Today I had the [un]fortunate chance of trying the PSL at Starbucks.
Before trying pumpkin pie and the pumpkin spice frap, I was never really a fan of pumpkins. Even in Japan, where kobocha is a popular vegetable, I hated it. Since I warmed up to the frappuccino, I thought I could handle the straightforward espresso-y latte version of the beloved fall flavor. But I was reminded of why I hate pumpkin.
The PSL has a very acrid taste. The aroma of the spice is really off-putting, being too pungent and foreshadowing what lies ahead. The pumpkin flavor tastes like they stuck half a can of pumpkin pie filling in the coffee. It certainly overloads the taste buds – well, it rather cloys the taste buds. It is just too strong of a flavor.
It’s definitely just the combination that puts me off (I’m not adverse to spice – I love the chai lattes).
The frappuccino version does wonders. It covers up the pumpkin and the cinnamon, making it mellow and sweet. It’s light and creamy and oh-so-sinful.
So if you like more pronounced flavors: PSL is your bet. If you’re still in the fall mood, but like thinner, more subtle flavors, the frappuccino will probably be your cup of tea.