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Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Sucks or Excels

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Crystal, a sprightly server at Starbucks in Miami Shores, says the pumpkin spice latte, which is only available a few months a year and went on sale in September, is really popular. Why? "There's no fall here," she says, "so we give people a sense of the season." Bloggers Chuck Strouse and Carissa Chesanek do battle over the relative virtues of this nutmeg, caffeine-flavored stuff.

Miami New Times editor Chuck Strouse says:
Pumpkin space latte is a perversion. Coffee is not meant to be spiced and prettied up. Leave that to tea. Hot chocolate maybe. If you are absolutely desperate to spread that crap around, rum is even okay. But coffee. Ay, chico! We live here in Cuba, um Miami, where in many parts of the city you can walk to the ventanilla, order up your colada or cortadito, and chat for a few minutes with a friend in that crazy Spanglish that dominates this town. Down the Pilon and you you're juiced. Why in God's name would you spend $4.12 for a small (No I won't call it a tall. Call me a friggin curmudgeon.) or $5.30 for a large (and i sure as shit won't say venti, even if you give me five of em free.)? No spend a buck, down some sweetened motor oil, and head out with a smile on your face. Moreover, you don't have to give your money to some motherin' Seattle-based corporate behemoth. You help along a homegrown business. Pumpkin spice latte, fuhgeddaboutit.

Blogger Carissa Chesanek responds:
Pumpkin pie in liquid form. Yes, fall is here and Starbucks is bringing back the pumpkin spice latte for the seventh year. This perfectly blended cup of yum with cinnamon, nutmeg and espresso makes this tasty treat a favorite among many this time of year. But what is it about this cup of pumpkin Joe that makes people flock to the coffee house to order throughout the fall season?

It could be the delicious thick whipped cream that is topped perfectly on the spiced java. Or maybe it's the reminder of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. It could also be that this is the drink that reminds people of the autumn with a cozy, warm sensation. Whatever it is, this latte sure seems to be doing well, after all they do keep bringing it back every year.

Personally, I love this drink because it reminds me of my favorite season and makes me want to curl up in a big comfy chair with my nose in a good book. Yes, it has a punch to it, with the espresso kick and all, but that bitter goodness is what makes the drink so perfect. It's not that I don't like a regular cup of coffee, don't get me wrong. I'm not one to go out and get a pumpkin spice latte every morning for my wake up call, but I do enjoy it as a treat, that's for sure.

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