Superfans of the Source Weekly may remember one issue in the fall of 2016, when we poked a bit of fun at the Pumpkin Spice Latte by superimposing a #PSL “tattoo” on the arm of designer Annelie Kahn for that week’s cover. Since then, it seems that the PSL phenomenon has only gotten more intense. There are the typical knockoffs, such as PSL-flavored ice cream and coffee creamer (for the at-home cheapos who listen to their financial advisors). There are the marginally tasty-sounding items including PSL granola bars and PSL cider. And then there are the downright WTF PSL food items, such as PSL kale chips, PSL marshmallows and PSL dog treats. I mean, WTF. This kind of stuff makes me want to be like Source Reporter Jack Harvel and only laud the coffee that comes dark and black and dangerous.
A pumpkin spice latte, to me, conjures images of a certain Bend-mom archetype in autumn: Tall boots, a flowy sweater, a Havstad hat, a doodle dog in one hand and the PSL in the other. But not being one to capitulate to the other Bend-mom cliché—the one who wears thrift-store clothes, smokes weed to cope (while off the clock, of course) and drives a van they may have to live in one day, I decided to grab a PSL of my own one recent fall day.
Backporch Coffee Roasters always serves up a solid cup of the dark-and-black type, so in there I went, scrunching up my shoulders to appear as self-deprecating as possible while ordering fall’s cliché drink.
Backporch’s PSL has the required flavor of pumpkin and fall spices—cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger—but isn’t too heavy on any of them. Nor is it too cloyingly sweet; just the right amount of perky flavor and sweetness to make me think it could rival my regular drink once in a while. It may be the fall cliché to beat all fall clichés, but sometimes, cliches exist for a reason. In any case, it does not appear that PSL is quiet-quitting the Bend scene any time soon.
Backporch Coffee Roasters
1052 NW Newport Ave., Bend
706 NE Greenwood Ave., Bend
55 NW Franklin Ave. Suite 168, Bend
Driveup: 1075 15th St., Bend