The Pumpkin Spice Latte
So, the truth?
I have never made one of these drinks in a coffee house. We didn't do the pumpkin thing--we did the eggnog thing (which I thought tasted disgusting.)
However, I've done some digging around, and coupled with my basic knowledge of lattes/mocha, I've come up with what I think will be a reasonable facsimile of this drink.
But you'll have to taste it for me: I hate pumpkin!
Although this drink is considered a latte, from what I've gathered, it's actually made more along the lines of a mocha--the difference is in the sauce. Literally. From what I read, the secret to this drink is that they actually use a sauce versus a syrup.
Mochas are made with sauce.
Lattes are made with syrup.
This is why mochas taste richer, and have more calories. :)
So, I did some Amazon-ing, and I found a pumpkin spice sauce. This is the Torani brand again, but you can just search "pumpkin spice sauce" and find plenty of hits.
The foundation of this drink is identical to all lattes (going with 12 oz proportions again):
Edit: my lovely friend and former barista has informed me that the Buck used 3 pumps of the sauce in the 12 oz drink! Holy sugar overload, Batman! I'd probably still go with 1 pump, myself, but experiment as you see fit!
1 shot espresso
1 pump pumpkin spice sauce
(rec) 1 or 1/2 pump vanilla syrup (depending on how sweet you want it)
pumpkin pie spice (which I'm pretty sure you can buy in the grocery store)
The proper layering technique for a latte is syrup and sauce, then espresso, then milk. I would have your milk nice and hot before you pull the espresso shot--espresso has an extremely short half-life, if you will. The less time between the machine and your stomach, the better.
I think this goes without saying, but just to be on the safe side...you do want to stir after you add the milk and before you top.
There is such a thing as pumpkin spice syrup, but I don't think it will taste the same.
Remember, you go up by one pump per 4 oz; 2 shots of espresso for 16 oz; 3 shots for 20oz. Or more. Depending on how strong you'd like it. :)
A note on whipped cream: the stuff most coffee shops use is not your store-bought stuff. We use heavy whipping cream, vanilla syrup and N2O and make it fresh. That's why it's so awesome. :)
If you make this drink, please let me know how it turns out!