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What We Tested This Week: La Colombe Pumpkin Spice Draft Latte
Who This Is Perfect For: People who think Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte is basically just pure sugar.
I’m not made for summer. I hate humidity; I like to run and play soccer, which isn’t fun in the heat, and my body runs hot almost all the time. Fall is much more my season - the crisp air in the mornings, the beautifully colored leaves, and the hot apple cider all bring me serious joy. But what many other people crave during fall, I’ve never really cared for: pumpkin spice lattes.
I’ve had several from Starbucks, and even tried one from Dunkin’ Donuts, but I’ve always found them to be too sweet and too artificial-tasting. I would much rather have a café au lait or a cold brew - that is, until I discovered La Colombe’s Canned Pumpkin Spice Draft Latte.
I was browsing around on Facebook and saw an article about the seasonal beverage. It sounded interesting, so I asked our Food & Drink editor if she could call some in. Turns out she already had a few in the office, so I volunteered to give it a taste to see if it could turn a non-pumpkin spice lover into one. Upon first sip, I was intrigued. I didn’t get that initial sugar blast that I’m so used to from Starbucks’ seasonal drinks, so I gave it another taste. The second sip was even better than the first. My taste buds detected mostly coffee with a hint of pumpkin, which is why it was so appealing to me. I could actually drink a whole can of it without getting sick - and I wanted to.
Pumpkin spice has become such a thing these past few years that even hipster coffee joints like La Colombe want to hop on the train. The Philadelphia-based company officially released their Pumpkin Spice Draft Latte in 2017 and brought it back for a second year after garnering some much-deserved praise.
The latte is made with espresso, milk, real pumpkin, and warm spices, but it’s the sugar content that sets it apart from competitors. A traditional pumpkin spice latte weighs in at around 50 grams of sugar; La Colombe’s has just 15. Other bottled lattes you can buy at the grocery store average around 30. It also has fewer calories, too: just 140 per can.
As someone who thinks you should drink strong coffee or none at all, I thought there was no way this flavorful latte could give me the caffeine fix I need in the morning, but it does. A single can has 120 milligrams of natural caffeine, which equals about 1.5 cups of coffee. Another added bonus? People who are lactose-intolerant can enjoy this delicious beverage, too as La Colombe's recipe is lactose-free.
A four-pack retails for $12, and individual cans go for $2.99. Or if you happen to live near a La Colombe, you can try the latte on draft for an even smoother flavor.
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