Who brews it best? Comparing America’s Pumpkin Spice Latte options

By Rose Creasman Welcome, Brittany Cheng and Joe Zimmermann, CNS

COLLEGE PARK — Known by its creators as “the drink that almost wasn’t,” the now-ubiquitous Pumpkin Spice Latte — or #psl, as it’s known on Twitter and among devoted fans — was dreamed up in Starbucks R&D labs in 2003.

Since then, copycat and DIY versions of the fall favorite have cropped up everywhere, from artsy coffee houses to 7-Eleven’s instant “specialty beverage”-dispensing machine.

But what’s the best brew for your buck? Panera Bread’s offering is the richest, topped with whipped cream and salted caramel syrup and weighing in at 450 calories, while the Starbucks original costs the most at nearly $5 for a medium-sized drink.

You’ll get the most spice per ounce at 7-Eleven, where a 16-ounce specialty beverage costs only $1.55, but purists beware: You’ll be pushing a button to dispense your pre-mixed PSL.

A graph of who brews the best Pumpkin Spice Latte. (Courtesy CNS)


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