If there's a silver lining to the end of summer, it's the return of pumpkin-flavored treats -- particularly pumpkin lattes.
There's nothing quite as comforting as sipping on a toasty pumpkin beverage when there's a nip in the air. The bright fall flavor of pumpkin pie spices makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over. It's no wonder so many restaurant chains and coffee shops add the seasonal treat to their menus.
The only dilemma: Which brand to choose? Here, we pit two of the most popular lattes -- Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts -- against each other to determine the one pumpkin latte to rule them all.
**The following product comparison is between two similar products: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte and Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin Latte (both made with 2 percent milk). Prices may vary based on location.
Beverage: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, 16 oz.
Price: $3.79 (plus tax)
Nutrition: 380 calories, 13 grams of fat
Overall: Starbucks' version is bold and bitter with intense espresso, pumpkin, and cinnamon flavors. The only sweetness comes from whipped cream topping.
Beverage: Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin Latte, 16 oz.
Price: $2.79 (plus tax)
Nutrition: 330 calories, 9 grams of fat.
Overall: The latte at Dunkin' Donuts is more rich and frothy than its Starbucks counterpart, with brighter, warmer flavors of pumpkin pie and a variety of fall spices (including cinnamon). Caramel drizzle on top really amps up the sweetness factor.
The verdict? As is evident from the calorie content, both drinks should be considered a treat, but the Dunkin' Donuts version tastes more like one. Still, it all comes down to which coffee you prefer: I typically think Dunkin' Donuts has the better brew, but Starbucks' fans will argue that the Pumpkin Spice latte tastes more like espresso -- and, therefore, more sophisticated.
Which pumpkin latte is your favorite?