When it comes to Autumn, there are the certain staple and iconic tropes that we must obey to fully commit to the fall season. From the rise of conker-coloured ankle boots to the overwhelming array of chunky knit bobble hats bobbling along the high street, Autumn brings out the best and most colourful of seasonal dress. But no accessory seems to the top the one item that fits into everybody’s hand this time of the year: the pumpkin spice latte.
The PSL, from its birth, became an automatic classic seasonal drink, effortlessly stealing the crown from the traditional mulled wine, chilled frappe and honeycomb hot chocolate. With its mix of warm, spicy and sweet undertones, the PSL is the epitome of the autumn attire, and the Instagram generation is all the better for it.
But I want to argue on behalf of the underdog this Autumn. On behalf of the drink that always falls just a little short of its spicier big brother: the Maple Latte.
Not only is the Maple Latte just as sweet, spicy and warming as the PSL, it also fits neatly into the autumn aesthetic, with genuine relevance to the changing leaves and falling stars of the season. It tastes beautifully smooth, and is a really delightfully light flavour compared to the heavy taste of the PSL – championing the actual coffee involved in the drink, rather than just the syrup (oh yes, I went there).
“But what about the whipped cream and PSL powder on top?” I hear you cry! Don’t worry, the Maple Latte has its own brand of spice sprinkled across the top, in the form of warm and cosy nutmeg, rather than rich and overpowering cinnamon. The drink itself looks just as pretty, just as comforting and just as snappable as its competitor, and in my opinion, puts up a great fight against the PSL when it comes to popular seasonal drinks.
Plus, you’re always guaranteed to find one in store, unlike the flaky PSL which tends to conveniently run out of stock in my local Starbucks every couple of hours.
So, I’m campaigning to raise awareness of the Maple Latte. Sitting snugly and proudly on the Starbucks menu, this is a drink not to be ignored, one that can claim just as much notoriety as the PSL, but perhaps an even better taste. I write this love letter to the Maple Latte in the season of spice, sugar and Starbucks, and I encourage you all to take the leap this fall.