My Low-Cal PSL Revelation

My Own Image

Can I just start by saying that if you confused the picture above for a professional’s, please seat yourself and enjoy in the delight and surprise that it was actually me who took that photo whilst watching BF run his marathon (which, he was wonderful at). No, I’m not a professional photographer, but thanks for asking.

I, like many others, become giddy as September rolls around because that means that Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte will be around to get me through the fall and winter chills. Held dearly are the fond memories of holing up in the Starbucks on my college campus for hours of studying and general merry-making. Thank goodness my birthday and Christmas fall within the PSL window because those Starbucks gift cards lovingly flow into my possession and I’m able to truly indulge in my pricey pumpkin fix.

Last December I got on my Lose It! kick and started really paying attention to calories. I was not too shocked when I looked up how many of those little devils were in my beloved PSL. For those of you who don’t want to know, SPOILER ALERT: there are 380 calories in a Grande with 2% milk and whipped cream.

I can never get anything else than a Grande PSL because a Tall (300 calories with 2% milk and whip) went down entirely too quickly and a Venti (470 calories with 2% milk and whip. Dang.) usually caused my hands to involuntarily shake and ruin my perfect penmanship. “Just get a non-fat, no-whip version (only 260 calories in a Grande), you silly head,” you may say. Yeah, okay, I see you, but if you’ve ever tried the non-fat version you would quickly realize that the difference between the full-fat version is striking and icky. I’m not  about to pay $4 for something that doesn’t soothe my soul.

My Own Image

“So what to do, what to do?” I inwardly mused. Then I had a thought, which morphed into a full-fledged revelation. Hold on tight and try and follow my thought process: I drink one cup of coffee every day (just stop right there because it’s not bad for you, I promise. A simple Google search will tell you so) and the most annoying part is the piping hot coffee turning lukewarm when the milk is added. Then I have to put it in the microwave to re-heat, which takes time and is generally a nuisance. That’s why I love the café au lait – the milk is steamed, eliminating the lukewarm factor, and there’s just a touch of froth. Mmmm. Salivating.

Starbucks’ version of the café au lait is the Caffè Misto. Not generally seen on the menu, this little baby has quickly become a treasure in my life. I used to always have to pour coffee (aka money) out in order to make enough room for my desired amount of milk (I know, I know, but even when I would say, “With room,” there was usually still not enough room). The Caffè Misto eliminates this problem altogether at only 70 calories for a non-fat Grande.

When we roll all of that previous experience and knowledge together we get the Grande finale (get it?). Caffè Misto + 2 pumps of Pumpkin Spice syrup (60 calories) = liquid gold 130 calorie Pumpkin Spice Misto (not an official name, but it could be! Trademark?)! The low calorie goddess inside me rejoices! I swear that there is only the slightest difference between my version and the real PSL. You just have to try for yourself.

So the next time you’re at your favorite Starbucks and feeling all Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail, step up and say, “May I please have a Grande, Non-Fat, Misto with 2 pumps Pumpkin Spice?” Then try not to jump up and click your heels after the first sip.

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One thought on “My Low-Cal PSL Revelation

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