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‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice latte — but is Drop Coffee’s worth your while?

We tried the cosy winter drink — both the hot and cold versions — and here's our verdict.
Updated 03 Jan, 2023 12:39pm

Pumpkin spice lattes are one of the most hyped up drinks on social media. Come fall or winter, you’ll see people heading over to the nearest cafe to enjoy a warm cup of this spiced coffee concoction. Giving in to the trend, we decided to try Drop Coffee’s version, both hot and cold, and our verdict — we were both elated and disappointed.

Before heading over to Drop, we conducted a mini pumpkin spice latte survey in Karachi and listed a few places that sold them such as Floc, Espresso and Melbrew. Upon reading reviews and receiving recommendations from friends, Drop felt like the best option to begin our journey. We were told it was the closest a Karachi cafe has come to the real deal. Since frappes are mood boosters, naturally, we wanted to try both variations of the drink, comfortingly hot and freezing cold. Here are our findings.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Rs550

Soomal

We asked the staff at Drop to let us record the process and they were kind enough to oblige, despite their long list of orders that kept them super busy. Shoutout to Bunny who made sure there was space for us to record in the tiny shop that only serves coffee on the go.

Taking a sip of this beverage, what I noticed right off the bat was that the coffee tasted like… coffee. There was no special flavour — no signs of pumpkin or spice. The only trace of the flavour was atop the whipped cream, the cinnamon from the blend of spices standing out. The coffee itself was just milk and espresso. This is where I was quite confused and disappointed. A pumpkin spice latte is a mix of coffee and flavouring or pumpkin puree. I remember asking Marsha if they maybe forgot the flavouring in the coffee. I’m still wondering, to be honest with you.

Marsha

The tiny shop offered a sense of comfort, so did the strong scent of coffee blend. But as I waited with Soomal, I longed to taste the pumpkin-ness of a pumpkin spice latte and unfortunately, that was nowhere to be found.

I don’t know about you, but for me, concentrated coffee and flavoured coffee drinks need to stand out. While different blends do add their own spin to the piping hot drink, when our PSL (not the PSL you’re thinking of) arrived and we took the first sip, there was nothing pumpkin about it. It was just your average latte with pumpkin seasoning for decoration and that was rather disappointing for me. What I would’ve loved to see was a perfect balance of coffee and pumpkin that maybe Drop needs to work on a little.

The drink comes in a typical short 230ml sized cup you can find at any coffee chain, local or international. The price tag of Rs550 is Rs100 more than a regular cup of coffee but would have been fair if the flavour had come through.

Pumpkin Spice Frappe

Rs650

Soomal

The frappe is where our spirits were boosted. Sweet and distinctly pumpkin spiced, I understood what the hype’s about. We also witnessed the barista pump pumpkin spiced syrup in there so it would truly be a mystery if this one lacked taste. It was delicious, we have to admit. A good change from the basic flavours.

To be entirely candid though, it was quite heavy. We also witnessed the barista add four scoops of ice cream in there so that explains it. The two of us shared the drink and it was still difficult to finish.

Marsha

The frappe was the highlight of my day. For me, the pumpkin spice frappe reminded me of Emma Roberts’ Chanel Oberlin from Scream Queens even though hers was a complicated cup of coffee and ours was pure bliss.

However, the bliss didn’t last too long as we couldn’t actually finish the drink. Perhaps it was the sight of four ice cream scoops that was haunting us. Flavour wise, it was perfectly pumpkin unlike the first drink that we had high hopes for.

The drink comes in a tall, 350ml size with whipped cream on top that gives it even more height. The price point is fair in this case too if we look at the amount of milk, ice cream, coffee and pumpkin syrup that was added for the frappe.

Generally, pumpkin spice items abroad are priced slightly higher, primarily because they’re seasonal offerings but also because of the “informal pumpkin spice tax” — which is on average 14.1 per cent — that’s applied in the US for items like lattes, croissant, hummus and even dog treats, according to CBS News.

Final verdict — you should definitely try the pumpkin spice frappe at Drop. It is worth at least one try for the seasonal factor. We’re not too sure about the latte — perhaps try one from a different place?