Food Fight: Pumpkin lattes


Question: Are you a true coffee lover if you add flavored syrups to your lattes and macchiatos and whatnot? Though I didn't used to, I now officially tend to lean toward "no" and here's why, embedded in a discussion of the merits of pumpkin lattes from local coffee chains Caribou and Dunn Bros.:

Caribou's take on the pumpkin latte is vaguely chemical-flavored, orangey-hued, and actually sort of bitter. The coffee flavor is smothered by the pumpkin syrup (which tasted sugar-free, though I didn't ask for that). A 12 oz. cup costs $3.56.

Dunn Bros. pumpkin latte was richer and tasted more like coffee than Caribou's, though the syrup still interrupted with its almost sickening sweetness. The flavor was less pumpkin than something akin to pumpkin pie spice. Dunn Bros. is 11 cents cheaper than Caribou, coming out to $3.45 for 12 oz.

The Winner: Not to be anti-climactic, but it's sort of an impasse. It'd probably be Dunn Bros. though, by virtue of the fact that it seemed to have less pumpkin syrup. Flavored syrups are cloying and distracting, making what might otherwise be decent coffee into something not unlike that powdered International Coffee that your mom sent you in college for your Hot Pot. If you must indulge, at least get whole milk.