Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

I recently received a Nespresso CitiZ with Milk machine as a gift from work (hellooooo perks!!), so of course one of the first things I did was concoct a homemade pumpkin spice latte. It IS October, after all!

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I’ve tried store-bought pumpkin spice syrups before, but none of them ever quite cut it. I think the key to a real-tasting PSL is, well, real pumpkin. I’ve made pumpkin spice syrup before, both at home and for the cafe I used to work for, but it’s been a few years and it was time to give it another go. It came out pretty darn delicious, if I do say so myself – after some experimentation, I figured out that it’s key to use two shots of espresso (this is true for most latte-type drinks using an Nespresso machine, at least for me…I had been using one shot brewed on the larger “Lungo” setting, but I found that the drinks ended up a bit milky for my taste. Two shots on the smaller “Espresso” setting seems to hit the sweet spot.), and my secret weapon is to add a dash of vanilla extract to the milk before frothing.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 TBSP pumpkin puree

5 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cloves

generous dash black pepper

Heat water and sugar over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and simmer over medium heat for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently – don’t allow the mixture to boil. Strain into cheese cloth set over fine mesh strainer; store in tightly sealed container in refrigerator for up to a month.

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Pumpkin Spice Latte

1 TBSP pumpkin spice syrup (or to taste, depending on preferred level of sweetness)

2 shots espresso

8 oz milk

1 tsp vanilla

Pumpkin pie spice

Combine espresso and pumpkin spice syrup in mug. Add vanilla to milk; froth (if you don’t have a steam wand or aeroccino, you can froth milk using a small french press – just nuke the milk for 30 seconds or so and pump in the press until it reaches your desired level of frothy-ness). Top espresso with frothed milk and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. Enjoy!!

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