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Clash Of The Pumpkin Spice Lattes: Starbucks vs. McDonalds

Daniella Segura |
October 4, 2013 | 12:43 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Fall season brings seasonal drinks, like McDonalds and Starbucks' pumpkin spice lattes. (Daniella Segura / Neon Tommy)
Fall season brings seasonal drinks, like McDonalds and Starbucks' pumpkin spice lattes. (Daniella Segura / Neon Tommy)
Every year, pumpkin seems to be the one flavor that is synonymous with fall. This year, McDonalds debuted its own pumpkin spice latte, which competes with Starbucks’ original pumpkin spice latte. When put to the test, which latte is best?

McDonalds

As McDonalds always offers a variety of holiday drinks, it only makes sense that they would debut a pumpkin spice latte for fall. Perhaps it is because it is their first year offering the latte that makes it a bit disappointing.

Although there is a hint of pumpkin to the latte and the price considerably cheaper than Starbucks’, it does not resemble the taste of a traditional latte. First, there is no frothy foam as there typically is with lattes. Secondly, it is far too sweet to even taste the espresso flavor in the drink.

If you’re health conscious, you have the option to have the latte made with non-fat milk. However, this is a big no-no. Although you may be drinking a slightly healthier drink, the taste is almost unbearable. The drink tastes overly bitter, with a subtle hint of pumpkin, followed by way too much cinnamon and other spices.

Perhaps if McDonalds spends more time over the next year perfecting its latte, it will have a chance to compete against Starbucks’ version. Until then, it does okay as a cheaper alternative to Starbucks’ latte ... if you can bear through drinking the sugary cup of coffee with a mild hint of pumpkin.

Starbucks

Starbucks is often noted for the traditional bitter coffee tastes with its lattes and this holds true for its pumpkin spice latte. However, this bitterness is offset with the first thick layer of whipped cream. For the fans of the bitter coffee taste, you always, of course, have the option to ask for no whipped cream. Although Starbucks’ latte is sugary, it is the right amount of sugar, when compared to McDonalds version.

If you are health conscious, you have the option to have the latte made with non-fat milk. Although the drink still tastes decent for being a non-fat based drink, the whole milk version is still the best when it comes to flavor.

Although it is more expensive than McDonalds' alternative, Starbucks is the better choice if you are looking to get your pumpkin spice latte fix. 

Reach Daniella Segura here and follow her on Twitter here.



 

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