Tag Archives: coffee

Tina’s PSL *Revisited* Pumpkin Spice Latte

This is the old PSL & the revamped is even better.

There are times in our lives when what we think is near perfection is actually not quite.  Last year I adapted a PSL (pumpkin spice latte) thinking it was great.  However, after making a couple since that time I have come to the following conclusions:

  1. The recipe I had given you is more strenuous & labor intensive if you made one even two mornings a week (for those of you on the 3+ PSL’s a week–it’s our little secret).
  2. I couldn’t get past the muck of spices in those last couple sips.
  3. There must be an easier way to eliminate time constraints & spice granules swimming in my mouth.

Here’s what I’ve come up with and I think you’ll be pleased.

  1. Make a simple syrup.
  2. Use whole spices to infuse the syrup.
  3. Keep simple syrup in your fridge for your PSL needs.
  4. Combine 1 part simple syrup to 2 parts pumpkin puree.
  5. Add steamed milk & shots of espresso.
  6. Put whipped cream on top & sprinkle with nutmeg.

And it must be said that whenever I drink a mocha (I’m typically an americano girl) I don’t have whipped cream.  If it’s made right, then I really don’t think it’s necessary.  However, I would say that a PSL & whipped cream have a symbiotic relationship.  If you’re going to make one, please do us all a favor and just add the whipped cream (you know you want to).  Your friend who stopped by will thank you for it (and it’s a sure way to add a bit of flare to that hospitality).

Tina’s PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) Revamped (printable recipe)

Most simple syrup recipes use regular white sugar.  However, I like rapadura for it’s molasses undertones.  Plus, it’s unrefined.  So when the sugar dissolves you are going to get a dark simple syrup.  Don’t worry–it’s totally fine.  In my first PSL recipe it calls for vanilla (along with some other ingredients).  However, by using rapadura you don’t need any vanilla since it’s so flavorful.  You can find in bulk at most health or co-op stores.

Simple Syrup Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 cup rapadura sugar

4-5 cinnamon sticks

1-1 1/2 tsp whole cloves

3-4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Directions: Add water & sugar to a small pot & turn on heat to low.  Combine until the sugar is dissolved & syrup is hot (not boiling or simmering though).  Add the spices and allow them to infuse for 5 minutes.  Strain the infused syrup using either a fine sieve or cheesecloth.  Discard spices & keep the spice simple syrup.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

1 cup of steamed milk (160 degrees)

1-2 shots of espresso, freshly pulled

1 Tb spice simple syrup

2 Tb pureed pumpkin

whipped cream

Putting it together:  Steam your milk to 160.  If using an espresso machine, you want to barely put the tip in the milk to create a couple bubbles until it hits 80 degrees.  As you see the very small bubbles, you want to submerge your wand deep into the milk and constantly swirl the wand around in the pitcher.  This will create that wonderful silky foam you get at a good coffee shop.

You can either combine your pumpkin puree & spice syrup in the cup, or you could add it to your steaming milk.  Caution: if you’re trying to achieve that wonderful silky foam, then don’t add the syrup or pumpkin, because it will disrupt the milk from stretching.

Pull your shots & add them to the syrup & pumpkin puree. Stir with a spoon. Pour in your milk.  Top with whipped cream & a little nutmeg.  **Remember that you can add a little more pumpkin or less, all depends on what your tastebuds tell you.


Avellinos ‘Unplugged’

I’m having what I call, “Kamille time.”  Kamille as in, “this is my name when I meet someone during Kamille time, not mama, mommy, wife–just Kamille please.”  Being a mom without children in tow is wonderful (distance makes the heart grow fonder) as I watch the parents walk past the window at my favorite coffee shop, Avellino’s, holding their children’s hands.  Yes, that is part of me, but at this present moment, I get to be known as Kamille.

As an extrovert, I think it can be more difficult saying you need your own space.  I mean, introverts can get away with that all the time, because, well…that’s how they roll.  While being an extrovert, people put expectations on you.  Like if I’m quiet, or just not wanting to be social, it must mean there’s something wrong.  But, really, even us extroverts need our alone time.  Our “finding ourselves” amidst the constant cries, conversations, telephone calls–life’s interruptions or simply happenings–is still needed among extroverts.  I would even argue that is equally important as it is for introverts.

