Starbucks announced the early launch of Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) for its most loyal of fans. The Teavana Oprah Chai Tea Latte and the return of the Salted Caramel Mocha will officially kick off the fall season at Starbucks stores nationwide on Tuesday, September 2.
“Our customers tell us that their first sip of Pumpkin Spice Latte signals the onset of the fall season,” says Cliff Burrows, group president of U.S., Americas, and Teavana. “The fanfare and excitement amongst our customers and partners surrounding its onset each year is extraordinary to witness, and we’re pleased to be able to give a sneak preview of this beloved beverage ahead of the official fall launch in September. Our stores are a gathering place to re-connect and re-establish routines—especially during this time of year—and we’re humbled to be a part of that experience.”
This is the fourth year in a row that PSL fanatics were given the opportunity to gain early access to the beverage through a special online experience. To celebrate its triumphant return, PSL launched an official Twitter account, @TheRealPSL earlier this month, and captivated social media with the Spot the Spice challenge. The online scavenger hunt led PSL’s biggest fans through a series of daily clues, which concluded Monday with the final clue. A secret passcode, “FIRST PSL” allows customers to unlock their store to get the beverage a week early. Fans can still provide the password to their baristas to gain early access through Friday afternoon. On Twitter, PSL fans have shared excitement for their favorite beverage in the past by posting more than 3,000 tweets per day during the months when it’s available in stores. The beverage is Starbucks top-selling seasonal beverage of all time.
“We know this cherished beverage is one that Starbucks customers wait for with anticipation all year, so this year’s online scavenger hunt was a fitting way to give our most fanatical Pumpkin Spice Latte fans an opportunity to unlock their store and enjoy this seasonal favorite before it officially launches across the country,” says Alexandra Wheeler, vice president of Starbucks Global Digital Marketing.
Back for its 11th season, PSL is a handcrafted signature espresso beverage that features steamed milk, pumpkin flavored sauce, and seasonal spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove. The beverage is finished with a dollop of whipped cream and Starbucks pumpkin spice topping and is customizable to meet customers’ unique taste preferences. Also available hot, iced or as a Frappuccino blended beverage.
Also landing in Starbucks this fall is the Teavana Oprah Chai Tea Latte, an infusion of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves blended with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos. The drink is lightly sweetened and finished with steamed milk or cold milk poured over iced. Starbucks donates 25 cents from the sale of this beverage to benefit educational opportunities for youth through the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.
Lastly, the Salted Caramel Mocha is also making a come back. This customer favorite features espresso and steamed milk blended with mocha sauce and toffee nut–flavored syrup. Topped with sweetened whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and a mixture of turbinado sugar and sea salt, this beverage pairs well with a crisp fall morning or cozy afternoon and is available hot or iced.
These fall-inspired beverages are best paired with a trio of bakery items by La Boulange, including fall favorites Pumpkin Scone, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin, and Washington Apple Pound Cake.
The Pumpkin Scone is filled with flavors of the season, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and topped with icing. The Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin is a spiced pumpkin muffin topped with a sprinkling of chopped caramelized pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and a cream cheese filling. The Washington Apple Pound Cake is a traditional pound cake with roasted apples that have been tossed with sugar and a hint a cinnamon, made with apples from Washington state.
Starbucks VIA Pumpkin Spice Latte returns this year with a new recipe in that customers simply need to just add water and enjoy a PSL on the go.
Also returning is Starbucks Anniversary Blend, available in whole bean, K-Cup packs, and Verismo pods, exclusive to participating Starbucks stores. Originally created in 1996 as a special coffee to celebrate Starbucks 25th anniversary, this coffee has become an annual tradition ever since.
New this year is Starbucks Fall Blend, a layered and full-bodied coffee blend reminiscent of fall season, available exclusively at grocery stores for a limited time.