December 6, 2016

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte K-Cups Review

Sbux PSL KCup

You knew it was bound to happen sooner or later, with Starbucks focusing on introducing new flavored K-Cups it was only a matter of time before they’d introduce the drink style they’re known for and they spared no expense. From the new larger cube-style packaging to a new Starbucks At Home website, the siren’s song is announcing Starbucks is getting into the at home latte game. If you’re going to create Starbucks Latte K-Cups, you can’t forget to include their famous signature latte and that’s what’s we’re checking out today… Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte K-Cups

Known by Starbucks fans simply as the PSL and what can arguably be noted as the impetus for all things pumpkin spice which flood our lives each Fall, Starbucks have decided to make this at home PSL a 2 step process by including a creamer/flavoring packet along with a coffee K-Cup. Billed as a smooth & balanced Caffè Blend, the coffee K-Cup is 3/4 full of ground coffee instead of half full like some espresso blends we’ve seen before. The flavoring packet is comprised of real pumpkin flavoring & spices along with creamer comprised of both powdered milk & cream. Unlike some of the Gevalia Latte K-Cups we’ve seen in the past, the packet does NOTcontain any foaming/frothing agents so don’t expect a foamy froth on the top of the final cup as there is most definitely none to be found. You don’t even get the dark orange hue typically found in a real PSL, just a typical beige of a normal latte.

Brewing the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte K-Cups resulted in the signature Starbucks dark roast aroma from the coffee but once blended with the powder from the flavoring packet, we barely got any scent of pumpkin spices at all. There’s a tiny bit of nutmeg and cinnamon but it’s so faint, you barely notice anything. It made for a rather disappointing experience.

Upon first sip, you get a rather harsh chemical taste which then starts evolving into notes cinnamon with nutmeg being the spice which seemed predominant. There is some pumpkin flavor which appears in the finish but it’s not quite the same as the real deal you’d get at your local Starbucks. Once you work your way through the spices, you get a sweet milk flavor which is similar to sweetened condensed milk. Texture-wise, it is very similar to a real PSL with a smooth creamy feel throughout. The bottom of the cup holds a surprise as you get fine gritty residue of real pumpkin. It’s a bit shocking if you’re not expecting it and had us wondering what the heck was going on until we realized what the gritty mix was comprised of. 

Sbux PSL Packaging

We’re not quite sure what to think of this one. While it doesn’t come close to a real PSL you’d get at a Starbucks location, Starbucks was likely hoping it would be “good enough” for most people. The problem is one of Starbucks’ own making however, as over the years when you think PSL, your brain is hardwired to think of the signature aroma and unmistakeable taste of the PSL you get in-store and most recently, the new orange coloring. You don’t get the same aroma, taste or color with this product so it doesn’t feel close to a real PSL and will likely end up disappointing most people. Given the fact that a 9-pack is going for $13 (more if you’re in a state that has sales tax), we can only chalk this one up to being a neat novelty and something worth checking out only for those who are curious. Serious PSL fans should stick with getting the real thing at an actual Starbucks location instead.  

So, what do we think? Is this one worth checking out? 

FINAL VERDICT:  Leave it! (We can’t justify the $13 pricing for something most PSL fans will claim doesn’t come close to the real thing)

We would like to note that we found these K-Cups at a local Target and purchased them on our own for the purpose of this review. The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte K-Cups will work in all K-Cup Brewers including Keurig 2.0.

We would also like to thank our Single Serve Coffee correspondent SH for writing this review.

Read More in: K Cup Reviews | Keurig & K-Cups | Reviews

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Posted by Jay Brewer at December 6, 2016 7:38 AM
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