The Beginnings of Pumpkin Spice

By Tina Kalenits

Jambar Contributor

The pumpkin spice latte has been a hot commodity for many coffee lovers, and with fall season in full bloom, restaurants are offering their pumpkin spice products.

Laura Cupp and Mike Cupp, owners of Stone Fruit Coffee Company on Youngstown State University’s campus, said this is their first year operating the Youngstown location and the first year they are partic

Stone Fruit Coffee Company on YSU’s campus serves hot and cold coffee products along with a variety of pastries. Photo by Tina Kalenits/Jambar Contributor

Peter Dukes, director of espresso Americas for Starbucks, was the product manager who led the development of the pumpkin spice latte, according to the article, “Peter Dukes Shares the Story Behind Starbucks First Pumpkin Spice Latte” on Starbucks’ website.

In 2003, Starbucks released the first pumpkin spice latte, which quickly became popular. The company’s pumpkin spice latte is now available in nearly 50 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa, according to the article.

With growing popularity since its release in 2003, the pumpkin spice latte has become a part of many customers’ coffee intakes.

Chrystyna Zellers, YSU dietitian and nutritionist, said a pumpkin spice latte has a lot of sugar, and when people drink something with a lot of sugar, it causes their blood sugar to drop after a short time.

“This is a drink that packs a lot of calories and sugar. That’s really a lot of sugar for one serving. With all this added syrup, that drink now becomes high-energy, high-carbohydrate fuel that will shoot you up really quick and make your blood sugar drop really quick,” Zellers said.

She said a drink with natural pumpkin spices is preferable.

“If you want one that has the pumpkin sauce, you can reduce calories and sugar by doing fewer pumps, fat-free milk and no whipped cream,” Zellers said. 

“If you’re doing this every day, you’re getting the value of milk. But for the number of calories you get from pumpkin spice coffee, you could have a healthy breakfast including a glass of milk,” she added.

Ordering a pumpkin spice latte has become a common trend during the fall season for many college students. Photo by Tina Kalenits/Jambar Contributor

Zellers said calorie budgets are specific to an individual, but if pumpkin spice coffee fits into that budget, they are perfectly safe to drink.

Sieyribeth Montaz, a junior in YSU’s dental hygiene program, said she loves pumpkin spice season.

“I definitely look forward to pumpkin spice season. It’s like a fall tradition for me. Honestly, it wouldn’t feel like fall without pumpkin spice,” Montaz said.