As far as coffee flavors go, pumpkin spice earns the top spot for the most polarizing. Some have never hopped on the bandwagon, others were on it only to realize it wasn’t as great as the world made it seem, and then there are those of us who fall asleep at night dreaming about the pumpkin spice coffee they’re going to have in the morning—this is for those who fall into the latter.
You can call it basic or lame or even disgusting, but pumpkin spice coffee in the fall is one of the true unmitigated joys of this lifetime, and thanks to the caffeine gods, you no longer have to pay $6 at Starbucks to get the PSL taste in your coffee. Just about every company that makes creamer comes out with a pumpkin spice version for the fall, so I set out to do the impossible: decide which one is the absolute best.
You should enjoy every fall morning and every last drop of your pumpkin-spiced goodness without needing to weed through the nasty creamers first. I tried every single pumpkin spice creamer I could get my hands on (from four different grocery stores, mind you)—here they are, ranked worst to best.
#5: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice
For obvious reasons, every year, this is the pumpkin spice creamer that calls my name. But every year, I refuse to learn, so I buy it and am disappointed by it. Sweetness doesn’t bother me (and I like my coffee quite sweet), but to me, this gives me all sweetness with minimal pumpkin. It tastes like what I imagine turns a lot of people off from pumpkin spice, as it tastes overbearing to me in a way that makes me want to opt for a caffeine headache instead of finishing my drink. Every time I put this in my coffee, I noticed I was throwing half down the drain, which tells you all I need to know.
#4: Natural Bliss Pumpkin Spice
Of all of the plant milks, I definitely prefer oat the most in my coffee, so I really expected to love this, but alas, it was extremely disappointing. If you’ve ever had Dunkin’s pumpkin spice, this tastes really similar, but with a weirder aftertaste. If you want a non-dairy option, hold out for #3.
#3: Starbucks Non-Dairy Almond & Oat Milk Pumpkin Spice Latte
This one is a mouthful and is doing the absolute most, but it’s much better than its dairy-derived sibling, which is saying a lot considering I usually prefer dairy-based creamers.
I generally find almond milk creamers to be watery and never give what I need, but this creamer is very good. It has a hint of an oat milk taste (which I like) and overall feels less overpowering. If you want a non-dairy option, this is definitely your best bet, and if you’re choosing between this one and the classic version, choose this one.
#2: International Delight Pumpkin Pie Spice Creamer
I am not a creamer elitist, which means that I am not averse to a good ole’ splash of an International Delight creamer in my coffee. This was the dark horse of the group that I didn’t expect much from, but the more I tasted it, the more I liked it. This was tied as my most-reached-for of the bunch, which was a huge test given the entire shelf of pumpkin spice creamers I have now had in my fridge for over a week.
This is everything I want a pumpkin spice creamer to be: It isn’t too spicy or too sweet, it’s right in the middle, and never feels overbearing like the Starbucks one was. It adds a lovely hint of fall flavor that keeps my coffee still tasting like coffee but with a splash of pumpkin.
#1: Chobani Pumpkin Spice
A few weeks ago, my fellow editor Beth told me that this was the best pumpkin creamer she’d ever had, and after testing it for a few weeks, I knew this was the one to beat.
Out of all of the creamers I tried, this one tastes the most like a real pumpkin drink you’d pay for at a coffee shop. It doesn’t have any of the weird aftertaste or spiciness—it is simply perfect. It turns my homemade Americano into one that I can trick myself into thinking I paid $6 for—and honestly, I might even prefer it to actually getting a pumpkin drink at Starbucks.
Bonus: Silk Maple Brown Sugar Oat Creamer
This one doesn’t get to be a part of the official ranking, but since it’s still a fall creamer, I knew I needed to try it. Honestly, this is one of the best creamers I have ever tried. If you’re familiar, it tastes almost identical to the Starbucks Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso but encapsulated in a perfect, non-dairy creamer that you only need a splash of. If you find this, definitely pick it up.