Coffee Chain Pumpkin Lattes Ranked From Worst To Best

As the temperature outside starts to drop and the leaves being to change colors (or even when you just start to dream about the day that will happen, thermometer notwithstanding), one thing is certain: fall is coming. Of course, the popularity of the fall season means that it tends to come earlier and earlier each year, especially when we're talking about culinary treats. And if there's one thing that seems to ring in the fall season more than anything else, it's the pumpkin latte. The iconic fall drink might be deemed "basic" in some circles, but we must get real and admit that it's also completely delicious. After all, there's a reason why it so perfectly encapsulates the autumn season.

The pumpkin latte, no matter where you get it, is a pretty delicious beverage to kick-start your day or even just put a little extra pep in your autumnal step. That said, the drink has become such a hot commodity that you can get it just about anywhere. Yes, you can even find it at McDonald's! But because there are so many pumpkin lattes out there, how do you know which one is the best? Well, you've come to the right place. We've considered all of the most popular coffee chain pumpkin lattes and ranked them from worst to best. The results may very well surprise you.

11. Einstein Bros.Bagels

If you've ever been to an Einstein Bros. Bagels location, then you know this chain is primarily focused on serving bagels — it's right there in the name, after all. They have quite a variety of those carby treats, with a ton of different options for toppings, flavors, schmears, and so much more. But the chain also serves beverages, like coffees, which might sound interesting as you embark on your pumpkin latte exploration. However, those drinks might not be worth trying.

As one Tripadvisor review put it, the coffee at this chain is a major letdown, especially the pumpkin version. "But I have to say, stay far away from all the pumpkin spice stuff! The latte was awful–it tasted like pumpkin soap!" Seriously, who wants a soap-flavored coffee? 

If you're seriously craving a pumpkin latte, don't cave and get one at Einstein Bros. because it will just let you down at best. At worse, it could leave a genuinely bad taste in your mouth for a long time after you drink it. Basically, this is the worst pumpkin latte out there, so don't waste your time. However, given that some Einstein Bros. locations are now serving Caribou Coffee (via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), you might want to go ahead and try that version. Just be careful that you're not drinking the original Einstein Bros. stuff.

10. Caribou Coffee

If you live in the Midwest or have ever traveled there, then you probably know of the Caribou Coffee chain. This fast casual coffee and sandwich joint is just about everywhere around those parts, not to mention a few other spots in the United States, and people who go there often are pretty loyal to it. But, just because a place is popular doesn't mean that it always has the best of everything. And when it comes to a pumpkin latte, Caribou's version is only decent. Compared to other pumpkin lattes, it can be downright disappointing.

Though some people claim the coffee at this chain is better than Starbucks, that's not entirely true overall, especially when considering some of the more complicated drinks on the menu. On one hand, a Tripadvisor reviewer claimed the Caribou version of the pumpkin spice latte was perfect. "I have never been to a Caribou Coffee and was a bit skeptical. I love Starbucks PSL and the one here was even better," they said. However, other reviews of Caribou Coffee were less generous, making it clear that this drink is not for everyone. Overall, the pumpkin latte at Caribou is like most things at Caribou: mediocre and, despite the caffeine, rather yawn-inducing.

9. Biggby Coffee

While not as established or widespread as some other coffee chains, Biggby Coffee is still a pretty popular coffee chain in the United States. And if you've ever been there, you should at least know that their drinks are usually pretty tasty and unique. But their version of the pumpkin spice latte honestly falls somewhere in the middle of bad and good. It's nothing really special. Then again, it's still a pumpkin latte, so how bad can it be, really?

The original pumpkin spice latte at Biggby coffee definitely isn't as beloved as its cousins that can be ordered at other coffee chains. However, one review of the drink was pretty impressed by the chain's version of the iconic fall coffee. "The whipped cream was fluffy and piled high. The caramel was drizzled artistically and you could tell it was made with care. Biggby had the most distinctive clove flavor," they wrote. The drink is definitely full of fall flavor, but it's also not for everyone because of that strong clove taste. Given that other chains have better, arguably more balanced offerings, this particular pumpkin latte doesn't quite measure up.

