By Leslie Kelly
September 15, 2016
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A casual conversation about the arrival of pumpkin spice latte season changed the way I think about grabbing breakfast. It's all about everything you need in the morning in one cup... for under $5. Let me explain.

starbucks pumpkin spice latte oatmeal photo by Leslie Kelly
Photo by Leslie Kelly

It's a Pumpkin Spice World

In case you hadn't noticed, there are about a gazillion ways to get your pumpkin spice on these days. Everything from PopTarts and hummus to Pringles Potato Crisps. Yes, really. While I love the warm flavors of pumpkin spice, I'm not a fan of anything in my coffee. I drink it black. That way, there's nothing to slow down the jolt of caffeine to my system as I try to wake up. So, I've never before sipped a Pumpkin Spice Latte, which means a serious case of FOMO this time of year. When a friend suggested the possibility of adding a shot of espresso and pumpkin spice syrup to the oatmeal at Starbucks, I thought she was crazy... and maybe brilliant.

Special Request? No Prob

Even Starbucks skeptics have got to give the behemoth company props for its incredibly accommodating customer service. When I ordered an oatmeal and asked for a double shot of espresso and some pumpkin spice syrup on top, the server smiled and said sure. "If that sounds good to you," she chirped. It actually sounds strange, but somehow it worked.

The Verdict

On its own, oatmeal is pretty bland, which is why it's served with dried fruit, nuts and brown sugar at Starbucks. The espresso gave the ancient grain a roasted edge, while the pumpkin spice punched it up. OK, I finally get it. Those two flavors play nice together. By the bottom of the bowl, I was feeling full... and fully awake. Breakfast, nailed!

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