Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

It's Not About Coffee.

Amy Kassim
By Amy Kassim
March 03, 2023

Pumpkin Spice easily became my favorite flavor from the moment that I had that very first sip. There was something about the aromatic blend of spices that always took me back to when I first moved out and lived on my own in the city of New York. I’d heard so much about pumpkin spice, but I’d never had it until the beginning of fall when I was at the grocery store. Normally, I’d never stray outside of my list because after all, I was surviving on a college student’s budget. However, I was all about trying new things and after hearing so much, I wanted to see what all of the hype was about. I vividly recall the moment as if it were yesterday.

It was a Saturday night, the night that I would normally take off from school work and do something relaxing. That night, I was excited to rewatch Gilmore Girls for what might be, the billionth time. I made myself a cup of coffee with just a splash of the pumpkin spice coffee creamer that I picked up at the store. The warmth of the cinnamon and the way that it paired with the subtle sweetness of the cloves and the ginger as it hugged my tummy from the inside was always comforting. Unfortunately, it was a seasonal limited edition that only came around in the fall and winter but that made me cherish the goodness all the more. Ever since I became a fellow coffee drinker, I have always been a black coffee girl. The bitter darkness of coffee did more than perk me up on mornings. It smelt like productivity and the taste reminded me that no matter what was ahead of me that day, I was going to conquer it. Black coffee brought out my alpha side but whenever I had a pumpkin spice coffee, I felt softer and I liked it. Every fall and winter, I was a sucker for the pumpkin spice creamer. Although it seemed like the most basic thing to do, I basked in my feminine energy and I didn’t care what the world thought. 

This time, I was surprised when I found the pumpkin spice creamer at the grocery store at the end of August. It was suspicious, but nevertheless, I couldn’t say no to it. I eagerly took it home to brew myself a cup of coffee and get comfortable in my pajamas, despite it being the heart of summer. More importantly at the time, I was excited to introduce my then-partner to this treat. 

“You must try this!” I exclaimed, beaming from ear to ear as I passed him the mug of what was pure happiness to me, “It tastes like Christmas, I swear!” His eyes finally shifted from the computer where he worked, and he looked at me blankly. 

“Huh?” he said, shaking his head and blinking hard, “Umm, sure?” He took the mug from my hand and had a sip. I was most certain that he would enjoy it at least half as much as I did. Pumpkin Spice Coffee made everything better, and I saw the rough day that he was having. If anything, it seemed that he could have used some joy in his day as well. He sceptically took a sip of the cinnamon-y goodness of the coffee, and he smacked his lips, looking at the floor while he moved his tongue around his mouth to experience the full extent of the flavor. 

“Yeah, I hate it,” he said flatly, “I prefer my coffee with two milks, no sugar.” He handed me back the mug, and continued typing away at his desk.
“What?!” I exclaimed, “What do you mean you…?” I stopped when I realized that I didn’t exist to him at that moment, and my voice was but white noise in the background to what he was up to. It didn’t matter to me whether he liked pumpkin spice as much as I did, but he didn’t have to be rude about it. At the time, I defended it with, “He’s so career driven and focused,” but I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

I let it slide and I moved on with my life, accepting that the pumpkin spice creamer in our fridge was all mine and I’d never have to worry about him finishing it all. Every morning, while he had his coffee the same way that he’d always had for years, I had pumpkin spice coffee. The first sip every morning promised me an amazing day, and for the most part, it was true. I was happy, or so I thought. 

After the night of September 17th, my fancy turned away from my once-loved coffee addition. My then-partner broke up with me in the parking lot of Thai Express, and I moved out of the apartment. As a matter of fact, he had already broken up with me long before that because I found all of my things already packed up and waiting at the door. In a hurry to escape the embarrassment and hurt, I took all of the things without going through any of it. I couldn’t bear to go through my own things because of the sentiments attached. It took some days, but I came around to unboxing and I noticed that quite a bit of my things were still missing. My protein powder, my body wash, some quick dinner items I had bought for us in case we were working late….my pumpkin spice coffee creamer! I understood why he would’ve kept the other things. After all, he was quite the cheapskate but the pumpkin spice coffee creamer? He didn’t even like it anyway. Was it all a ploy to hurt me? As if breaking up with me wasn’t enough? All of these thoughts raced through my head, and as I held my phone in my hand, I wondered whether I should call or text him to return those items. My finger was a mere few millimeters away from hitting the call button when a voice in my head said, “Let it go.” Subconsciously, I was looking for a reason, any reason, to talk to him again but I forced myself to heal, grow and move on. Of all the things that I would never do again, I would never let someone tell me that they don’t want me twice. 

