A taste of fall.

When Recycla got up at 6:00 this morning, it was 50 degrees. She smiled a happy smile. Fall is her favorite season.

The last few summers in Recycla’s home state of Virginia have been brutal — highs in the upper 90s/low 100s for weeks on end, oppressive humidity, and no rain in sight — so the cool crisp autumnal air is a welcome, blessed relief.

With the advent of September, Recycla’s Twitter stream started to see the return of tweets about a certain coffee chain’s pumpkin spice lattes. Until recently, she had not tried this coffee and vacillated between curiosity and skepticism.

On the one hand, Recycla knows that this particular coffee chain uses various chemicals and non-natural ingredients in their products. In fact, in a stunning display of foolishness a couple of years ago, she tried a gingerbread latte and then a peppermint mocha within a week of each other. She should have been wary when she could smell the fake flavorings before she ever even took a sip. Both coffee drinks turned out to be so vile that she threw them away and vowed to never be taken in again.

On the other hand, so many people raved about those damn pumpkin spice lattes that Recycla was curious. Enough so that she forgot herself and bought one. Her feelings are identical to the two other drinks mentioned in the paragraph above; in fact, she could simply cut and paste the text here. The latte was terrible.

Recycla will admit that in general, she prefers simple coffees — a little milk, a little sugar, and she’s happy. She’s not even a huge coffee snob and will drink instant without a fuss. (Provided, that is, that the instant is decent.) All the same, she is not opposed to the occasional flavored coffees. Mocha is her favorite. After all, what’s not to love about coffee + chocolate?

The fact is, flavored coffees are just like any other food or drink: Real ingredients — and not chemicals — are the way to go. They’re better for your body and better for Planet Earth and your taste buds will sure as heck thank you for it.

Luckily, you do have options, but they do not include mass-produced coffee sold in well known chains. Your first one is to go to your local coffee shop and get your coffee there. But don’t assume that locally-owned means better ingredients — ask first. In Recycla’s hometown, there are several locally-owned coffee shops and she’s made a point to ask about their ingredients. Some use chemicals and crap, while others are using real ingredients.

Your second option is to make your own pumpkin spice latte. Recycla has researched recipes — note, she has not tried any — and has a few to share with you: this one, this one, and this one. None of these recipes appear to be time consuming and one looks like it could be partially made ahead the night before.

(Tip: Since you only use a little pumpkin puree, freeze the rest in small containers for future use.)

Instead of spending $4 for a cup of coffee, you’ll spend a fraction of that amount. Think of the savings!

Tell the Eco Women: Do you like your coffee plain or are you a pumpkin spice latte drinker or somewhere in between?

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3 thoughts on “A taste of fall.

  1. I usually take it black to inhale that rich aroma, unless I’m in a hurry to drink it and then it’s pale and sweet! I know, I’m the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde coffee drinker … thanks for the recipes. Doc loves pumpkin and he will definitely try this~

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