The Eat: A Pumpkin Spice Latte (and Pumpkin Spice Latte Chai), but for real.
The Place: Hampton Coffee Company on the North and South Forks.
The Story: Before you read “pumpkin spice” and promptly depart, please know that I know your secret. You like pumpkin-y things, too, and you, too, are annoyed by the emergence of the PSL as some marker of fall. Since when did Starbucks get to decide when seasons begin and end? Most pumpkin spice lattes are decidedly faux. There is no real pumpkin in a PSL from Starbucks, and don’t get me started about pumpkin-flavored coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts.
Which brings me to Hampton Coffee Company. These fine fellows use real pumpkin in their latte, which also features cane sugar syrup, espresso, steamed milk, whipped cream, and “autumn sprinkles.” If you’re more of a tea drinker, they also make a really delicious pumpkin spice chai latte, containing—you guessed it!—more of that real pumpkin. It’s a mystery why more people are not making drinks like this, but, alas, they’re not. Say goodbye to artificial pumpkin flavor and hello to the real deal.
Enjoy your PSL with a pumpkin muffin, and, while you’re there (there are locations in Westhampton Beach, Water Mill, Aquebogue, and Southampton), pick up some of the store’s premium blend, the Pumpkin Pie Coffee, which you can brew in the comfort of your own kitchen. Interested in making the house smell like fresh-baked pie without the hassle of actually baking one? Hampton Coffee Company has you covered.
Fall is magical, and it’s also short-lived. Suck the pumpkin from the harvest season and enjoy its truest potential. With a pumpkin spice latte (or pumpkin spice latte chai) made with real pumpkin, you really can’t go wrong.