There’s a joke going around that you can tell it’s fall on college campuses because all the undergraduate girls are dressed in yoga pants, wearing Ugg boots, and hefting pumpkin spice lattes.
When I was in undergrad, yoga pants hadn’t yet become the lazy fashion statement they are today, Ugg was something you said when someone punched you in the stomach, and the pumpkin spice latte was just a twinkle in the eye of the corporate coffee giants. In fact, I have only recently discovered the pumpkin spice latte. AND IT’S AWESOME. Still, you’d have to pay me quite a bit of money to wear yoga pants outside the house these days …
Anyway, if you think that makes me seem old, let me tell you more. Back in the early nineties, when Starbucks was just starting to become trendy on the Canadian west coast, the latte was a new beverage to be reckoned with. My mother and I taught ourselves how to make them, just to see if we could (you see where I get it from?). We used one of these fantastic wee espresso pots. Total old school.
Now, I had not used my latte-making skills in over twenty years, until I was scrolling through my Feedly and came across Just a Smidgen’s Pumpkin Spice Latte Mix recipe. Upon finding this I knew that I had to dust off my skills (and my coffee maker) and git ‘er done! And if you’d like to grown-up-ify this recipe, try adding a bit of fall spirit!
The mix itself is super easy to concoct: stir together 4 tablespoons pumpkin pie purée (the plain stuff we keep on hand to feed to Gren), 3 tablespoons sugar (or the sweetener of your choice, adjusted to taste), 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (you can get My Baking Addiction’s recipe here), and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
Shove that into a glass canning jar and chuck it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
Now for the latte. If you’ve got a fancy espresso machine with a fancy milk foamer/steamer, then by all means go ahead and use that sucker. I don’t drink these things often enough to justify losing that much counter space to another machine, so I have my ancient espresso percolator, which is easy peasy to use. Just fill the bottom section up with water.
Then take the mesh cup and fill it with ground espresso.
Then screw on the top piece.
Plop it on the burner (if you’re using gas like me you’ll want to make the flames the same size as the bottom of the pot, else you may burn yourself horribly).
For each latte you want to serve, plop 2/3 cup milk (your choice as to what kind) in your steamer or in a small pot. Add in 1 heaping teaspoon of your pumpkin spice latte mix for each latte you are serving and whisk it in.
Heat the milk until it’s steaming (don’t let it boil or you’ll get skin), whisking to keep it frothy (or use your fancy machine).
Your espresso ready? Good. Add a couple shots to your mug. I’m feeling feisty so mine’s a double.
Add in your pumpkiny milk.
I’m not a huge fan of whipped cream on beverages, but if you want to get luxurious with this puppy you should add some to the top of this, sprinkled with a bit more pumpkin spice. And that’s it!
**EDIT: And if you’re feeling adventurous, I’ve just discovered that it makes a great addition to your morning porridge!**