Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte Returns This Week

The Pumpkin Spice Latte will be available at Starbucks starting on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. The beloved but divisive novelty drink typically heralds the beginning of autumn, but it has been pushed back earlier and earlier each year. Now, Starbucks has announced that it will be back on the menu before this summer is even officially over.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte — commonly referred to as the PSL — is a flavored coffee drink made with Starbucks signature espresso, steamed milk, real pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. It is available as a hot or iced beverage, with optional whipped cream topping and pumpkin pie spices. This is the 18th year the drink will be available, providing a great opportunity to look back on its surge in popularity and its impact on the food trend landscape.

The PSL first launched nationwide in 2003 and has set the standard for fall-themed flavors for almost two decades now. The label “pumpkin spice” has since been applied to just about everything, or better or for worse. To this day, fans and detractors debate the authenticity and quality of this flavor family.

This year, it is more clear than ever how much Starbucks has expanded the Pumpkin Spice presence on its menu. The company has announced the return of the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, which is made with Starbucks cold brew coffee, vanilla syrup and a pumpkin cream cold foam topping, with a dusting of pumpkin spice on top to finish it up.

There are also some Pumpkin Spice bakery items returning this week, including the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, Pumpkin Scones and Pumpkin Loaf. That last one is available year-round but will obviously shine in the fall more than ever. Finally, Starbucks is offering Pumpkin Spice products to be made at home, including Pumpkin Spice-flavored coffee grounds, pre-packaged Pumpkin Spice products and Pumpkin spice-flavored non-dairy creamer. The company also has Pumpkin Spice cold brew concentrate, which will be available at grocery stores or online in some cases.

As always, Starbucks’ competitors are trotting out their Pumpkin Spice products as well, including Dunkin Donuts and other coffee shops, from fast food to small-town cafes. The sudden eruption of these flavors has already spurred the familiar return of Pumpkin Spice jokes, memes and commentary over on social media. After 18 years, it still hasn’t gotten old for anyone.

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