The Unsung Tale of Pumpkin Spice Coffee
Imagine this: The leaves turn vibrant shades of orange, and the air becomes crisper. A familiar warm scent wafts through coffee pots and pies alike, spreading a delightful aroma that announces the arrival of the fall season. Sounds cozy, doesn’t it?
The yearly debut of Pumpkin Spice coffee isn't just a coffee trend; it's a full-blown fever. A craze that floods your social media feed with reels screaming "pumpkin spice and everything nice”.
Surprisingly, there are two intriguing facts about this season's favourite beverage that catch people off guard:
- Early versions of pumpkin spice lattes and similar recipes did not have anything pumpkin in them. Pumpkin spice originally referred to the spices traditionally paired with pumpkin: a combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, and mace.
- The relationship between pumpkin spice and coffee dates back centuries, way before the famous pumpkin spice coffee beverage was created.
A quick snippet from history:
Spice was one of the first commodities to be traded globally. Pumpkin spice is a blend of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, and mace, which are used in a lot of fall dishes and have their origins in historic spice trading routes. Interestingly, all of these so called "pumpkin" spices have a common origin, which is a group of islands in Indonesia called the Moluccas. These islands were originally known as the "Spice Islands". Cloves were sourced from the twin volcanic islands of North Moluccas, while nutmeg and mace came from the Banda island of center Moluccas. Cinnamon was sourced from Sri Lanka, and ginger from China was brought to the Moluccas thousands of years ago. The islands became the origin of the world's spice trade.
The spice islands were the reason that Europe discovered coffee in the first place and the reason coffee growing spread from the Red Sea to the rest of the tropics. Spice traders would travel by sea and pass through regions like Yemen and the Port of Mocha, where coffee was grown in the 15th century. At first, the traders only dealt with spices. With time, they also ventured into the coffee trade. The global journey of coffee as a traded commodity started by riding the wave of the spice trade. The initial players in the coffee trade were spice traders. During their journey, it was common for them to mix their coffee cups with the spice containers to brew a drink.
So pumpkin spice coffee, which was coffee mixed with clove, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, mace, and milk, was enjoyed years before the first Thanksgiving, years before the first pumpkin pie, and centuries before the advent of Starbucks.
The pumpkin spice coffee of today:
While this ancient concoction of pumpkin spice and coffee was consumed for a long time, it did not contribute to the creation of today’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes. This beverage was inspired by the cuisine and flavours of fall. As coffee shops started getting creative with their drinks and experimenting with flavours, the Pumpkin Spice Latte we know today was born, and courtesy of Starbucks, it became more popular globally. From just adding the spices to now adding pumpkin puree or syrup for a more authentic ‘pumpkin’ feel, this seasonal beverage has come a long way since its launch 20 years ago.
If you'd love to savour an authentic Pumpkin Spice coffee that offers a symphony of creamy pumpkin, spice, and everything nice, try our newly launched Pumpkin Spice flavoured coffee capsules. The combination of rich coffee and aromatic spices is definitely worth celebrating, and we're lucky to have an entire season dedicated to sipping coffee all day and decorating pumpkins. So why wait? Get brewing now!