Missoula’s Guide to Pumpkin Spice Lattes: Cup Of Joy
My quest to discover what makes a pumpkin spice latte the staple of autumn-lovers everywhere in the 406 is beginning to take on a "Pokémon: gotta catch 'em all" kind of vibe. Only instead of wandering into traffic while staring at my phone being led on a wild goose chase with nothing of tangible value on the line, I get to challenge my stance that pumpkin is Mother Nature's cardboard AND stay safe while doing so. Perhaps I'll go for the trifecta and learn something, why not?
After sampling a PSL from Wheat Montana in Missoula I decided to go a little outside of Missoula for my next beverage. Next stop: Cup Of Joy in Stevensville:
I soon discovered that this coffee stand was recently purchased from the previous owners, given a new identity and a fresh coat of paint. Cup Of Joy also operates a coffee stand in Missoula Fresh Market on Broadway and uses roasts from Caribou Coffee.
Rather than stock a pumpkin spice syrup for their PSL, Cup of Joy uses this "pumpkin sauce" (a puree of real pumpkin with sugar and spices)
So How Did It Taste?
I'm by no means a connoisseur or taste expert. However comparing a PSL with puree versus one made with syrup is like comparing how music sounded on the radio in your dad's old truck versus how music sounds in a professional recording studio.
The pumpkin flavor hit me right in the face and followed up with a sweet aftertaste roundhouse.
Authors note: I took this after tasting it. The smiles are genuine.
The 12oz drink costs $4.25 and I enjoyed it all the way past Hamilton. It was neither too hot nor lukewarm, a pleasant temperature that lasted a good 30 minutes.
John Keating from "Dead Poets Society" would be proud.
Yes, for this review I went outside the City of Missoula, well into Ravalli County. But it was worth it. Once I taste-test a PSL from everywhere I can get one around here, I may end up a pumpkin lover after all.
Check out my other articles on PSLs in the 406:
Missoula's Guide To Pumpkin Spice Lattes: Wheat Montana