coffees with flowers text overlay: homemade pumpkin spice latte

Ordering a pumpkin spice latte might have you stereotyped as basic in America. But the Australian fixation makes you cultured and gives the impression of a well-travelled individual.

But if you’ve never tried a pumpkin spice latte in Australia, do not fret. I have a number of solutions to make sure your first experience will not be your last.

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be in North America during November. While there I sampled many, many Pumpkin Spice Lattes. And it got me thinking about how I could recreate the pumpkin spice flavour back home. 

What is a Pumpkin Spice Latte?

A Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL for short, is a delicious blend of espresso, steamed milk, real pumpkin puree, and a delightful medley of autumnal spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves.

Introduced by Starbucks in 2003, the Pumpkin Spice Latte quickly gained popularity as a limited time seasonal treat during the autumn months. It was inspired by traditional pumpkin pie spices, and aimed to capture the cozy and staple flavor associated with fall.

Even though the seasons are reversed in Australia, you can still get your hands on this delicacy at Starbucks during the typical PSL latte season, which usually starts at the end of August. You might also be able to find some other fall menu delights like pumpkin spice slurpee, pumpkin cream cheese muffin, pumpkin scone, pumpkin spice latte slurpee, pumpkin cream cold brew, apple crisp macchiato or new owl cake pop.

Where to buy Pumpkin Spice Latte in Australia

There aren’t many Starbucks stores in Australia. My closest one is at least a 41-minute drive. The good news is that Starbucks Australia does sell pumpkin spice lattes at the same time that it does in the northern hemisphere. And the coffee chain has had a steady rise in interest despite the lack of seasonal compatibility with some menu items.

Some other American chain stores like Krispy Kreme, Five Guys, Carl’s Jnr, Domino’s, Taco Bell, Baskin Robbins and TGI Fridays carry over their seasonal options in Australian stores. I’d also like to think that Dunkin’ Donuts are on their way to Australia.

The popular coffee chain in Australia, Gloria Jean’s, occasionally introduces limited-time seasonal offerings, including the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Check with your local Gloria Jeans for availability.

During the autumn down under, some of Australia’s largest supermarket chains may sell ready-to-drink or instant versions of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. These can be found in the coffee aisle or seasonal sections of the store. While there, join in on the hot cross bun mania and pick up a flavour you haven’t tried yet.

If PSL is not your jam, try a copycat version of Starbucks White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew.

This homemade pumpkin spice latte recipe is warming on a coldfall day. Switch it up with an iced latte or try a vegan option with almond milk. #PSL #pumpkinspicelatte #homemade #DIY #fall #expressi #aldiexpressi #iced #vegan
DIY Australian Pumpkin Spice Latte

Australian Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also consider making your own Pumpkin Spice Latte at home. I’ve come up with a few ways to enjoy this delicious drink any day of the year.

Chai makes a great substitute for pumpkin pie spice. There is in fact only one spice difference in the flavour profile of the two. Cardamom. 

Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Latte of Australia:

  • a coffee pod machine
  • chai pod
  • coffee pod
  • milk frother
  • mug
  • sweetener if necessary

Directions to make Australian Pumpkin Spice Latte

  1. add milk to milk brother and turn on to warm and froth the milk
  2. prepare coffee as per machine instructions
  3. prepare chai in the same mug as per machine instructions (it doesn’t matter which pod you prepare first)
  4. top your coffee and chai mug off with frothed milk
  5. add sweetener if desired

This is best made in a large mug unless you compromise with much less milk than normal.

You could pair your pumpkin spice latte with homemade marmalade on toast for breakfast or Ginger shortbreads for afternoon tea.

Where to get pod machine chai pods

Modify a Keurig K-Cup to enjoy a pumpkin spice latte in Australia

My husband knows how much I love pumpkin spice lattes. So when he was in America last year, he repurchased some for me.

But he bought back two boxes of Pumpkin Spice Latte Keurig K-Cups. And they are too big to fit any coffee machine I’ve ever seen in Australia.

So I’ve had to improvise. And I’ve come up with two methods to use the K-Cups.

French Press

Open the K-Cup and empty the contents into the bottom of a French press.

Top off with boiled water.

Allow to steep for three to five minutes.

Push the plunger down and pour out your coffee into your favourite mug.

Add sugar, milk or creamer.


Pour Over Bag

Add a pour-over bag to your favourite mug.

Open the K-Cup and empty the contents into the pour-over bag

Top off with boiled water.

Allow to steep for three to five minutes.

Drain and discard the pour-over bag.

Add sugar, milk or creamer.


How to Order a Pumpkin Spice Latte in Australia

I live in Melbourne. And Melbournians are known by the rest of Australia to be coffee snobs. Have you heard of magic coffee?

So any coffee snob should know how to order a pumpkin spice latte at a coffee shop, even in Melbourne.

And the best news is that by ordering it this way, it’s available year-round.

You will need to ask for a dirty chai.

But sometimes I just end up with a chai. To avoid confusion, you can clarify by asking for a large chai latte with a shot of espresso.

Need more pumpkin spice in your life?

If a pumpkin spice latte just doesn’t cut it for you, or you strangely don’t like coffee, there are still a lot of options.

  • Add a dusting of pumpkin spice over some ice cream
  • Combine flavourings with creamy butter to serve on toast
  • Add to the cream filling of a vanilla cake
  • Lewis Maschmedt, head brewer of Pirate Life Brewing’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale
  • Billsons Pumpkin Spice vodka or cordial
  • Essential Oils in candles and diffusers

Now you can enjoy a pumpkin latte throughout the whole year and never miss out on the American seasonal delicacy.


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