot. One of them gave me a Christmas card, which essentially means we’re family. This is my relationship with caffeine, guys, and I’m only a little bit ashamed.

PSLs have become a beacon of fall and oddly, a symbol of modern moms treating themselves, and I am not here for it at all. They have taken a magical beverage and defiled it with the puree of a vegetable that is best suited for shooting out of a cannon at fall fairs or utilizing in Halloween decorations. I can only assume that the PSL’s popularity is the result of sorcery, or some sort of blood oath all the other moms took when I wasn’t looking. It’s weird, it’s gross and it’s wildly popular. I am horrified and baffled by this phenomenon, which starts earlier every year and will eventually take over spring, summer and the entire world.

Pumpkin spice itself is not a terrible idea, if we’re talking about scented candles or seasonal baked goods. Pumpkin pie is a delight, and pumpkin bread is in the same family as banana loaf, zucchini bread and other very reasonable items. But would you drink a spiced zucchini latte? No you would not, because you’re not a damn masochist. Case closed.

“But it’s just like, cinnamon and nutmeg and other stuff that goes in a lot of lattes,” people will say. NO, my friends, this is not true. A sprinkle of traditional baking spices on a latte is delicious, but pumpkin spice lattes have actual pumpkin in them, which is why they’re vaguely orange and taste of wet earth with a dash of cloves. Don’t lie to yourselves. It’s hot jack-o’-lantern garbage and we all know it. It is trendy vegetable mush in coffee with whipped cream on top. It is sacrilege. The coffee gods weep when you order one. Every time you take a sip, a coffee bean dies. This is fact.

If you love the PSL, know that I still love you. Taste is subjective, and we all have our preferences. I make jokes…just really long ones, in essay form, on the Internet. Forgive me for this and I’ll forgive you your pumpkin spice indiscretions. Or don’t – I’ll just be right over here, drinking my gourd-free latte and silently judging your life decisions. (You’re moms so you should be totally used to that by now, right? Right.)

Happy fall, moms. Make good (beverage) choices.

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