The pumpkin spice latte is a cultural phenomenon in the U.S. Over the course of the last decade, the pumpkin spice latte (abbreviated PSL) has become symbolic of the Fall. Starbucks introduced the beverage in 2003, and it quickly became their most popular seasonal beverage. Copycats exist everywhere. The PSL is a coffee drink made with steamed milk & espresso infused with pumpkin flavored sauce (yum!), all topped with whipped cream and familiar pumpkin spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove). In response to criticism over its contents, Starbucks recently announced that the PSL will now feature a much more natural version with real pumpkin and no caramel coloring. Well, the M&M’s brand went and did the complete opposite. Introducing the completely artificial Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M’s!
I will say this about limited edition M&M’s varieties: I’ve been let down before. The common denominator is that the specialty flavors aren’t bold enough to stand out against the chocolate. To name a few examples, the pumpkin spice M&M’s didn’t have enough pumpkin spice, red velvet M&M’s didn’t taste like red velvet cake, gingerbread M&M’s didn’t remind us of gingerbread cookies, and carrot cake M&M’s were all over the place. With reserved expectations, I sought out the pumpkin spice latte M&Ms specifically because of the coffee element. In my extremely limited knowledge, this is the first “beverage” flavor that M&Ms has attempted.
After stalking Target with the intensity of a hawk, I finally found these Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M’s this weekend. I popped one into my mouth, and whoa! The initial blast is a creamy coffee/mocha combo. Impressively, you truly get the sensation of a creamy beverage with whipped cream. Like other limited edition M&M’s offerings, it’s not overly bold but for once it is extremely detectable. Capturing the essence of a latte in a candy-coated milk chocolate morsel sounded like a bold endeavor to me, but I think they executed! But how bout that pumpkin spice, you ask? I didn’t identify it initially, but the fall spices grow throughout the chew and it finishes with a mild yet pleasing pumpkin spice flavor. Though subtle, the pumpkin spices do complement the creamy coffee flavor well. Suddenly I am picturing myself in a Starbucks creepin’ on the girl in the yoga pants (all of them) while waiting in line for my PSL. Bravo, M&M’s.
These new Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M’s were successful to me more because of the latte element than the pumpkin flavors. Pumpkin spice purists might be a little disappointed, but overall I really enjoyed these. I easily consider them my favorite limited edition M&M’s product to date. Now that M&M’s has demonstrated potential with beverage flavors, we can all keep our fingers crossed for Eggnog M&M’s this winter.
Might Require 40 Trips to Target Rating: 10 out of 10
“But They’re So Basic” Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 out of 10
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