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You can always tell for sure that the seasons have changed, as opposed to just entering a cold snap, by one simple litmus test: where the cat sleeps. If it is still summer, no matter how cool the day and how aggressive the air conditioning, the cat avoids the bed like the plague. If, however, it is fall or winter, you’ll be woken up several times throughout the night (if, that is, you sleep at all, but that’s a discussion for another day) by paws in your face and a dense, furry body trying to burrow directly into your ribcage for warmth. And so, after a cold, sleepless undoubtedly-fall night of being pawed in the face and ribs, only the promise of a (homemade) pumpkin spice latte is consolation enough to expend the effort necessary to get out of bed and face the day.

Yeah, I know: everyone and their mother/brother/dog walker has their own “totally authentic you’ll never know it’s not from Starbucks so easy DIY pumpkin spice latte”. Thankfully, this isn’t one of those totes-easy-you’ll-never-know copycat concoctions. You’ll know. You should know. This one contains actual pumpkin and no sugar, instead of artificial-pumpkin-impersonator-sugar-slurry. Instead of being airy and heavy and milky, it’s thick and spicy and silky and luxurious, like a morning pumpkin spice beverage should be but, in my experience, never really is when you get it at a coffee shop. The thing about a #PSL (as the kids call it) is that it needs no introduction of explanation, and is too easy, and too much better than the store-bought variety, not to make it at home. So, shall we?



Pumpkin Spice Latte


  • 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons espresso powder (see note)
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup (or to taste)

 Cooking Instructions:

  1. Dissolve the espresso powder into the almond milk and bring to a scald (tiny bubbles around the outer rim). Do not let boil.
  2. Whisk in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Serve immediately.

Notes:(1) I like strong coffee so I used 2 teaspoons of espresso powder, but you can use only one, or even a half, if you are more sensitive to caffeine.(2) If you don’t have espresso powder, use 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee and reduce almond milk to 1/4 cup. Your latte will be a little thinner.
(3) Makes one large or two small lattes.