Which "Pumpkin Spice Latte" do YOU prefer to indulge in during the holidays? 

Since fall is approaching (as well as the release of the Pumpkin Spice Latte) I decided to hit the streets and compare Dunkin' Donuts vs. Starbucks. Which latte would stand up to the hype? Which Pumpkin Spice Latte would be more fall-like? Which one would satisfy my tastebuds better? And so many more questions. 

Since I have been going to Starbucks pretty much my entire life, I already have a fixed favorite! However, I haven't tried the Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin Spice Latte in a long time and wanted to see if they could change my mind. 

I used to work for Dunkin' Donuts so I know the ins and outs of the place; however, I can't reveal too much! I can only tell you that Dunkin' Donuts' main focus for their specialty drinks is sugar—and lots of it. Their coffee isn't that strong, and the specialty drinks have a 95 percent cream and flavoring to coffee ratio. 

So, here is what I found out! 

Dunkin' Donuts

Ingredients Ratio 

Lots of pumpkin syrup (looked like 1/4 cup), 95 percent cream, tons of ice, and a decent amount of espresso (surprisingly). I watched them make the drink, and they filled the cream almost to the rim. I kept thinking, "Um, where does the coffee go and how much am I getting exactly?" 

The Taste

Great! I was shocked—very shocked. I'm not really a fan of Dunkin' Donuts coffee, but I liked this one. The focus for the drink was actually on the spicier side and less on the sugar. The drink was loaded up with their heavy cream and pumpkin syrup, so it had a pretty decent taste to it. 

Is It Fall-Like?

Taste-wise, yes. Looks-wise, no! It just looks like a regular cup of coffee, so no one would know it was the PSL until they took a sip. 


$3-$5, which is very reasonable (I ordered a large for the sake of "research").

Overall Rating 

9/10 stars. Did it stand up to the hype? I would say so. It's reasonably priced, did well with keeping me awake, didn't give the sugar rush I expected, and actually tasted really good. 

Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice Latte

Courtesy of Caitlin Helveston


Ingredients Ratio 

6-8 pumps of pumpkin syrup, a decent amount of cream, a decent amount of espresso, and a hefty dollop of whipped cream with spice. 

The Taste 

The taste varies depending on which variation you order the drink in. If you get it iced, it will punch you in the face with sugar, but if you order it hot, it will have more of a focus on the coffee taste with a hint of pumpkin. Overall, this drink tastes delicious but is better off as a cheat day drink. 

Is It Fall-Like? 

Yes! I always choose to go here because it's like having a piece of pumpkin pie in my hand (it's got the color to prove it)!


$4.50-$6. Womp, womp. Not a lot of bang for your buck because the small drink is only 10 ounces for $4.50. 

Overall Rating

7/10 stars. It would have scored better if it were priced lower. Did it stand up to the hype? Of course. I have always stuck to Starbucks for the Pumpkin Spice Latte, but I usually wait until it's colder out so I can get the hot variation without sweating my buns off. 

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Courtesy of Starbucks

Dunkin' Donuts surprised me and changed my mind. I would definitely consider visiting there again for this drink, especially since there is one within three minutes of my house. However, I have to stick to my old favorite, Starbucks. 

Now is the time for you all to decide!

Who has the best Pumpkin Spice Latte? Vote in the poll below!


Dunkin's Pumpkin Spice Latte comes in both hot and cold options and focuses more on the sugar element than the caffeine.


This popular chain's Pumpkin Spice Latte comes both in hot and cold variations and is very sweet. This latte stands out because it has a distinct orange color!