Frugal Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Latte

Contributed By Marissa Bognanno, Professional Chef & Zumba Instructor, and Author of The Boot Blog

Trying to explain what a pumpkin spice latte is to an Italian goes pretty much how you'd expect it to.

me: You know, in America we have flavored coffee.
Italian person: Flavored? Coffee?
me: Yes, like hazelnut, French vanilla...and around this time of year there's a spicy, cinnamon-y pumpkin flavor.
Italian person: *head explodes*

It's very hard for them to grasp why and how we would "ruin" such an aged tradition as coffee. I try to tell them that it'sAmerica, we like options, we like sweet things, we like choices! But their lives are just too simple for that sort of thing, I guess. Five cereals in the cereal aisle, one type of coffee and that's that. What's good is good and there's no adding pumpkin to a perfectly decent espresso.
Which I agree with wholeheartedly.
Agreed with.
Until I made my own pumpkin spice latte.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
1 espresso shot
1 cup milk, warmed
1 tbs pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
1 tsp light brown sugar
1 pinch cinnamon, 1 pinch nutmeg (or 1 big pinch pumpkin pie spices)
Whisk the pumpkin with the warm milk well. Add the sugar and spices and whisk until super frothy. (Here I strained the milk and pumpkin mixture into a very fine mesh sieve because my puree was a bit on the chunky side. Consider this optional!) Pour into your cup with the espresso in it. Top with another sprinkle of the spices and maybe some whipped cream if you’re feeling adventurous. (You may need more sugar to taste, depending on how sweet you like your coffee.) 
And let me just say, I love you Italy, but pair your perfectly decent espresso with nothing but all-American ingenuity and you’ve got a little cup of autumn paradise. But I might just have to wait until hell freezes over to convince them. 

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