September 4, 2020
GUIDE: Local Pumpkin Spice Lattes
Grab your sweaters and turn those Instagram filters on: it's pumpkin spice season. Find all the local coffee shops serving up pumpkin, only on the Indianapolis Coffee Guide.
Everywhere you look, you find pumpkin spice everything, and it really does seem like they’ve infused everything with pumpkin spice nowadays. We’ve got cookies. We’ve got lattes. We’ve got cakes. We’ve got candles. We’ve got cheesecakes, syrups, ice creams, butters, raviolis, pastas, beers, cereals, tortilla chips, lotions, face masks… we even have DEODORANTS for gourdness sakes…
Alright, let’s throw on a comfy sweater and turn our Instagram filters on because these are all of Indy’s local coffee shops serving pumpkin spice and everything nice.
Bee Coffee Roasters
Hubbard & Cravens
Hubbard & Cravens
Broad Ripple and Meridian Kessler
The Mocha Nut
Greenwood and Southport
Irvington and Near Eastside
Noble Coffee & Tea
Roasted in the Village
Rose & Lois
Other Amazing Seasonal Drinks
So listen, we haven’t all fallen for the pumpkin craze. A lot of shops don’t want to mess with pumpkin, or they don’t have the capacity this year. But they do still have seasonal drinks that are always worth trying.
Here are a few seasonal fall drinks we’re sipping on around the city, sans pumpkin:
- Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Co is currently cooking up some amazing fall drinks. TBD on the final flavors, but I heard the word ‘masala.’
- Indie Coffee Roasters ALWAYS has amazing seasonal drinks. ALWAYS.
- Brickhouse Coffee has an AMAZING Maple Latte and a few others coming.
- Noble Coffee & Tea will be announcing their drinks soon (I hope you like s’mores).
- Foundation will launch their fall drinks soon.
- Tinker Coffee has an amazing spiced latte that they bottle, and it is just *chef’s kiss*.
I’ll be updating this list regularly, so make sure you check back!
Warning: use of the word St*rb*cks ahead. If you’re feeling squeamish, you’re annoyed at the thought, or if you’re pregnant, I’d skip ahead to the end.
Many of us, myself included, tend to blame Starbucks and it’s killer marketing team for this ever-growing craze, but it actually dates back much longer than that.
The first record of spices used to flavor cooked pumpkins dates back to a cookbook by Amelia Simmons called “American Cookery” that was published in… are you ready for this? 1796.
Amelia used sugar, mace, nutmeg, molasses, allspice, and ginger to flavor a pompkin pudding. Allll the way back in 1796. Of course, it technically was spices for a pumpkin dish, but the term “pumpkin spice” as we know it wasn’t coined until 1936 when the Washington Post published an article about a recipe in it for a pumpkin spice cake.
Then, in the 1950’s, popular spice brand McCormicks launched the first ever tin of “pumpkin pie spice” which were spices meant to spice up your pumpkin pie. The list of ingredients was similar to the Amelia Simmons original recipe: Cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cloves.
So by the time Starbucks rolled out their first Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL, in 2003, pumpkin pie spices had long been a staple among American households around thanksgiving time. And once Starbucks harnessed the power of the spices, they took it and ran. Their pumpkin beverages are responsible for millions of dollars every year, which is impressive in and of itself, not to mention these drinks are only available from August to January. TheRealPSL even has its own verified twitter account. And while their recipe has changed over the years (it didn’t even have pumpkin in it until a few years ago), the company currently creates its pumpkin spice flavor with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove. Pretty close to Amelia Simmons’ original recipe.
Bonus factoid: The PSL is such an integral part of their brand, Starbucks even trademarked the acronym PSL in 2013. So I guess I should be careful about using it? Eh, I don’t particularly care.
For Gourdness Sake
For Gourdness Sake, let’s spend our money at local coffee shops supporting our friends and neighbors this year, yeah? Every local shop has amazing seasonal drinks (and amazing coffee in general or they wouldn’t be listed here). So let’s do the right thing, skip the green mermaid, and drink pumpkin spice everything til we’re orange in the face.
Did we miss something? Let me know!