I would say that for many years, I’ve been the Pumpkin Spiced Latte queen. I was exposed to coffee a lot earlier than most, and adored the taste from day one… so, of course I one day tried this magical autumnal drink and fell in love.
At my local Starbucks from about the age of 13, I was known as pumpkin spice. I had the ginger hair and it was my drink whenever possible so my nickname year round was based on the drink.
Since becoming Vegan, I’ve not been able to actually have Starbucks’ famous drink, though, because u until the d of 2017 it’s not been vegan… but now?
THIS YEAR THEY MADE IT VEGAN.
I don’t think you’ll have seen anyone more excited than me.
Since the release almost a month ago, of course I’ve been drinking them as frequently as possible. I truly am going to be heartbroken when they leave us again. But in that time, I’ve had a few people message me on Instagram, Twitter and asking in real life (especially when I head to Starbucks with a friend or family member)… What’s the best plant milk for Pumpkin Spice Lattes?
I’ve decided to share my answers with all of you.
The plant milks
I would argue that out of all of the plant based milks, coconut is the lightest variation (or at least one of the lightest) which I find perfect. The coconut milk is naturally a little sweet buy not in the same way sweetened almond or soya milk is, being natural. This gives it a taste very complimentary to pumpkin, and I feel the texture of the fresh purée balances with the milk’s lightness.
If you are allergic to nuts, please ignore this section.
Almond milk, again, is a lovely one. It’s lighter than some plant milks but surely not the lightest. It has a lovely roasted taste which gives me the feel of autumn, but I do think the nutty flavour isn’t totally complimentary of the classic PSL flavours and other milks do lend to it better. I will say, however, the maple latte with almond milk is glorious. At my college, we have a Starbucks, and though my heart is betrayed there’s no pumpkin spice option, at college I drink the maple and the roasted almond goes so well with smoked maple.
Oat milk is another milk I really enjoy typically, especially with caramel flavours (honestly it tastes like a flapjack to me!). But it is a little heavier than almond milk, so I think for me it depends on how I feel. Some days, it’s okay for me but I do find it significantly more filling than an almond or coconut milk based latte, so if I’m a little more full it isn’t really on the cards. It does taste lovely with the pumpkin spiced palette.
If you are a soya free vegan, please ignore this part of the review.
I personally do not like soy milk, so there maybe is a bias in my views on this one, but considering the pros and cons of this ‘milk’, I really don’t think it’s the right milk for your pumpkin spice fix. Soya milk is a very thick milk alternative and I find that mixing this with something flavoured in the way it is, it’s too heavy. This isn’t to say all flavoured coffees don’t work with soy milk; When I first went vegan my order at Costa was a gingerbread latte with soya milk, and though I don’t like the milk itself, it worked quite well. I think a main issue for me is mixing such a milk with something based on fresh pumpkin purée rather than a syrup is too much for me. It may just be me, I just am not a fan of how I feel after it as well as the taste.
I am personally a great lover of coconut milk, and having gone to Pret for my Pumpkin Spice Lattes last year (I still do, this year, too), the first plant milk I tried it with was coconut milk… and since that was without flaw, I stuck to it.
Personally, I would always go for coconut if possible but it is about personal choice, too.
The only one I would directly recommend against is having your Pumpkin Spiced Latte with soya milk.
Please note that I am not a dietician nor am affiliated with any companies, so I urge you to check with the stores themselves about allergy information.
I hope you are able to enjoy many plant based pumpkin spiced lattes before this season ends. Plant milk isn’t just for vegans and the lactose intolerant; Why not try it for a change?