REVIEW: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream

You see, Ben & Jerry’s? You see what happens?

Oh, I know how you think. “Old dependable Drew, he’s always around. We can just release new flavors anytime and anywhere we please, and he’ll go out of his way to track them down. So predictable.”

Well, guess what?

Now you have a new flavor out, and I couldn’t find it. And instead of driving to twelve different stores chasing it, I looked right in front of me and saw something else: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream. And I chose it instead.

Sure, now you’ll realize your mistake and try to fix it. “We’ll release it to the grocery store closest to your house, Drew, we promise!” Sorry, Ben & Jerry’s. Too late. In this analogy, you’re the blonde cheerleader, and I’m Michael J. Fox, and Starbucks ice cream is the girl next door I always took for granted.

And also, I’m a werewolf.

So, to business. The carton bills this as swirled coffee and pumpkin spice ice creams. That’s not a typo, by the way — apparently the plural of ice cream is “ice creams.”

On the other hand, I’m a little suspicious about this container — the bar code is stamped over with a label reading “Sales Sample Not For Retail Sale,” although it still scanned at the self-checkout. Above it is more iffy spelling, “There’s a Starbucks in your freeze.”, followed by several sentences of what might be Latin or Italian or possibly Elvish.

I don’t know, I’m afraid to read it aloud for fear of invoking a demonic presence like Mephistopheles or Beetlejuice. (In all seriousness, it’s standard dummy text used in the printing industry. Though still possibly necromantic.) The whole thing is so damn weird that I’m including a picture, just so you don’t think I’m high as a monkey:

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream 2

Right? After comparing it to pictures I’ve seen online, it certainly seems like they sold me a rough draft of this flavor, which hopefully is limited to the packaging, not the ice cream itself. (Oddities aside, the carton is cleverly designed to look like a Starbucks coffee cup, including little boxes with check marks through the “Pumpkin” and “Coffee” boxes.)

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream 4

When you open the lid, you’re confronted with ice cream that’s a uniform beige color. It may be the least visually exciting dessert ever, but digging down a little deeper will reveal actual swirls of off-white mixed with the beige. I’m just guessing the off-white part is the pumpkin spice and the beige the coffee ice cream, but really, the whole thing could’ve used some orange food coloring. It’s pumpkin, guys, make it look like it.

And since that’s bound to be a question, yes, the pumpkin spice taste IS quite prominent, though not overwhelming. I enjoyed it without feeling like it was dominating my palate, though I did find that a little went a long way — this is an ice cream to have a few bites of every night for a week, rather than polishing off the entire pint in an evening. And while many products use the two terms synonymously, you’ll find there’s more of the spice flavor than of the pumpkin in this ice cream.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream 3

As for the “latte” element, the coffee ice cream component was noticeable and roughly as pronounced as the pumpkin spice. Personally I like the balance, but considering this is a Starbucks offering, if you’re looking for a bold coffee ice cream that’ll put you in your place, this isn’t it. I didn’t have any on hand, but I suspect some chocolate sauce would go really well with this dessert, for what that’s worth. There’s not much of an aftertaste — the flavor hits your taste buds immediately and then fades as soon as you swallow it, with just a tiny trace lingering. It also tastes sweet but not overly so; those of you turned off by excessive sugary flavor needn’t worry.

Overall, this is an enjoyable ice cream, though I wouldn’t really call it a “must try.” As the holiday season winds down, if you see a carton in the grocery store, go ahead and pick it up. (Assuming you have the cash to spare, anyway… at five bucks for a pint, this stuff ain’t cheap.) But no need to go out of your way to pick it up, since the holidays will be a distant memory before you’ve even finished with one pint.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 210 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 21 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Item: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream
Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Acme
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Beta-testing ice cream. Good spice flavor mixed with decent coffee taste. Not overly sweet. Cool packaging. You won’t want to eat it all at once. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.
Cons: Description possibly written in ancient Sumerian. Looks incredibly bland. Like everything Starbucks makes, way too expensive. Cons ligula eget arcu hendrerit blandit.

4 thoughts to “REVIEW: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream”

  1. Lorum Ipsum is actually a common placeholder text that is used by web and print designers to show what words will look like in the design without actually having the real copy that will be used yet. It looks a little like Latin but it’s actually just gibberish that’s arranged to look like words and natural sentences. Looks like you somehow were sold packaging that was not ready for retail yet! Crazy!

    1. Yeah, that link I included goes into more detail about it. 😉 Though it’s not totally gibberish; it stems from an actual piece of Latin literature.

      And yeah, pretty weird about the packaging. What’s your game, Acme?

  2. I do find it very interesting that you were apparently sold some sort of display or prototype ice cream. And I learned something! Lorum Ipsum 4 lyfe.

    1. As an addendum to that, how did I spend an entire year writing for my college newspaper and not know what Lorum Ipsum is? Weird.

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