I Tried a Pumpkin Spiced Latte for the Culture So You Won’t Have to

Illustration for article titled I Tried a Pumpkin Spiced Latte for the Culture So You Won’t Have to

I’m a pretty open-minded chap. I’m not a foodie but will try almost anything. I even listen to country music. That open-mindedness led me to a pumpkin-spiced debacle last week.


I’ve been humored at how pumpkin spice has become synonymous with whiteness. Until a few years ago, I’d never heard of that shit and assumed it came up out of the blue from some lab in White America. But it’s pumpkin so it’s possible pumpkin spice just had a glow up like kale. But white people white peopled and took it too far. I’ve seen pumpkin spice pumpkin spice; pumpkin spice chips; liquors; cereal; pretzels; and about 50 other versions of Why Does This Exist. I’ve laughed from afar, shook my head at the audacity of such caucasity, then realized I had never tried anything pumpkin spice-y.

I’ve seen several people I respect remark on the social medias that they’ve tried and loved various pumpkin spice concoctions. On a trip to a 7-Eleven, I watched a black person head to the Pumpkin Spice Latté machine and ... gasp ... pour a cup. Perhaps it’s a super white thing —we do sweet potato pie and shit where I’m from (cough up a lung)—like no wash clothes or testing God through physical activity like Parkour. But maybe white folks are on to something here.


With that in mind, I was at Barnes & Noble buying a book. My receipt came with a “buy one cookie, get one free” coupon, so I moseyed on over to the BN Cafe to buy a cookie. I looked at the menu and saw a special on pumpkin spiced latte. I ordered one, took a seat, and then took a sip of my open-mindedness.

Fam. That shit was DISGUSTING. What the fuck are you people drinking? I literally scrunched up my face at the cup, the cafe, everyone in my vicinity. I wanted people to see my disdain. I was like, “No fucking way. This is the shit people are falling over themselves for in White America?” I gave it like five minutes—because I do it for my culture—and took another sip of the poisonous tasting bullshit for which I paid $4.95. I was dumbfounded. It’s IMPOSSIBLE that what I drank was on anybody’s list of a thing they needed to put in their mouth.

Because I’m reasonable, I ascertained that, perhaps, the person who brewed my drink sucked as his job. Perhaps I got a bad batch. Or something. So I went to another location to try a different one and, well, shut my mouth wide open, it also tasted terrible. I can’t even describe how bad. I was not prepared for the taste. It wasn’t good, delicious, remarkable, or anything of the kind. It left me wondering why this even exists and why it has become such a thing since, again, it tasted like NEVER DO THAT AGAIN.

I can’t tell you what to do. But I can’t recommend it. My tastebuds were mad at me. Perhaps your palate is different and you’ll taste pumpkin spice something or other, or maybe a little slice of heaven. Maybe I managed to get the two worst versions of pumpkin spiced anything. Whatever the case, I shan’t be trying that shit ever again.


For those of you who love it, I’m giving you that same two-finger death look Sophia gave Mister right before she left with Shug towards the end of The Color Purple. I will spare you the “Until you do right by mev...” but I think you get the point. Stop your shenanigans of spreading the inaccurate gospel of pumpkin spice. Shit is just rude.

And to pumpkin spice: Fucking stop it.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

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Pumpkin spice tastes like a lie. Not even a white lie (though it could be described accurately as such), but a bold face lie. It also tastes like ass, or cinnamon that couldn’t quite cinnamon correctly. But mainly a lie.