And then, if you're like me, you start scheming about how you could re-create that drink in a cleaned-up form and enjoy it without selling your soul to the devil.
I no longer drink coffee due to the caffeine content, and I haven't bothered with searching out good decaf coffee because I wasn't trying to make a sanctified Pumpkin Spice Latte. Until now. Enter Sprouts' bulk decaf espresso beans, which I highly recommend.
I went full-on vegan last summer, which means no dairy, so no milk in my latte either. Can't order dairy-free at Starbucks, because I also no longer consume sugar, and to my knowledge all their alternative milks are sweetened with cane sugar.
And forget about the pumpkin spice part of it at Starbucks--that's a syrup, and its glycemic index is probably around 1.5 million. Especially since if you let them put as many pumps as they want, you're getting at least two or three pumps per drink. (Even back when I consumed sugar and ordered this latte at Starbucks, I used to ask for half a pump of syrup in a tall because it was just too much sugar for my taste.)
No worries. I figured all this out this past weekend and am here to share my so-delicious vegan, sugar-free, decaf Pumpkin Spice Latte with you.
Vegan, Sugar-free, Decaf Pumpkin Spice Latte
Ingredients (these are a little specialized, but hey, you want a sanctified latte or not???)
2 TBS (for a double shot) decaffeinated espresso beans (or ground decaf espresso if you don't have a grinder at home--Sprouts sells a good decaf espresso)
3/4 cup Califia brand Toasted Coconut Almond Milk, the one that is sweetened with Monk fruit (check the label. It has 0 grams of sugar.)
3 tsp Lakanto natural Monk Fruit Sweetener (adjust the amount up or down according to your taste, but 3 tsp is a good place to start)
1/4 tsp powdered Pumpkin Pie Spice (I'm loving Spice Hunter brand at the moment)
Cinnamon, to sprinkle on top
Grind your beans (on fine) if not already ground. Fill your portafilter with the ground beans and tamp it down evenly. Pull your shot and set the espresso cup on top of the machine to keep warm while you steam your milk. Add the 3 tsp Lakanto sweetener plus the 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice to the bottom of a stainless milk steaming carafe, then pour the coconut-almond milk on top. Steam until hot and frothy. Pour espresso into a warm mug (I warm it in the microwave for 20 seconds) and then pour steamed, sweetened, spiced milk over the top. Sprinkle on some cinnamon, sit back, and enjoy the autumn bliss.