Does The Pumpkin Spice Latte Have Caffeine?

by Kat Kuehl

What are those sounds of rejoicing and celebration, you ask? The pumpkin spice latte is back at Starbucks, and not a moment too soon. There is no experience on this Earth more beautiful than taking a sip of your very first PSL of the season, but it can be a baffling time, as well. I mean, does the pumpkin spice latte have caffeine? It may seem like a silly question, but as anyone who depends on coffee to get them through an afternoon slump will tell you, it's an important one to ask.

When it comes to things that you are eating and drinking, it's good to know what exactly you're putting in your body. This is especially true when it comes to caffeine. Whether you are looking for a new go-to morning order, or you want to make sure you're not drinking something at 8 p.m. that will keep you up until the wee hours of the morning, having this kind of knowledge on your side can only help you, in the long run.

That's why I did some digging in order to find out a little more about the caffeine content of this sacred Starbucks beverage. Plus, I figured now was high time to answer some other burning PSL questions as well. Climb aboard, my fellow PSL lovers. Let's take a look at the need-to-know facts about this delicious drink.

Does Your PSL Have Caffeine?

One quick look at the PSL ingredients list, and the answer to this question becomes almost ridiculously obvious. Yes, your pumpkin spice latte has caffeine in it. Espresso is a main ingredient of the PSL, and we all know that espresso offers a pretty decent caffeinated kick in the pants.

According to the nutritional page on Starbucks' website, a grande pumpkin spice latte has about 150mg of caffeine, whereas a grande Pike Place roast offers approximately 310mg of caffeine. So, the PSL doesn't have as much caffeine as your classic cup of coffee, but it definitely does have caffeine.

The plus side? This fall-flavored deliciousness is a decent substitute for coffee as your morning pick-me-up (although, you might want to drink two if you're feeling extra tired!). The downside? You probably don't want to drink a PSL in the evening — unless being up all night is your thing.

What Other Ingredients Are In It?

The pumpkin spice latte actually got a bit of a makeover this year — for the first time since the drink's debut in 2003, Starbucks has changed up its recipe. For the newly revamped PSL, Starbucks gave artificial coloring the boot, and included real pumpkin as one of the PSL's main ingredients — gasp! The new drink doesn't actually taste any different than the original (if anything, some people who have tried it think it tastes better), so no need to worry about what you're sipping on.

In addition to this announcement, Starbucks also released the PSL's full ingredient list. Here's what you're getting in your cup — besides overwhelming deliciousness:

  • Espresso
  • Milk
  • Pumpkin Spice Flavored Sauce (Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains two percent or Less of Fruit and Vegetable Juice for Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto (Color), Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Salt)
  • Whipped Cream (Light Whipping Cream [Cream, Mono and Diglycerides, Carrageenan])
  • Starbucks Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Citric Acid)
  • Pumpkin Spice Topping (Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove)


Does the pumpkin spice latte have caffeine? Simple answer: yes. If you're feeling extra tired in the morning, start your day off with a quick kick of caffeine paired with the aromatic combination of nutmeg, clove, ginger, and cinnamon that comes loaded in every sip. I, for one, am trying to get more sleep — so only two PSLs for me per day.

Looking for more cool coffee ideas? Check out Bustle on YouTube!

Images: silvia-elisa/Flickr; Giphy (3)