Yup, it’s that time of year again. 🎃 Whether your usual is a customized PSL or “Just coffee. Grande coffee”, here’s a drink that may pique your interest!
Levi from Fangirl is a not-insignificant part of why I’ve wanted to be a Starbucks barista since I was in high school. My applications were ignored/rejected through most of my college years, but at long last I am living the dream; now that it’s pumpkin spice season once again, I’m finally making this signature Levi drink a reality as well.
“My own concoction — Pumpkin Mocha Breve, light on the mocha. Don’t try to order it from anyone else; it’ll never turn out the same.”
Extrapolating from the book:
- Cath’s initial order is “Just coffee. Grande coffee.” → We’ll make it a grande (medium).
- “Levi grabbed a cup and started pumping syrup into it.” → Presumably something called a Pumpkin Mocha Breve has both pumpkin sauce and mocha sauce in it. (And per Starbucks standard, sauce/syrup is the first thing that goes in the cup!)
- “The [espresso] machine made a hissing noise.” → This indicates steamed milk, or in this case probably breve (half-and-half). It’s not mentioned, but espresso is also implied, especially since Cath originally ordered coffee.
- “Levi heaped whipped cream onto her drink.” → Both the Starbucks PSL and Caffè Mocha come with whipped cream by default. “Heaped” sounds like extra whip to me!
Levi’s Pumpkin Mocha Breve
- Grande Caffè Mocha
- Breve (instead of 2% milk)
- 1.5 pumps mocha
- 2.5 pumps pumpkin
- Extra whipped cream
In case you’re curious: Although both come with whipped cream, I picked the Caffè Mocha instead of the PSL as the base drink since the PSL also has a pumpkin topping (not mentioned in the book). “Don’t try to order it from anyone else” could just be Levi flirting with Cath, or it could be that he puts fractional/decimal pumps of sauce in the drink (which will “never turn out the same” between baristas); I adjusted it to add up to the standard 4 total pumps in a grande espresso drink. You could also try 1 pump mocha / 3 pumps pumpkin.
Pumpkin Mocha “Breve”, Isabelle’s Version
- Grande Latte
- Single shot
- 1 pump mocha
- 2 pumps pumpkin
In case you’re curious: I’m lactose intolerant, so I usually get my drinks with oatmilk and no whip; since I’m not getting whip, I order as a latte instead of a mocha. I also don’t want as much caffeine, so I reduce down to one shot (instead of the standard two for a grande) and make it ristretto because I just think ristretto shots taste better. (Sometimes I’ll make it a blonde ristretto shot for more caffeine but a more mellow coffee flavor.) I also round down the pumps for a slightly less sweet drink.
- Feel free to experiment with the pumpkin/mocha ratio to your preference.
- If you don’t like coffee/espresso, you can order this as a hot chocolate instead of a mocha, or a steamed milk instead of a latte (same modifications).
- If it’s still warm out where you are, you can order this iced (Iced Mocha/Latte as the base drink; same modifications).
- Or you could order it as a Mocha Frappuccino (same modifications, or you could do 1 pump mocha + 2 pumps pumpkin for the standard three pumps in a grande Frappuccino).
- Try it with pumpkin topping! (You can order a PSL as the base drink to get the topping included by default, or order as a mocha/latte and add the pumpkin topping.)
- Have you tried the classic Pumpkin Spice Latte? The Caffe Mocha?
- Would you ever try the Pumpkin Mocha Breve?
- If you’re a Starbucks regular, what’s your usual order?