Not Nice About Pumpkin Spice

Story by Jordan Mooney, Illustration Editor

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It is pumpkin spice season again, but I don’t have to tell you that. You have seen it plastered on every drive-thru line, on a barrage of unskippable ads, and thrice-filtered in your Snapchat feed. You may welcome this autumn-time deluge, but you may be like me; and I’m tired. I’m tired of pumpkin spice. Now, I am not judging you for liking pumpkin spice. I have my occasional moments of bad taste too- I am a chronic fanny pack wearer, after all. There are three main issues that I have with pumpkin spice: the taste, the season, and the whole culture surrounding it.

The flavor of pumpkin spice does not do it for me. On most occasions, there is not even pumpkin flavor in there, so it’s just a spice latte. If I wanted some warm and spicy froth, I would have ordered a chai latte. It is really not worth a whole “season” dedicated to it. I know we live in Florida and we are desperate to pretend like there are other seasons besides summer and lukewarm summer, but this is not it. There is no reason for me to have to see pumpkin spice flavored Greenies Dental Treats lining pet-aisle shelves (yes, the ones for dogs, look it up.) The obsession is so disproportionate to reality of the pumpkin spice palette.

I feel like the biggest issue regarding pumpkin spice is the seasonal aspect. Winter has a whole array of flavors: peppermint, gingerbread, and hot cocoa are all delicious main players. Fall should not be so homogenous. There are many harvest-time flavors that are not taken advantage of because of the eclipsing nature of pumpkin spice. Other flavors are just as worthy (if not more) of all the rave and rant surrounding the accursed pumpkin broth. Other seasonal flavors should be brought to the spotlight too and be allowed time to shine.

The final issue with pumpkin spice: the culture. I hate pumpkin spice because it divides people. It may seem ironic saying this in a split opinion piece, but as I mentioned before, I would not judge you for liking pumpkin spice. People have all sorts of different preferences, because we are people. However, the topic of pumpkin spice has caused personal attacks and beeves all over social media, and long class-wide teacher-distracting discussions on the validity of liking this seasonal staple. The culture is toxic, and even makes some people shy away from their favorite drink to avoid the drama.

I am sure there are many others in similar taste who are tired of this fall-time flavor fallout. I invite those of you who are “pumpkin spice obsessed” to branch out and seek out the other side of seasonal flavors. Go find some apple pie, cranberry, salted caramel, hazelnut, or maple-flavored delights. There is a whole world of other flavors out there, ones that no one needs to fight over.


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