Pumpkin Spice Infiltrates the World of Tea

Photo credit: Starbucks.com
As we head into autumn, you know what that means folks: it is pumpkin spice season. This popular coffee flavor has infiltrated the world of tea. Today, tea enthusiasts can partake in this annual autumn tradition with several formats, from over-the-counter lattes, to loose leaf and bagged teas, to K-Cup pods, to concentrates and pumpkin spice tea latte recipes. Tapping this trend can translate to additional revenue for tea retailers this time of year. Tea companies and retailers offer their own takes on how to formulate and present pumpkin spice blends. Starbucks recently introduced its Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte, which merges two popular flavor blends. Customers get the chai spice blend of black tea, black pepper, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, natural flavors and star anise along with the sweet pumpkin spice blend of sugar, pumpkin puree and other flavors. Starbucks subsidiary Teavana sells loose leaf Pumpkin Spice Brulee Oolong Tea, a cornucopia of autumn flavors such as pumpkin and cinnamon-ginger spice.
Photo credit: TwiningsUSA.com
British tea company Twinings offers a bagged Pumpkin Spice Chai tea, and thus far is the only company among Britain’s top five tea companies to offer a pumpkin spice blend. Twinings Pumpkin Spice Chai costs $2.99 for a box of 20 bags of tea, so tea drinkers can brew a cup of Pumpkin Spice Chai for roughly the same price as a tall Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte. The same blend is also available in K-Cup pods. Several American tea purveyors have jumped aboard this autumn trend. They include Adagio, Bigelow, Celestial Seasonings, Tea Forte, Stash Tea, Harney & Sons, Tazo and The Republic of Tea, all of which now offer pumpkin spice tea formulations. Tazo offers its Chai Pumpkin Spice Latte Tea in a concentrate. Both Trader Joe's and the West Hartford, Connecticut-based tea retailer The Green Tea House offer a unique revision on the pumpkin spice blend by using rooibos tea instead of the usual black tea base. Numi Organic Tea presents a recipe for a Turmeric Pumpkin Spice Latte on its website, giving customers the chance to become pumpkin-spice-blending participants. The recipe incorporates Numi’s Turmeric Chai Golden Latte with pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and sugar, topped with whipped cream and caramel. Coffee no longer has a monopoly on pumpkin spice.