Starbucks vs. McDonald's--The Pumpkin Spice Latte Challenge

With Fall in full swing, it's clear that the Pumpkin Spice Latte is the dominant coffee flavor of the season. Although Starbucks has been the (only) frontrunner of this popular drink for the longest time, other fast food/coffee shop spots like Dunkin' Donuts and even McDonald's have now created their own versions in attempts to knock Starbucks out of that holiday latte top spot. But the question is, out of all these 'fast food/coffee shop' joints, who makes the best Pumpkin Spice Latte?

McDonaldsPumpkinSpice Latte.jpg

This is where I come in. I'm not a religious coffee drinker by any means, but I do like a nice pick-me-up every now and again. I decided to compare the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks and McDonald's, as they seemed to be the two places getting the most latte hype.

A few statistics worth mentioning:  

McDonald's Pumpkin Spice Latte is made with whole or nonfat milk, pumpkin spice-flavored syrup, and espresso.

Nutritional Info - McDonald's McCafe Pumpkin Spice Latte with nonfat milk - small  (12 fl oz cup)
Calories - 200 (from Fat - 0)
Fat - 0g (Saturated Fat - 13g)
Sodium - 125mg
Carbs - 41g (Sugar - 39g)
Protein - 10g

 Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is made with whole, 2%, nonfat, or soy milk, pumpkin-flavored syrup, and espresso. It can be topped with whipped cream and/or pumpkin pie spices.

Nutritional Info - Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte with nonfat milk - small  (12 fl oz cup)
Calories - 200 (from Fat - 5)
Fat - 0g (Saturated Fat - 0g)
Sodium - 0mg
Carbs - 38g (Sugar - 37g)
Protein - 11g

To make things fair, I made sure my test subjects were both created equally--12 ounces, non-fat milk, no whipped cream or spices. 


So which Pumpkin Spice Latte reigns supreme? To my surprise, the McDonald's version exceeded my expectations and came out winning. It was sweeter, more flavorful, and that fact that was $1.54 cheaper than its Starbucks counterpart was just icing on the cake!

Have you tried the Pumpkin Spice Latte from either Starbucks or McDonald's? Which one did you like the most?