It’s kind of like unplugging life to be.  To appreciate the cloud strewn sky, the people salivating over the cream puffs in the case, or the ability to think without the pressure of a child waking early from a nap.

Another thing I get to do on Kamille day is get my first professional haircut since before my youngest was born.  There are two reasons for the absence between haircuts.  One is I can’t stand paying the money to get my haircut.  It literally pains me.  Second, is it’s hard to find time, because I would really rather be doing so many other things with children-free time.

I think it’s also hard to make time for Kamille time.  For those mothers, I know you can relate to this.  There is that pull in finding time with your spouse, creating peace & tranquility within your home, giving your husband time away as well, and then working through any guilt you may have to give yourself time.  It’s a demon, sucking the very life out of you.  But, I can attest that no one wants to be around the selfless servant who is sitting in a pity party.  And that’s something I appreciate about Ben and our marriage.  We strive to give ourselves date nights, but even more…those Ben times & Kamille times.  Those unplugged from family times.  In order to strengthen ourselves, so we can come back feeling replenished and guided to steer again.

Well, my latte is finished and my split ends need to see their death.  Wherever you find yourself on this three day weekend, I hope you can see your glass half full.

Tina’s PSL


What exactly is a PSL you ask? I had the same question as I was reading a good friend’s Facebook status. She wrote that she had her first PSL of the season and then a lot of Fall connotations. What was worst were the people commenting as if they had a clue as to what this PSL she spoke of. It was finally about 8 hours when enlightenment hit. The acronym code was broken…”Pumpkin Spice Latte!!”


Now it must be said that I am personally not a huge pumpkin fan. There are those who love everything pumpkin, those who cannot stand it, and those who are a bit impartial. Growing up I didn’t like anything pumpkin. For instance, the only pumpkin pie available in my house during Thanksgiving was the one from the grocery store. Neither mom or dad did much of baking pumpkin quick bread, pumpkin cookies, or pumpkin anything. Funny thing is when I entered college I got back to my middle school roots of home economics and my love of baking & cooking, which eventually led me to the “pumpkin.”

IMG_3532mise en place

I feel like one true sign of an affinity to baking is when you use ingredients that you may not personally adore, but use them to bless others that do. This is pumpkin for me (to some degree, as I’m not a lover nor a hater). However, you wouldn’t know this as I buy a sweet meat squash every year fall, bake it, puree it and freeze parts of it for later use. I guess most of this is aside from the point, well…onto the recipe I found for making your very own PSL at home.

IMG_3547Frothed & Steamed Pumpkin Spiced Milk

IMG_3558Shots of espresso

IMG_3560I definitely think this is intended for whipped cream, don’t skimp!

PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte)

This recipe is taken from Baking and Books, with a little adaptation.


1 cup milk (use whatever kind you typically drink)

a pinch of ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 Tablespoons pumpkin puree

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 tablespoon raw sugar or rapadura sugar (these are different & I used rapadura as I’m trying to use less refined sugars)

2 shots of espresso

2 tablespoons half & half

1-3 teaspoons raw sugar

Whipped cream

Combine milk, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin puree, vanilla & 1/2 tablespoon sugar in a blender. Blend till frothy. Steam milk mixture to 160 degrees, or you can heat in a pan on top of the stove over low-medium heat till milk is 160 (be sure to stir if on top of stove).

Pull two espresso shots and pour in cup. Add warmed pumpkin milk, along with 1 tablespoon half & half, to your shots of espresso. If you taste your latte at this point all you will taste is spiced flavored milk and it’s not as appealing, so add however many teaspoons of sugar to the pumpkin milk until it reaches the right sweetness factor. Top with as much whipped cream as you’d like. Sprinkle a bit of nutmeg on top and cozy up to a good book.

IMG_3524(clockwise) Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves & rapadura sugar

**I would say the one downside to this recipe is the last two drinks, because the spices settle to the bottom of the cup leaving a bit of spice soot. I think the only way to counter this would be to seep the milk in whole cloves, nutmeg & cinnamon sticks; however, that would take a much longer time than it’s worth.