Thank you, Starbucks! PSL, barista-speak for the Pumpkin Spice Latte, is my favorite espresso drink at Starbucks. However, it is a seasonal drink, available only from late August to January. The reemergence of PSL signals the arrival of the fall season. Forget that we are still experiencing beautiful beach weather here in Southern California and that my tomatoes are producing like it’s the middle of August. When Starbucks says it’s fall, it’s fall, darn it!
I’ve tried pumpkin spice lattes at all the “real” coffeehouses, from Intelligentsia (So Cal) to Blue Bottle (SF) to Caffé Vita and Zeitgeist (Seattle) and nothing beats the PSL at Starbucks. Maybe it’s because those other coffeehouses, who pride themselves on using the best coffeebeans from all over the world, use real pumpkin purée. Of course they would! Even my personal barista tried to make a version using canned pumpkin and it was awful. (Note to self: canned pumpkin – good for pie, bad for PSL.) That’s where they go wrong! The secret to this sweet exilir is in the syrup. Good, old-fashioned, too-sweet, bad-for-you pumpkin syrup! (Lightbulb just went on….THAT’S WHY I LOVE THIS STUFF!!!)
This will be the eighth year of the PSL on Starbucks’ fall menu and it has attained a cult following. Every year, giddy fans wait in anticipation for its return. This year, Starbucks even sponsored a competition to see which city would have PSL one week earlier than the rest of the country. It turns out Chicagoans are crazy about PSL. See, I’m not alone in my insanity. Fall back with me….
As friends come together to mark the end of summer and anticipate coming festivities, there is one warm treat that has come to stand above all others – one that we get asked for again and again and again because people love it so much.
The Pumpkin Spice Latte is fall’s favorite drink. Signature espresso blended with the unmistakable spices of fall – cinnamon, nutmeg and clove – smooth with steamed milk and topped with delectably sweetened whipped cream.
When it’s time to fall back into fall, sweet and spicy pumpkin is sure to please.
~ Starbucks website