If you’re a big fan of autumnal drinks. today is a day of reverence.
Twenty years ago, back in aught-3, on a day that should go down in brand marketing history, Starbucks introduced the Pumpkin Spice Latte and set off a fall beverage revolution.
The anniversary celebration starts this morning with the legendary drink’s return to Starbucks shops.
Besides the PSL, the menu features two new seasonal drinks: Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte, based on customer and barista innovations, and Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso, made with Starbucks’ Blonde Espresso. Returning to the menu are Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew and Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato.
The new fall food item is the Baked Apple Croissant, which looks to us like a kouign amann. (Like Starbucks, we’re not sure all customers are ready to tackle that pronunciation.) Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins and Owl Cake Pops have returned.
The PSL craze started by Starbucks has led to competitive launches. This year, 7-Eleven declared the first week of August the start of the seasonal sales of its lattes and coffees with pumpkin syrup and/or creamer. Dunkin’ launched its menu Aug. 16, two days earlier than last year, and it features Pumpkin Spice Signature Latte; the hot or iced Nutty Pumpkin Coffee, with a hint of hazelnut; and a Pumpkin Swirl that customers may add to any drink.
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Berkeley-based Peet’s Coffee has also returned its Pumpkin Spice and Iced Pumpkin Spice drinks to the menu, along with a Havana Cappuccino and an Iced Havana Cappuccino, both of which are made with sweetened condensed milk and topped with cinnamon.
What if you’re one of those who doesn’t like to drink pumpkin coffees until autumn actually arrives?
Circle Saturday, Sept. 23, on your calendar.