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07th Oct 2019

In defence of pumpkin spice lattes

Ciara Knight

PSLs, am I right?

If you ever feel sad, simply remind yourself that the earth is 4.5 billion years old and you managed to be around at the same time as pumpkin spice lattes.

Heaven’s nectar comes in the form of a steamed milk coffee mixed with precisely four pumps of pumpkin spice.

Long hailed as the destination drink for basic bitches alike, pumpkin spice lattes have received a fate similar to Fiat 500 drivers worldwide, except in Italy for some reason. The time has come to jump to the defence of PSL enthusiasts at home and abroad. Today, I say: No more.

There can be no more persecuting others because of their preferred choice of beverage. We, as a society, can do better. There are far superior reasons to make fun of someone than a warm seasonal drink they choose to consume. Upgrade your patter. Look inside yourself. Do better.

Actually, they are very nice

Before you make fun of a man’s sensible espadrilles, you must first walk precisely one mile in them to the nearest coffee shop to try a pumpkin spice latte. The mistake many tend to make is presuming that the drink tastes of pumpkin, in which case shame on you and your entire lineage. These precious beverages taste of pumpkin spices, and very lightly at that. It’s a sweetened coffee that has hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Quite frankly, those are the kinds of flavours that require you to love yourself before you can fully appreciate them. If you don’t like a PSL, that speaks volumes about the value you put on self care, I’m afraid. Alternatively, if you’ve never tried one, your opinion is hereby null and void.

Just let people enjoy things

The world is a phenomenally miserable place at all times, but also especially right now. Everything is in turmoil. Brooklyn 99 almost got cancelled, 30-50 feral hogs have fallen out of public discourse, Michael Bublé is about to start his annual Christmas pursuit for world domination and also the planet is dying at an alarming rate. If a warm and sweet drink makes Jenny from accounts happy, let her have it. Let her have that one little thing to brighten her otherwise incredibly dull day. She might find your fondness for considering potato smileys and chicken dippers as ‘fine dining’ sickening as well, but you just don’t hear her going on about it because she’s got better things to do with her time.

Summer is over. We need to do everything in our power to not be sad

Once August skedaddles out the door, we face the long and weary march towards death, one winter at a time. Autumn is the bridge between the two dominant seasons, acting as pre-drinks for the main event. We need to lean into proceedings because there’s not an awful lot we can do about it, not until SAD lamps start to pull their weight around here. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the spiced latte-less problem. Nobody is demanding that you partake in this very basic tradition, all that we are asking is that you respect it, much like we honour your right to exercise free speech unless it is wrong. The days are getting shorter, if a PSL can alleviate the descent into madness, simply let it.

Pumpkin is long overdue some time in the spotlight

Nobody knows if it’s a fruit or a vegetable, nor does it particularly matter in this context. In general, pumpkins have a tough time. Nobody thinks about them after October 31st and even when we do pay attention to pumpkins, we make jesters out of them, scooping out their guts and then carving witty images on the front in a bid to go viral on some meaningless social media platform. They get no respect. The PRs for pumpkins are exhausted and it’s time we help them out. Regardless of the fact that there is actually little to no pumpkin content in a pumpkin spice latte, they could still use the publicity. For too long this fruit/vegetable has been made a mockery of. Now is the pumpkin’s time to redeem itself.

Frankly, you need to find some better patter

If you’re in the business of making fun of people, congratulations on persevering in an industry that is currently on its knees reputation-wise. I hate to put a dampener on your lifestyle choices, but if the best material you can summon is regarding a person’s coffee order, you are very very bad at this trade. Make fun of people because they have a weird toe or actively listen to true crime podcasts to the point where they are convinced they could commit and subsequently cover up a murder. Don’t go after a drink they choose to purchase with their own hard-earned money for a treat every so often. That is low-hanging fruit/vegetable. Be an innovator. Read a book. Watch a TED Talk. Find a personality and you will thrive.

Everyone has basic tendencies, some just hide it better

If you’re going after PSL lovers, you’re technically going after yourself. Since pumpkin spice lattes became a benchmark of The Basics, it’s become an exhausting spoken meme that has long outlived its shelf life. Congratulations if you’ve never ordered a PSL, you are truly a superior being who walks this earth alone, refusing to bow to society’s shared interests. But tell me this, what shoes are you walking this earth alone in? Adidas Gazelles? Oh. Oh dear. One of the UK’s most popular shoes protects your mighty feet from the peasantry floor upon which PSL enthusiasts often frequent. Heavens. What a sight. What a basic, basic sight.

Why the hell aren’t we making fun of Americano orderers?

People that order plain Americanos are the real villains here and nobody seems to be going after them. Is there anything that exudes more dry dick behaviour that a person ordering coffee in its rawest form, denying themselves the pleasure of a gently frothed milk or pump of sugary syrup? An Americano is a cry for help. It is the mark of a sad soul and a life unlived. They need our ribbing more than anyone else. These people are afraid to step outside of themselves to experience the world in all its intricate beauty. Baristas need to start this movement, with a simple chuckle every time someone orders an Americano. We need to embarrass these losers into succumbing to greatness. They need it more than pumpkin spice latte connoisseurs. Say what you want, but we are not afraid to live.

In conclusion, death is coming

Every argument can very swiftly be wrapped up with those three words, yet I will continue to paddle this canoe until such time as it happens for me personally. We are all dying. Life is miserable. If a pumpkin spice latte makes someone happy, simply sit down and shut up and let them have it. There is no superior coffee order, they are all just beverages. You probably like Vimto, you sick freak, but nobody’s going to rally against your personal taste because that is a very boring thing to do. Leave PSL fans alone. Everyone is fighting a battle you can’t even begin to understand. If a pumpkin spice latte assists someone in having a slightly less shitty day, let it happen. Now drink up, death is coming.