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Not Your Basic Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Chris Gallardo-Ganaban (2L)

It’s that time of year again! Sweater weather, fall aesthetics, and of course – pumpkin spice everything! It started out as what seemed to be a short-lived fad, like kale chips and CrossFit, but alas, it’s back again — whether you like it or not. As your person PSL correspondent, I went to several spots near campus to find the best (and the worst) pumpkin spice options. So here’s your quick and dirty guide to elevate your pumpkin spice game to the next level.

Starbucks – the most reliable

8215 112 St NW

Starbucks is a huge contender in the pumpkin spice market. It’s the OG of PSLs. This is the classic choice for something consistent, predictable, and reliable, which is what you need when you’re in a rush to get to your 8am Criminal Law class; no time for mistakes here!

My recommendation: Get a grande half-sweet extra-hot soy milk pumpkin spice latte with an extra shot for good measure.

Good Earth – the sweetest and arguably the worst

8623 112 St NW

There was nothing good about the PSL at Good Earth, but if you’re one with a giant sweet tooth, this may favour you! It felt like drinking a glass of warm simple syrup with pumpkin flavours and a hint of coffee. So if you order your Tim’s coffee with five cream five sugars, you can give this PSL a try. Maybe you’ll like it, but you probably won’t.

My recommendation: Go somewhere else unless you like your drinks extremely sweet.

Second Cup – the most complex and arguably the best

8303 112 St NW

There’s nothing basic about this PSL. Their espresso tastes like malt and caramel, which complements the pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon spices very well. The baristas here are also less likely to burn your milk, and will give you the right amount of foam for that silky consistency. Overall, a well put together PSL.

My recommendation: Get it as it is. Ask for half-sweet if you’re concerned about sugar, and maybe add an extra shot if you want that extra kick.

Julio’s Barrio – the after-five option

10450 82 Ave NW

This is for when it’s too late in the day for caffeine and you are dying for that pumpkin spice fix — Julio’s Barrio has you covered with their Pumpkin Spice Bulldog. As the name suggests, this one’s feisty and aggressive. The pumpkin and cinnamon flavoured margarita with the crisp, light beer makes for a refreshing autumn cocktail. Not everyone will like it, but we can all agree that Bulldogs look pretty damn cool.

My recommendation: Try it. If you don’t like it, at least you’ll have an Instagram post worthy of a hundred likes.

The Verdict

There are tons of options for pumpkin spice drinks on campus. Hopefully this list gives you somewhere to start. Let us know your pumpkin spice favourites on the ‘Gram, @canonsofconstruction.