Spice of life: A guide to Pumpkin Spice Lattes around NAIT

by | Nov 4, 2022 | Arts & Life

Out of all the drinks that come with the fall season, nothing is more iconic than the pumpkin spice latte. First created by Starbucks, this drink has become a chilly weather staple. Every other major chain that offers caffeinated beverages is now offering it as well. But which one should you, a NAIT student or staff member, choose when faced with the choices on or near NAIT campus?

Starbucks (CAT194 in the CAT – Feltham Centre, O126B beside the Common Market, and in Kingsway Mall)

Starbucks has one of the sweeter pumpkin spice lattes, but you can remove some of the sweetness by getting it made half-sweet and removing the whipped cream. It also has the creamiest texture of all the pumpkin spice lattes around NAIT. Starbucks provides a wide selection of dairy-free alternatives, and their lattes can be made hot or iced. The biggest downside of Starbucks, though, is the price. Even the smallest size costs more than five dollars and might not be enough caffeine for avid coffee drinkers. Starbucks has a great rewards program, but unfortunately the program doesn’t apply to locations on NAIT campus. So if you don’t care about price and you want an inclusive selection, Starbucks is a classic.

McDonalds (11-minute walk from NAIT campus or 4 minutes by LRT)

McDonald’s is the sweetest of the bunch. Due to the powdered nature of the Pumpkin Spice, you can’t get this latte half-sweet like you can at Starbucks. You also can’t make a McDonald’s pumpkin spice latte dairy-free. That said, it’s the cheapest pumpkin spice latte on the market. So if you’re into a cheap and sweet pumpkin spice latte, McDonald’s is the best choice for you.

A&W (9-minute walk from NAIT campus)

A&W is the newest entrant into the pumpkin spice trend. I was pleasantly surprised when I took my first sip and it wasn’t too sweet. It has a good balance of sweet mixed with pumpkin spice flavours, making it taste a lot more like pumpkin pie than your standard latte. A&W also has a slush variant of the latte, similar to Tim Hortons’ iced capp. If you want a cheap but less sweet pumpkin spice latte, A&W is worth trying.

Tim Hortons (CAT201 in the CAT – Feltham Centre, W103A in HP Centre, X114B beside Shop at NAIT, and in Kingsway Mall)

I went into this experience thinking that Tim Hortons was going to make their pumpkin spice latte too sweet. This latte tastes a lot more like pumpkin pie, similar to what A&W does. The benefit it has over A&W is that you can get this one with dairy-free alternatives. Tim Hortons also offers an iced capp and iced coffee variant of the pumpkin spice latte. If you want an inclusive selection that won’t empty your wallet, Tim Hortons is the best value for students.

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