8. Tim Hortons

Although it's widely popular and beloved in Canada, the Tim Hortons coffee chain is still pretty well regarded all over North America, especially in places close to the Canadian border. There are actually a good amount of Tim Hortons locations across the United States, in case American readers are curious about trying out the chain's coffee. That said, Tim Hortons' pumpkin spice latte isn't really all that great, and definitely not worth driving miles and miles for. While Tim Hortons might have a ton of other delicious menu items (like those beloved donut holes known as Timbits) their pumpkin latte is about as basic as it gets — and not in a good way.

One online review of the Tim Hortons pumpkin spice latte was brutally honest, describing the hot drink as "just...fine" (via Chatelaine). The review went on to say that "there's no latte-defining espresso taste, but it's satisfyingly creamy. Their Pumpkin Spice Latte definitely isn't as good as the trend-defining Starbucks PSL, but does have a pleasant subtle pumpkin spice aftertaste." So, while a Tim Hortons pumpkin latte probably won't utterly disgust you, it also won't sweep you off your feet, either. And if you're used to other, better pumpkin drinks, it will probably be a disappointment for your taste buds anyway.

7. Peet's Coffee & Tea

No matter where you live, you've probably seen at least one Peet's Coffee & Tea at some point in your travels. Whether you spotted a Peet's shop on a road trip, in an airport, while on a vacation, or just somewhere along your daily commute, Peet's locations are pretty much everywhere. And while this chain continues to grow and gain in popularity, there's one drink of theirs that really isn't worth your time. Sadly, that would be their pumpkin latte.

As one review of the latte put it, "It looked like your average Peet's latte, with equally creamy blend of milk, and strong coffee but with slight hint of what could be inferred to be pumpkin flavor" (via The Paly Voice). Ouch! That doesn't sound all that great, but this isn't the only complaint about the Peet's Coffee pumpkin latte. "The reality was that it tasted like a strangely bitter sugar sweetener with maybe a hint of cinnamon," the review continued.

Peet's Coffee and Tea might be convenient, sure, but if you want the best pumpkin spice latte, then you're better off waiting to come across another coffee chain. All told, their version definitely won't give you the fall vibes you're looking for.

6. Dutch Bros Coffee

One of the newer coffee chains slowly taking over all of America, seemingly, is the one known as ​​Dutch Bros Coffee. This caffeinated chain offers plenty of coffee drinks enhanced by a spectrum of flavors, syrups, combinations thereof, and more. No matter what kind of caffeinated beverage you're in the mood for, Dutch Bros can probably handle it. But when it comes to their pumpkin offerings, things aren't all that great. Truth be told, the pumpkin drinks at Dutch Bros might not be as pumpkin forward as you would like, especially as you get ready for fall.

That sentiment is echoed with az central's review of the chain's take on the pumpkin spice latte, known as the Caramel Pumpkin Brulee Breve. Ultimately, az central judged that it was overly sweet and had only the slightest hint of pumpkin in the mix, making it a pale imitation of other pumpkin latte competitors. So, if you want a true pumpkin flavor, Dutch Bros is not the place to go for it unless you've got a serious sweet tooth and are skeptical about pumpkin overall.

5. McDonald's

It's no secret that McDonald's has a ton of options on its menu, from breakfast to lunch to dinner. Indeed, you could quite possibly spend all day at this giant of the fast food world without eating the same thing twice and still keeping your bank account happy in the menatime. But as cheap as McDonald's tends to be, especially compared to a ton of other fast-food chain restaurants, that doesn't mean it can't also be totally delicious. In fact, the McDonald's take on the pumpkin latte is surprisingly tasty.

