Pumpkin and coffee: an unusually delicious combination

When we hear the word “pumpkin”, we tend to think of soup, roasted veg or Halloween. But coffee? Probably not. Our recipe is guaranteed to change your mind.

Pumpkins are the ultimate symbol of autumn. At this time of year, these versatile veggies find their way into nearly every seasonal dish. And no wonder – they are extremely filling, boost endorphins and can be stored for long periods.

It sounds silly, but also delicious!

The vegetable has also gained notoriety as Halloween has become more and more popular on this side of the pond. Pumpkin carving has already become a common activity in primary schools, and Facebook even gave the jack-o’-lantern its own emoji this year in honour of the season. And yet ... pumpkin in coffee? For most Europeans, the thought is more likely to trigger a gag reflex than get mouths watering.

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But in the US, pumpkin spice lattes have been one of the most beloved autumn beverages for a number of years. Major coffee shop chains in particular enjoy an enormous bump in turnover thanks to this popular drink. However, pumpkin spice lattes rarely contain actual pumpkin. The drink generally consists of espresso, milk and a special syrup mixture that lends the pumpkin spice latte its typical flavour.

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How to make a pumpkin spice latte at home

It’s easy to make a pumpkin spice latte at home, without having to go out to a café and without a professional-grade espresso machine. In our recipe, the syrup even contains actual pumpkin! If you’d like to speed things up a bit, you can buy the syrup pre-made. Your home-made pumpkin spice latte will taste deliciously either way.

Ingredients for the syrup:

  • 1 small Hokkaido pumpkin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons butter
  • 625 ml water
  • 100 g unrefined sugar
  • 100 g white sugar
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 drops of vanilla extract
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • A bit of unrefined sugar to sprinkle on top

Ingredients for the pumpkin spice latte

  • 1 Café Royal Espresso (40 ml)
  • 200 ml whole milk
  • 3–4 teaspoons pumpkin spice syrup
  • Whipped cream
  • Cinnamon to sprinkle on top

Preparation: syrup

  1. Firstly, cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and innards and peel it, then cut the pumpkin into 3 × 3 cm cubes. Preheat your oven to 190°C.
  2. Spread the pumpkin cubes out on a baking sheet topped with waxed paper and sprinkle a bit of unrefined sugar on top so that the pumpkin will become lightly caramelised. Place the baking sheet in the oven for around 30 minutes until the pieces are extremely soft.
  3. While the pumpkin is baking, mix together the nutmeg, cinnamon and ground ginger. For the best results, use a mortar and pestle to combine the spices.
  4. Once you have removed the baking sheet from the oven, melt the butter in a pot over medium heat, and then add the warm pumpkin cubes and cook for about a minute.
  5. Now pour the water into the pot. Once the mixture has begun to boil, add the unrefined and white sugar.
  6. Stir the mixture continuously with a whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  7. Lastly, add your ground spice mixture, the whole cloves and the vanilla extract and allow the mixture to boil over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes.Stir occasionally. Once the mixture has become thick and sticks slightly to the whisk, that means your syrup is ready.
  8. Let the syrup cool briefly, then pour it through a fine mesh sieve to filter out any solid pieces.
  9. Pour the finished syrup in a glass bottle or a jam glass. The syrup can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three weeks and is also perfect for desserts.

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Preparation: pumpkin spice latte

  1. Firstly, make a Café Royal Espresso. Our classic coffee drink with a mild acidity and subtle notes of turmeric is ideal for this spiced coffee beverage with milk. Pour the espresso into a large cup.
  2. Add a few spoonfuls of the syrup and stir well. The more syrup you add, the sweeter and more intense the flavour will be.
  3. Steam the milk. The ideal temperature for the milk is 69°C. If you do not have a milk steamer, simply heat the milk in a saucepan. Do not allow the milk to boil!
  4. Pour the warm milk into the cup with the espresso and stir until mixed. Leave a gap the width of your thumb between the beverage and the edge of the cup.
  5. Spray the whipped cream in a spiral motion from the edge of the cup inward to the centre of the drink.
  6. You can top your pumpkin spice latte with a bit of syrup, cinnamon or a cinnamon stick.

If someone still shakes their head at the words “coffee” and “pumpkin” after trying this drink, then we are out of ideas. Café Royal says: happy sipping!

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