Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is a cultural phenomenon. The most popular of their seasonal drink offerings, the Pumpkin Spice Latte (or PSL), marks the beginning of the fall season for many Starbucks fans. Hard to believe it’s fall though when it’s 100 degrees out here in sunny California. Anyways, Starbucks began serving the drink on September 8 this year, though some fans got their hands on the drink a day early due to a special pass-code released the day before on Starbucks’ twitter.
They first released the drink in 2003 and the recipe has been basically unaltered, until now. Starting this year the Pumpkin Spice Latte will be made with actual pumpkin. Before the syrup for the PSL was made with condensed milk, spices, and orange food coloring. It seemed good enough before and people didn’t seem to mind. But Starbucks, in a move of corporate responsibility I applaud, moved to remove a little of the artificiality from the drink opting for real pumpkin in their so-named drink. The addition makes your drink only about 2% real pumpkin, but it’s better than nothing. Really, we should be more concerned about the removal of the food coloring from the drink than the addition of the pumpkin. Many long-time fans of the PSL were afraid that the addition of the pumpkin would change the taste of their beloved drink.
I tried the new Pumpkin Spice Latte yesterday. Honestly, it tasted the same for the most part. If no one had told me about the recipe change I wouldn’t have noticed anything. It might have tasted a little less sweet than I remember but that could be attributed to a bevy of different factors and I’m not quite willing to blame the difference on the recipe change just yet.
Additionally, Starbucks is offering some seasonal pastries to go along with your PSL. The most notable ones would be the Washington Apple Pound Cake, the Pumpkin Scone, and the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin.
I’m not quite ready to jump right into fall when the weather hasn’t even turned yet. But Starbucks is ready for you if you want some of the Autumn nostalgia right now.