In fact, reviewers of McDonald's pumpkin latte were thoroughly impressed with the coffee beverage. "I typically don't like pumpkin flavored anything . . . but this totally changed my mind," one coffee drinker stated via PopSugar. Another complimented the overall flavor of the drink. "​Nice roasted and earthy flavor. Very sweet; can taste the spices," they said. So, while you might not think of McDonald's as having a great coffee selection, their pumpkin latte at least is pretty good. Of course, given its placing here, you can probably guess that it's not the absolute best pumpkin latte available this season. But it's still a pretty decent, if markedly sweet alternative for when you can't get to a better option.

4. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Primarily located on the West Coast, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is a pretty beloved coffee chain there. Though you might not have ever been to one of its locations, you can rest assured that the chain is popular. Their version of the pumpkin spice latte is also pretty popular, though it's still not the absolute best of the best. One thing that sets The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf apart from other coffee chains is that they focus on house-made powders to help flavor their beverages, and their pumpkin latte is no exception to this rule.

However impressive The Coffee Bean's pumpkin spice latte might look, the overall taste of the beverage might not be to your liking, especially if you don't like your coffee to be on the sweet side. "The company uses the vanilla powder in its pumpkin spice latte, and the sweet flavor really comes through and blends well with the pumpkin sauce seasoned with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves," one review noted (via PopSugar). Clearly, this drink is super flavorful, but it might also be a little too sweet for some coffee drinkers, so proceed with caution.

3. Dunkin'

It's no secret that Dunkin' — previously known as Dunkin' Donuts — is one of the most popular coffee chains out there. There are locations all over the globe, the menu is expansive, and the coffee is seriously tasty. Really, most people will identify their coffee preferences as being either a "Dunkin" person or a "Starbucks" person, when it comes down to it. And the Dunkin' pumpkin spice latte is honestly one of the better options you can get at a coffee chain anywhere, so you should definitely give it a try if you haven't done so already.

A review of the Dunkin' pumpkin latte explains that the drink is a little more refined compared to some of its more one-note pumpkin-flavored compatriots (via The Impulsive Buy). "A slightly more mature-tasting Dunkin' drink if you will," the review explained, further noting that the addition of vanilla and espresso helped to balance out the potentially cloying taste of artificial pumpkin and spice. Clearly, Dunkin's pumpkin spice latte is not to be missed. And while it might not be as tasty as some other coffee chains out there, it's far from the worst and definitely worth trying.

2. Panera Bread

Panera Bread is known for its soup, salad, sandwiches, and the vast array of bakery items in its stores. But the chain also has a large assortment of coffees and teas and their pumpkin spice latte, in particular, is seriously tasty. People online are pretty impressed with the coffee drink, too. While some have claimed that the Panera Bread version of the drink is even better than the Starbucks variety, others have disagreed. Whatever the case, it's no secret that each coffee chain's pumpkin spice latte is seriously tasty, and as far as Panera's is concerned, it appears as though the pumpkin flavor is pretty standout.

Many laud the pronounced flavor of pumpkin spices in the drink, though it's often dinged for some pretty intense sweetness. Really, the pumpkin spice latte at Panera Bread is almost as good as it gets, but if you're sensitive to overly sweet things, it still might not be for you. And really, that's the only reason why it's not the best pumpkin latte out there.

1. Starbucks

To say that the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is famous would be an understatement of nearly criminal proportions. The coffee drink has become synonymous with the start of the fall season and fans of the drink eagerly await the release of the drink each year. Now, if you've never had the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte and are a bit flummoxed by all the hubbub, you might wonder what makes it so special. But there's a reason it's lovingly referred to as the start of autumn: it's darn near perfect.

Yes, as far as pumpkin lattes go, you really can't beat the Starbucks version. It's basically the OG of pumpkin lattes, and even though it's definitely on the sweet side, that's part of what makes it so special. The Starbucks pumpkin spice latte is super-rich, flavorful, and perfectly encapsulates that fall feeling with the perfect blend of spices like cinnamon, clove, and all the other fall flavors you've come to expect from this now-iconic drink. You can't beat Starbuck's pumpkin spice latte. Really, why would you even want to?