As we say goodbye to San Francisco’s Indian summer, Starbucks welcomes the return of fall with their popular Pumpkin Spice Latte — also known as PSL to aficionados. Since its debut in 2003, over 200 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes have been sold. The drink has even made its way into social networks with the hashtag #PSL, and has over 3,000 likes on Facebook.
Chev-Vaughn Lum, a sophomore media studies and barista at Starbucks, said, “I think the drink is so popular because of the season. Normally throughout the year you can’t get pumpkin flavored food or drinks because of the low demand for it.”
So what exactly is in a Pumpkin Spice Latte? Well, what it doesn’t have is actual pumpkin. The drink is a concoction of espresso, pumpkin-spice syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and steamed milk, with a pumpkin-spice topping. I wanted to check in on the hype, so I ordered a PSL at the Starbucks on Masonic and Fulton. Needless to say, it did not taste any less autumnal without the pumpkin. I expected the beverage to be very overpowering, but the steamed milk complemented and softened the sharp flavors of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. For the health-conscious, a tall 12 oz. is 300 calories. This drink is a great pick-me-up, especially if you’re in need of something to awaken and keep you warm on the way to class.
In the past decade the Pumpkin Spice Latte has been around, pumpkin spice has become the new taste of fall. McDonalds has also put out its own Pumpkin Spice Latte for the competitive price of $2.39 (12 oz.). Many other products have caught on to marketing this flavor. You can now buy pumpkin spice M&M’s, Glade fresheners, and Pringles.
The seasonal beverage is only here until the end of November, or longer while supplies last. The festive drinks don’t stop there. Red cup season — when Starbucks puts out their Christmas holiday drinks — is starting in November.