Pride and pumpkin spice

By Alison Butz

When I think of fall, I think of changing leaves, the cozy scent of the colder air and oddly enough, pumpkin spice. Pumpkin spice seems to be loved by many, and hated even more by others. 

In the 1990s, some café owners came out with a brand new hot beverage, and it just so happened to be a pumpkin spice flavored coffee.

However, the first known occurrence of pumpkin spice was in 1675, when a mixture of pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon was used in recipes. Later on, this mixture would be known as pumpkin spice.

Pumpkin spice really took off in 2003 when Starbucks officially put its pumpkin spice latte on the menu. 

I only really started to care about coffee flavors when I reached high school— when I actually started to enjoy drinking it. 

Johns Hopkins University conducted a study on why the flavor is so popular, and the study concluded the aroma triggers a sense of nostalgia with the rapidly approaching season.

More studies show the popularity of pumpkin spice comes from the anticipation of Thanksgiving, when you spend time eating pumpkin pie with family.

Other studies have even narrowed down the states which are the most obsessed with pumpkin spice. No. 1 is Washington, which makes sense because Starbucks originated out of Seattle.

It’s also not just an American thing anymore since the trend has spread overseas. However, pumpkin spice is not as popular as it is in the U.S.

This year, Starbucks added another pumpkin-flavored drink to its menu, and it is actually how I prefer my pumpkin fix. That new drink takes form in a pumpkin spice chai latte. 

Even then, it was common to see my friends and family either posting or sharing the recipe for a version of the pumpkin chai before it was inevitably added to the menu. 

In fact, the first time I tried it was when my sister bought me one for my birthday a couple of years ago. From then on, it became the only pumpkin flavored drink I will splurge on.

However, I can safely say that over the years, pumpkin-flavored things have gotten out of hand. For example, I have seen pumpkin spice ice cream all the way to pumpkin IPA. Sure, I can get behind a pumpkin coffee every now and then, but ice cream is taking it a little too far.