It’s fall…which means it’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season!
I remember my very first fancy coffee drink! It was September 2001 and I was with my friend Amy, who loved Starbucks. When I say loved, that is an understatement. She LOVED Starbucks! She would get a “fancy coffee drink,” as I like to call them, every morning. It was just about the time that Starbucks started replacing their manual espresso makers with the automatic kind and she would scout out the stores that hadn’t made the changeover because she could tell the difference. That’s how much she loved her coffee.
At that time, I had a moral objection to paying almost $4 for a cup of coffee. Notice I said almost $4…ahhh, the good ol’ days of cheap fancy coffee. Ha! I think it was $3.85 for a large, or Venti, or whatever the heck they call it. For the record, I have another moral objection to ordering by saying Venti….but I digress. Even at that “cheap” price, getting your morning coffee every day would set you back almost $1,500 a year! Yikes!
Nonetheless, she made me try a Caramel Macchiato and in one sip, I was hooked. It was if I were a kid again, who was just allowed another piece of cake! It was like dessert disguised as coffee. So, while I still have a moral objection to paying insane prices for a cup of Joe, I must admit, I love them! I LOVE them!!
So, as I am always about saving some money here on Tiny Kitchen Big Taste, I am always in search of ways to make amazing food (and drinks) at home that will give you all the satisfaction of great food and drinks…while giving you bonus satisfaction that you saved some money as well.
“But can you make a fancy coffee drink at home,” you ask, “that will taste as good as one you buy at a coffeeshop?”
Fast forward to 2015, Grand Rapids, Michigan. A friend of mine’s sister made a hazelnut coffee for me at home, with a bit of whipped cream. It was so good! I still remember that first sip…and that feeling of being a kid again, cake in hand! Proof that you can be your own fancy coffeeshop and spend next to nothing in the meantime!
That’s what we’re doing on Tiny Kitchen Big Taste today. Making a fancy coffee drink at home…and it’s one of my favorite…the much-esteemed Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL, as it’s known by people who are in the know. 😉
I can make this promise that when you try this recipe, you would be pleasantly surprised and very pleased, not only that you can make a fantastic Pumpkin Spice Latte at home with very little effort, but also you’re saving money and time in the process.
The biggest challenge that I found with making a great fancy coffee drink at home was the coffee. You really do need espresso! However, a good espresso maker can set you back at least $100…at least. While you can use really strong coffee, there is something about the taste, smoothness and intensity of the espresso that balances perfectly with whatever flavor you’re adding to your coffee.
In order to get that flavor, surprisingly I use instant espresso. It is shockingly good…and very affordable. With some of the brands that I have tried most recently, like Medaglia D’Oro or Café Bustelo, you actually get that great Crema on the top of the espresso. Give it a shot (pun intended) or two for that matter. Make sure though that the instant coffee you buy says Espresso, not just instant coffee. That will make a difference.
Aside from that, it is a straightforward recipe that you can make on the stove or even in the microwave. If the microwave is your preference, just combine everything in a large microwave-safe glass measuring cup and heat it at 50% power and stir it every 15-20 second increments until it steams. Voila! An amazing Pumpkin Spice Latte using instant espresso and a microwave. It doesn’t get any better than that…or any easier!
Enough talk…go make one! And let me know what you think…or heck, post a pic of yourself in Instagram enjoying one! If you do, please be sure to tag us in it (@tinykitchenTV) as I love seeing your Tiny Kitchen creations!
Pumpkin Spice Latte
SO WHAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED IS:
Pumpkin Pie Spice (make your own):
- If you don’t have Pumpkin Spice Mix, make your own by combing ground Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg and Cloves in a small bowl. Mix.
- In a small Pot, combine Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Sugar, Vanilla Extract and Pumpkin Spice Mix.
- Place Pot over medium heat until the Milk starts to steam. Do not Boil. (Note: You can actually steam the Milk in the microwave, by heating it at 50% power, checking every 15 – 20 second until steaming.)
- Add 1-2 shots of Espresso (or your favorite strong coffee) in a mug. (Note: for this recipe, Instant Espresso works great—make sure it says Espresso as I have found a difference.)
- Fill mug with Steamed Milk.
- Top with Whipped Cream. Sprinkle with Pumpkin Spice Mix.