Fans Told Mashed Who Makes The Best Pumpkin Spice Latte - Exclusive Survey

Can you believe the pumpkin spice latte craze is almost twenty years old? Starbucks first introduced the flavor to Americans back in 2003. Which may make you feel sorry for those times when people didn't know the joys of coffee with a spice blend of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg. While most people in the U.S. understand what it is, Buzzfeed shows that people from other countries may be confused about why you'd like coffee and pumpkin together. However, the only pumpkin in a Starbucks PSL is in the name. It's the spice mix you would use to go in a pumpkin pie — phew! Despite that, there are some recipes out there that opt for the addition of pumpkin puree. However, most people will opt to go to their favorite coffee shop. Mashed asked survey participants, "Who makes the best Pumpkin Spice Latte?" and were given five options. 

Coming in at last place with only 5.33% of the vote was McDonald's. Despite being the lowest on the list, Facebook Mickey D's fans said things like, "I think these taste great and are WAY cheaper than other places. Most places charge almost 6 dollars and it's gross and full of syrup", and, "I have had their pumpkin spice latte multiple days is a row now and it is SO GOOD I CANT STOP BUYING IT!!!".

Is it ever too early for PSL season?

In fourth place, Krispy Kreme's pumpkin spice coffee drinks grabbed 6.70% of the vote. They were early to release PSL season this year and jumped in at the begging of August offering both lattes and doughnuts flavored with the spice. Perhaps it ranked so low because fans on Facebook were more concerned that summer had only just ended rather than trying out the new fall flavors.

Panera scored third place with 8.25% preferring its fall item. This is one of the more unusual ones because Panera used to put actual pumpkin in its recipe, according to St. Louis Business Journal. However, they don't appear to offer a PSL on their menu any longer, opting for a Cinnamon Crunch Latte instead. Fans on the chain's Facebook page said, "Thank you for not including pumpkin I hate pumpkin. Will try this." Several other commenters mentioned they weren't fans of pumpkin spice and this sounded like a good alternative. 

The top two PSL venues

Coming in second place, Dunkin' scored 26.63% of the vote. People who enjoy the Dunkin' PSL appear to do so quietly as there aren't a lot of mentions from fans on social media. However, one reviewer at The Impulsive Buy said it "tastes like an 'upscale' iced pumpkin spiced latte. A slightly more mature tasting Dunkin' drink if you will. The difference here is a shot of espresso and vanilla." 

Wide Open Eats recently decided to compare both the hot and iced versions of Dunkin' and Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes with the clear winner being Starbucks, and that's exactly what Mashed survey participants thought — it blew the top off the voting poll with a whopping 53.09% of votes.  The company that brought you the PSL craze back in 2003 is still the winner. Despite TikTok having some questions about the PSL recipe this year, according to Mashed, this is still most pumpkin spice latte connoisseurs' absolute favorite.