I was forced to repurchase all new items, and forget about the ones that I had at his place. “Closing the chapter” was one thing, but I was burning the entire book. Everything was relatively easy to find. Just my luck, everything was readily accessible except for the pumpkin spice creamer. I searched every grocery store in my vicinity and I found every other flavor except the one that I was looking for. I resorted to trying others in hopes that I might find one that created the same feeling for me but to no avail. None of them had that nostalgic factor of the pumpkin spice creamer, and it felt to me that he ruined the one thing that made me happy, the one thing that I looked forward to every year. My heartbreak grew into anger, because as much as I didn’t want to admit it, it felt like he won, and the competitive streak in me simply couldn’t bear it. I consoled myself with the fact that fall and winter will certainly come around again, and there has to be another pumpkin spice season. At the time, it hurt but I accepted the fact that perhaps I was meant to be a black-coffee girl all year round. The pain wouldn’t last forever, and someday, I wouldn’t even miss pumpkin spice creamers. Heck, I may even forget that it ever existed. 


I lazily pushed the trolley after a long day of work through the aisles of the grocery store, checking off the items on my list. I would’ve procrastinated this trip because I was utterly exhausted from the chaotic shift that I’d just had but I was out of Cheerios. Cereal is such a staple in my household. Since it’s my second favorite food, it functioned as a meal and a snack to munch on throughout the day. I was walking past the dairy and on my way to grab a milk when a golden-brown bottle caught my attention. I wondered whether my eyes had deceived me. Could it really be? I stopped dead in my tracks, and blinked hard before looking around. I wondered whether I was actually asleep, and this was all a dream but the clash of two trolleys in the aisle across brought me back to reality. It was real! Pumpkin Spice Season is back! The dark spell was over, and I raced my trolley over immediately and grabbed, not one bottle, but two. At that moment, I was no longer tired. In fact, I was too ecstatic, anxious to get home and enjoy a cup of pumpkin spice coffee. It was a feeling that I missed for so long. I took all of my groceries up to my apartment in one trip and immediately turned on the coffee maker. As I unpacked my groceries, I reflected on how far I had come since the breakup but that led to how much I hesitated to introduce my now-partner to my all-time favorite treat. I never wanted to give another person the chance to take it away from me ever again so I quietly placed it in the fridge, and I never told him the story. 

He came home to me sitting in my pajamas with a word search book and a cup of pumpkin spice coffee on the table next to me. I can tell that he had a long day, but the moment his eyes met mine as he got through the door, he smiled. He kissed my head and tucked my hair behind my ear. 

“Whatcha up to?” He placed his chin on my head, looking down at my word search book, “Oh, here’s ‘pumpernickel’.” He moved his finger on the page, showing me the word that he’d found. “What are you drinking?” 

“Oh, it’s just a new coffee creamer that I picked up at the store today. Seemed interesting so I wanted to give it a shot. It’s pretty good. Want a sip?” 

He picked up the cup and tried it. “Hmm, it’s okay but I’m not too crazy about it. This one’s all you.”
I never expected him to like it as much since he was a black-coffee guy, with not even so much as a teaspoon of sugar. At times, he can get a little “wild” and stir in a spoon of honey but that’s about it. I was very tempted to make myself another one, but it was already 8p.m and we had an at-home date night planned. These were usually ordering a pizza, and watching a movie or having a Scrabble match. As you can tell, we were very into word games and as hard as we both worked, we always made time for a date-night at least once a week. At around 11p.m, we decided to call it a night and I went to bed, more satisfied than he would ever know. My life felt restored, and everything felt like it was back to its natural order.

The next morning, I woke up to an empty bed which never surprised me because he was more of an early riser than I was. As the sunlight peered through our blinds, I got out of bed with a big stretch and shuffled to the kitchen. I stood at the door frame, looking at him buzzing around the kitchen and making breakfast. For the first time in a long time, I was truly happy with every aspect of my life. 

“Good morning, beautiful,” he looked at me with those grey eyes that made me melt every time and he approached me with two mugs. Since he woke up first, he made our coffee most times. 

“I added some of that new creamer to your coffee, the one that you got yesterday,” He passed me my favourite pink mug with the yellow handle and the picture of the dog on it. I looked at his cup and I saw that his coffee was still black, the way that he always had it. I always appreciated him making me coffee every morning, but what I appreciated more was that he allowed me to love what I loved and never tried to take it away or change that. He had no idea but that one, little thing made me fall for him all over again. Every morning that we had coffee together on the couch was a “coffee date” for us, but that was my favourite coffee date thus far.

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