I had a soy caramel brulee latte at Starbucks in Walt Disney World. Enough said.
As you all know, I make some impulsive buys when it comes to pumpkin. I do like tea, but generally the only tea I purchase is Chai because I know I will make it. Otherwise, if I want tea, I will get it from a coffee shop. If you could get teas in smaller amounts, I would probably buy more and be more daring, but when I have to commit to twenty bags of tea or half a pound of loose tea, I play it safe. But then I saw this sweet pumpkin tea and threw caution to the wind and bought it.
The tea was okay. I do not drink my tea unsweetened, but I do take a sip before I sweeten it so that I know how I want to do so. I could faintly taste the pumpkin, but mostly the ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, which was what I was anticipating since it is a tea, but I also tasted something off about it. I looked at the ingredients (which I will do before purchasing from here on out) and saw “natural sweetener,” which was a stevia extract. I know stevia is a natural sweetener and zero calories and all that goodness, but it still tastes like splenda and sweet ‘n’ low and equal and all the other artificial sweeteners to me. And I did not appreciate that the tea forced a sweetener on me; however, it did say it was a “sweet” pumpkin tea, so I should have known some sort of sweetener was in it. I tried to mask it with agave, and that did not work. I also tried to make a tea latte out of it, and I still could not eliminate the stevia flavor. If it was not for that, though, I think I would have liked the tea, so if you like stevia, you can add an extra point to the score.
Celestial Seasonings Sweet Pumpkin Tea: 3/5
My little sister takes a few classes at our local community college, and on those days, my mother or I, depending on who is dropping her off, we treat her to Wawa since it is the cool thing with college kids these days to go to the local gas station and get coffee, breakfast sandwiches, bagels, or mac and cheese. And actually going inside Wawa with my sister this go around, I can see why. The options and customization they have now is ridiculous, and now they have a latte section?! After this discovery, I felt it necessary to treat myself as well. I decided to go with a nonfat pumpkin white hot chocolate since I kept trying to get one from Dunkin Donuts, but they never got my order right (I eventually realized they never “got my order right” because they were selling a pumpkin white chocolate latte, and I misread). This was a little cup of heaven. I already love white hot chocolate, and theirs was sweet and creamy and just a dream. And their pumpkin syrup was delicious, more similar to Dunkin’s than Starbucks’ just to give a comparison. The only downfall to this drink is even a 10 oz nonfat one is 200+ calories, and Wawa currently does not carry soymilk, both of which mean I probably will not be drinking anymore this holiday season. But I look forward to having this lovely beverage annually.
Wawa Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate: 5/5
On one of my rare trips to Giant, I found this little tempting morsel. I love the Little Bites blueberry muffins (my unhealthy breakfast of choice sophomore year of college), so I had some high hopes for these. I can’t say they were disappointing as a muffin. Just like their blueberry cousin, they were curiously (and probably should have been concerningly) soft and sweet. However, as a pumpkin muffin, they are disappointing. I mean, they did not even have an artificial pumpkin flavor; they were void of pumpkin flavor entirely. They should have just been called pumpkin spice muffins because they were soft, sweet muffins dusted with pumpkin pie spice. At least they were tasty though. My little sister loved them.
Little Bites Pumpkin Muffins: 2/5
Eggnog is by far one of my guiltiest of guilty pleasures. It has nothing nutritionally redeemable about it, which probably attributes to its deliciousness. However, I cannot justify consuming 200+ calories on a half of a cup of a drink, so I spend a lot of time trying lower calorie nogs (sometimes no egg at all). I tried Target’s Market Pantry for the first time last year and fell in love. It is a beautiful consistency, not too creamy and not too runny, and has a good balance of sweetness and spices, moreso cinnamon than nutmeg. My only complaint I could find is its shade of yellow bothers me. It’s a little more artificial looking than I’d like, but it’s not glowing or anything. Otherwise, so far it has been my staple eggnog this entire season.
Market Pantry Lite Eggnog: 4.5/5