Americans drink a lot of coffee — about 400 million cups every day. Some 64% of the population drinks at least one cup a day, and many of us obviously exceed that. And in 2018, coffee consumption had reached its highest level since 2012, according to a study by the National Coffee Association cited by Reuters. (Here are 20 signs you might be drinking too much coffee.)
There’s nothing wrong with a cup of straight black coffee, or coffee with cream or milk (dairy or otherwise) and/or sugar or some other sweetener. And coffee connoisseurs can detect a wide range of flavor and aroma differences between different blends and single-origin offerings.
But let’s face it: Just plain coffee can be a little monochromatic. Many of those who drink coffee daily probably have it more or less the same way — or they would if it weren’t for the wide range of flavored coffee-based beverages that Starbucks and other chains and independent coffee shops have been offering for the past few decades.
This time of year, those drinks are often flavored with that now-ubiquitous blend of flavorings known as pumpkin spice. Starbucks started the craze back in 2003. The chain’s recipe includes cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Others might add things like ginger or allspice.
As pumpkin spice coffees have proliferated, a host of other products with the same or similar flavorings have appeared, some actually involving pumpkin itself as well as the spices. Besides coffee, the beverage entries in the pumpkin spice race include tea, hot chocolate, soda — and even wine and (especially) beer.
Some of these are truly tasty. Other pumpkin spice products, drinkable or otherwise, just get silly. Here, for instance, are 24 pumpkin spice things we really don’t need this fall.
24/7 Tempo has assembled a list of pumpkin spice (and sometimes actual pumpkin-flavored) substitutes for plain old coffee. You may or may not want to start your morning — or pick up your afternoon — with any of these every day, but it’s nice to know that such variety is out there, just in case.