The manager of Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Company in Patchogue Village didn’t set out to invent what she believes to be the only non-syrup based pumpkin latte in Suffolk County.
She just wanted to make some baby food.
It was the fall of 2013, and after purchasing an actual pumpkin, then carving and steaming it, Tiffany Rivera knew she’d never do it again; it took too much time.
But it had occurred to her to maybe use real pumpkin in Roast’s fall seasonal.
“The owners and I had been talking about moving away from syrups and using real flavors,” she recalled. “That’s one of our long-term goals. At about the same time, I was making the pumpkin baby food, and throwing everything in the blender. And then I thought to myself, I bet I could beat this down enough to make it into a latte.
“I came into work the next day, bought the same pumpkin you’d buy for a pumpkin pie, and experimented like crazy.”
Two years later, Roast’s Pumpkin Pie Latte is among its best sellers.
“Now, nobody asks for the pumpkin syrup,” she said.
The Pumpkin Pie Latte, which is topped with whipped cream, cinnamon and nutmeg, just went on sale again for the season Wednesday — the first day of fall.
“We never offer it before fall,” said Rivera. “Before that I’m just not ready for fall. It will be mid-August and customers will ask, do you have pumpkin yet? And I’m like, ‘No!'”
Not only is Rivera concerned with rushing summer, the Pumpkin Pie Latte also happens to be one of the more time-consuming of espresso drinks to make. It involves heating the pumpkin and then mixing it thoroughly with the espresso, steamed milk and cane sugar so everything is diluted and dispersed properly.
If not, “you would get a huge chunk of pumpkin at the bottom of your cup,” Rivera said. “And that’s not good.”
Pumpkin Pie Latte is available every fall at Roast through the morning of Patchogue’s Christmas parade.
“The Christmas parade is the busiest day of the year here, and I just can’t do it after that,” she said. “It gets to be too much. You can get it that morning of the parade, but by mid-afternoon it’s gone until next year.”
Photo caption: Roast barista Joseph Silva and manager Tiffany Rivera after Silva whipped up a Pumpkin Pie Latte Friday. (Credit: Michael White)
Editor’s note: Tiffany Rivera is also a greaterpatchogue.com contributor.