Dartbeat Reviews: Hanover's Pumpkin Spice Lattes

By Lucy Tantum | 10/27/15 8:46am

Are you too tired to find a filter for your #basic Instagram post? Are you cold despite donning your #basic black North Face jacket? If the answer is yes, a #basic fall drink just might solve your woes. Enter the pumpkin spice latte (or the “PSL,” as the kids are saying these days). It’s just the thing for getting into the fall spirit. We reviewed Hanover’s variety of pumpkin spice lattes on a four-star scale, so take a break from figuring out your #basic prof pic caption and let us guide you to the perfect latte.

Starbucks - 3 stars

The Starbucks pumpkin spice latte is the original iteration of the drink. It’s the control group, gold standard, the meridian, the #nofilter version. And it’s not terrible. The Starbucks latte tastes strongly of pumpkin, which is nice at first—however, the flavor begins to seem artificial after a few sips. Then, you begin to think about the fact that you are drinking a squash, and that’s kind of weird...but you shouldn’t question it. This latte is a classic, and doesn’t stray too far from the mark.

KAF - 3.5 stars

Whether due to willful ignorance or resistance to conformity, KAF doesn’t have pumpkin spice lattes. If you attempt to order one, you will instead be guided toward a “London Fog with pumpkin.” This is an Earl Grey tea latte made with some pumpkin flavoring. If you can get past the pretentiousness of this order, KAF’s London Fog with pumpkin is actually pretty good. The pumpkin flavor is subtle, but the Earl Grey adds an interesting dimension. A bouquet, if you will.

Umpleby's Bakehouse - 1.5 stars

Located on South Street, Umpleby’s is a bit of a trek compared to the other locations (meaning that it’s no more than a five-minute walk from campus). This bakery and cafe has a charming atmosphere, and would be a great place to study if you’re tired of the tables near KAF. Unfortunately, their pumpkin spice latte was mediocre — there was no pumpkin taste. It just tasted like a regular latte with a hint of cinnamon. It’s tasty, but would not satisfy a craving for pumpkin spice.

Dirt Cowboy - 4 stars

With its proximity to campus, there’s no excuse for skipping out on Dirt Cowboy’s pumpkin spice latte. The latte strikes a nice balance of flavors — the pumpkin is definitely detectable, but not so strong that you feel like you are drinking pumpkin soup. The one downside to Dirt Cowboy’s latte is that the “small” size is very small compared to the others, so your thirst for pumpkin spice may not be totally quenched by the time you finish your drink.

FoCo - 2 stars

If you’re on the 20, you can still enjoy the fall tradition of pumpkin spice. FoCo carries pumpkin spice coffee alongside its other coffee and tea offerings. With a bit of milk added, it’s surprisingly not terrible. The pumpkin flavor is difficult to detect, but the spices are definitely there, and the drink has a comforting aroma. FoCo’s pumpkin spice coffee is a bit watery and bland, but that just means that it will pair well with the food on your plate. This coffee is best served sipped out of a green or blue plastic FoCo mug alongside a warm FoCo cookie.

Lucy Tantum