Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Who Makes the Best Pumpkin Spice Latte in Springfield, MO? Let's Find Out.

Once upon a time, my friend Stephanie Anderson and I embarked on an energizing journey to try all of the pumpkin spice lattes in Springfield. I can’t say we made it to every single shop, but we did try most of them, and we hailed Kingdom Coffee as the winner of that first round.

Five years and a pandemic later, we’re back, baby. These days, we have a lower tolerance for caffeine and dairy (😅), but our taste buds are still trustworthy — thank God. A few weeks ago, we did a little takeover on the Love Springfield Instagram account as we toured a handful of shops on the Ozarks Coffee Trail and sampled their fall offerings. Below are some of my thoughts on what we tried! Similar to our last round, each shop is listed alphabetically with winning PSL (*insert drum roll sound here*) revealed at the end.

Also, I’m gonna go ahead and get in front of this here: Merriam Webster doesn’t define “pumpkiny” as a real word, but imo, they’re slacking on adding that one. For the purpose of this post, we’re giving pumpkiny the respect it deserves and considering it a valid adjective. You know what it means!

Brick & Mortar Coffee

I hadn’t been to Brick and Mortar since a latte art throwdown in, like, 2015?, but I’ve seen their posts pop up on my Instagram and figured it was time for a stop-by. This creamy, subtly sweet, pumpkin-pie-in-a-cup really hit the spot. Also, a reminder that you pay on your way out vs. when you order the drink, which feels like an invitation to stay a while.

Try this one if: You’re in for the pumpkin and less for the spice

Echelon Coffee

This was my first time at Echelon and I was impressed with their menu selection and the quality of their latte. The P.S. I Love You was well-balanced, had an obvious coffee flavor to it, and was less pumpkiny than some others.

I also recommend: The Salted Maple Cold & Foamy. Out of all the cold foam coffees we tried, this one was my favorite. The foam had hints of salty and sweet (as the name suggests), which is an elite combo.

An overhead image of a pumpkin spice latte from Echelon Coffee in Springfield, MO

El Cafecito

I went for the coffee; I stayed for the food. No shade to El Cafecito’s coffee, either! Their food is just. that. good. At El Cafecito we tried the Pumpkin Spice Horchata, which was a fun take on the classic PSL. It was tasty, and I bet you could order it without the espresso shots for a decaf option and still get the general vibe of a PSL.

I also recommend: The build a tostada off of their food menu. One of the yummiest & most budget-friendly breakfast items you can get around town! They’re the real deal, and I loved trying something new to me.

Eurasia Coffee Co.

You can always count on Eurasia’s menus to have a little global twist, which I love. Their PSL offering is the Masala Pumpkin Spice Latte. Toward the end of the drink, the masala spice becomes a bit more obvious, but I’d like even more of it since it’s a more unique take on the standard! This was a goodie.

I also recommend: Their apple clove tonic (pictured below). Stephanie and I both raved about this drink: A complex blend of apple cider and cold brew, which reminded us of notes you’d expect from a cocktail more than a coffee.

The apple clove tonic from Eurasia Coffee Co. in Springfield, MO

Greenhouse Coffee + Affogato Bar

The espresso shots they pull at Greenhouse remind me of European espresso shots, like they might taste a touch stronger & more bitter than some others I’m used to? Not quite sure how else to explain it, but I was into it. This made their Pumpkin Spice Latte more espresso forward and less sweet than the others, which provided a nice depth.

Try this one if: You want your PSL to taste like coffee, first & foremost

An overhead image of a pumpkin spice latte from Greenhouse Coffee in Springfield, MO

Kingdom Coffee

Kingdom was the winner last time we tried our town’s PSLs, and it continues to impress. The top is sprinkled with a blend of autumn spices (think cloves, cinnamon, etc.) and they really add to the experience. The drink itself isn’t overly sweet, but it’s well-balanced, and it tastes the same throughout the entire drink which is appreciated.

Try this one if: You’re in for the spice and less for the pumpkin

An overhead image of a pumpkin spice latte from Kingdom Coffee in Springfield, MO

Urban Grounds Coffee + Plant Lab (Ozark, MO)

I hadn’t been here before either, and I’m glad I made the drive. Tbh, we explored a lot of things on this little adventure that we may not have otherwise tried, including the Hocus Pocus latte (if you know, you know), which was surprisingly very tasty for being purple and green. Back to the Stick Season Latte (their PSL), it was good while a bit sweeter than the others.

I also recommend: The Serrano Spice Mocha (pictured below). I’m not sure what they have up their sleeves with their upcoming winter menu, but I wouldn’t be mad about seeing that mocha stick around.

An overhead photo of a serrano spiced mocha from Urban Grounds Coffee in Ozark, MO

The Workshop (at Finley Farms, Ozark, MO)

While not technically a Springfield coffee shop, this is one of my absolute favorites. It’s located in Ozark, and the 15-minute highway drive from my house to this shop always makes me feel like I’m driving to Oz, if you could do such a thing. Their version of the PSL is the Pumpkin Butternut Latte, and the butternut comes out in the flavor as the name suggests. As butter is my favorite condiment, this one gets a yes from me.

I also recommend: Their Lavender Tea Latte, which is available year-round

An overhead image of a pumpkin spice latte from The Workshop in Ozark, MO


The Coffee Ethic

This PSL took home gold in each category: flavor, mouth feel (yes, this is an official category) and presentation. I mean, look at it — it’s adorable. But beyond the cute-factor, The Coffee Ethic is known for an exceptional coffee program, and it’s obvious from this experience. The perfect blend of pumpkin, spice, espresso, and milk!

I also recommend: Their Cider Daze Soda, BIG YUM

An overhead image of a pumpkin spice latte from The Coffee Ethic in Springfield, MO

These menus will likely stick around just a couple weeks longer, depending on when each coffee shop makes the switch to their winter specials. Get ‘em while you can, pumpkins!