Anatomy of a Pumpkin Spice Latte


By Julie Medina, Fleet Science Center School Programs Manager

Fall has arrived which means the weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing color—somewhere—and pumpkins are everywhere. There’s no way to hide from the abundance of pumpkin during this season, so we thought it would be fun to delve a little deeper into what is going on inside this favorite seasonal gourd. So get comfy with your favorite pumpkin-flavored treat, and let’s dive right in!

For those of us who are not morning people, love our caffeine! A nice wake-up call in the morning, caffeine can definitely help put a pep in your step! Although it is mostly known to help with mental alertness, caffeine is also used to help migraines.

The flavors in “pumpkin spice” are more about the spices than pumpkin. One of the more distinct flavors is cinnamon (cinnamaldehyde) which is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. Cloves (eugenol) are also often found in pumpkin spice mixes, which can be used as an antiseptic and anesthetic. Who knew that your morning beverage could have such interesting and amazing benefits mixed right in? As you go to pick out your pumpkin, remember to say “thanks a latte” to our beautiful orange friends for being such a big help.