We tried Starbucks’ pumpkin spiced lattes for the first time – here’s the verdict

Everyone who’s familiar with American culture knows that the different seasons come with corresponding “staple items”.

For fall, these include sweaters, Halloween decorations and some might argue, Starbucks’ pumpkin spiced lattes (PSLs).

Although its been around for more than a decade in the US, Starbucks finally launched the beverage in Singapore on Wednesday (Aug 6), so all of us can finally experience what it’s like to be a “basic white girl”.

It’s been a 14-year long wait for PSLs to finally land on our shores.
Business Insider/ Joey Lee

If you’re unfamiliar with that term, PSLs have long been associated with the stereotypical image of a white, Caucasian female who’s into mainstream products – Starbucks being one of them.

PSLs are available in three different versions here – hot, iced and Starbucks’ signature frappuccino.

Three variants of PSLs – Frapp (L), Iced (M), Hot (R).
Business Insider/ Joey Lee

A Tall-sized cup retails at S$7.10 ($5.24) while the Grande costs $7.60 and the Venti $8.10. Frappuccinos are a dollar more expensive than the other two versions though, so the Grande iced PSL we got was $7.60 while the Grande PSL frapp was $8.60.

Grande hot pumpkin spiced latte, $7.60.
Business Insider/ Joey Lee

Grande iced pumpkin spiced latte, $7.60.
Business Insider/ Joey Lee

Grande pumpkin spiced frappucino, S$8.60.
Business Insider/Joey Lee

First impressions: The iced and frapp versions looked like regular creamy white coffee topped with whip cream and cinnamon. They did, however, have an orangey tinge to them but are still recognisable as coffees.

The hot version though, was another story altogether.

Sometime during the 30-minute commute to the office, the foam topping melted into the drink. Upon uncovering the lid, we were greeted with the shocking visual of oil globules floating atop the surface, bearing a disconcerting similarity to curry gravy.

Half-finished bowl of curry? Nope, it’s just a hot PSL.
Business Insider/ Joey Lee

The sight completely put us off, so if you’re ordering a hot cuppa PSL, our advice is to keep the lid on.

Every whiff we took gave us a strong mix of different spices, which smelled exactly like Gingerbread men and called to mind images of holidays and Christmas time.

As for the taste, each sip packed a strong punch of pumpkin and spice, as the name suggests. Unfortunately though, it was overly sweet and not something we’ll like to start kick start our day.

If you must try one to see what all the hype’s about, we recommend either the iced or frapp variant as there’s a stronger coffee taste. The hot version didn’t look or taste like coffee but reminded us of Masala chai teas.


If you’re not a coffee-drinker, the friendly barista informed us that a version exists where you can request for no coffee to be added.

Undeterred and determined to make all your “white girl” dreams come true? It’s best that you share it with a friend. The drink was too cloying after a few sips and that Grande-sized cup packs a whopping 380 calories. 

Thanks but no thanks.

SEE ALSO: Here’s how much actual pumpkin is in that pumpkin spice latte

DON’T MISS: Starbucks is hoping this drink will be the next Pumpkin Spice Latte