J’adore the aroma of coffee, but never cared for the taste. All of that changed this past summer while staying in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris with my daughter. It’s nearly impossible to be sitting in a small cafe at a tiny bistro table surrounded by elegant Parisian women and not want to be just like them, sipping strong, dark coffee from miniature (by US standards) cups. There I learned that the bitter taste was easily controlled with a bit of cream and sugar. Proud of finally learning to like coffee, I took a ridiculous number of photos featuring every cup I drank there.

Now that summer has gone and the world has become a glorious vista of yellows, oranges, and reds, everything is pumpkin spice this and pumpkin spice that. I tried the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks, and although it was tasty, the 470 calorie, $4.25 beverage was not to become a regular indulgence.

On this particularly lovely fall morning, however, a pumpkin spice latte seemed like a must-have. Still bothered by the thought of consuming a 470-calorie beverage, I decided to try to make a version of the drink at home.

IMG_6821After grinding cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and ground ginger together, the mixture went into my French press along with coffee grounds and a couple of tablespoons of canned pumpkin. While the coffee was brewing, a slug of fat-free half and half warmed on the stove top with a splash of good vanilla and a teaspoon of Sugar In The Raw.

Okay, there was no whipped cream or caramel drizzle, but I really didn’t miss it, and neither did my waistline or my wallet.