What's In A Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte? Your Fall Fave Is Back

Fall is just around the corner, and as an enthusiastic Starbucks devotee, by the end of August, I'm already itching to be reunited with my fave seasonal drink. In anticipation of that first steamy sip, I recently started wondering what’s actually in a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (besides the requisite caffeine to make me function like a normal human); I mean, it's been months since I've wrapped my mittened hands around a Venti cup filled with a piping hot PSL. Trying to remember all the different spices that go into the one tasty drink is tough.

Thankfully, though, I won't have to wait much longer, as the Starbucks PSL will finally be available again nationwide on Sept. 6. And for those who turn to Starbucks for their daily boost, I have even better news: Rewards loyalty members will be able to find out how to get early access to the PSL starting Sept. 1 (Hold up, lemme check my calend ... that's today!). 

Our love of all things pumpkin seems to grow stronger every Fall, making it hard to believe that the Pumpkin Spice Latte is turning 13 years old this September. The popular beverage was created by Peter Dukes, director of espresso and OG product manager of the PSL, in Starbucks' the Seattle-based "Liquid Lab." To create the perfect balance, Dukes and his small team would take a bite of pumpkin pie and then sip an espresso to see what flavors and spices complimented each other. Despite healthy competition, the PSL, which debuted in 2003, is still going strong as Starbucks' most popular seasonal beverage to date. Sorry, Peppermint Mocha. (I secretly love you too — no hard feelings.)

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Now for the million dollar question: Does the PSL use real pumpkin? Rejoice, my friends, because this latte is legit. Here is the rundown of all the deliciousness that goes into one of these Fall treats:

1. Real Pumpkin!

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The eponymous gourd is an important part of the drink itself. Starting in 2015, Starbucks has used unsweetened pumpkin puree in their recipe, giving the drink its special color and fresh flavor.

2. Espresso

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If you need an afternoon boost, the pumpkin spice latte is a great pick. A Tall, 12-ounce PSL has 75mg of caffeine, although it can be made with decaf if you prefer.

3. Steamed Milk

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Since "latte" means milk in Italian, it stands to reason that the PSL has plenty of it. By steaming this hearty source of calcium and protein, it also gives you all that frothy deliciousness on the top. Yum!

4. Fall Spices

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The pumpkin pie spices used to create the drink include cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove, as well as a touch of vanilla syrup. Top the drink with a dollop of whip cream and a extra spice and you can't help but feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte will be available at company-operated and licensed stores in the United States and Canada while supplies last starting on Sept. 6. A 12-ounce Tall will cost around $4.25 to $4.75 depending on the market. Check out @therealPSL to get up-to-the-minute news on your favorite beverage, and maybe even a sneak preview of Starbucks' hottest fall flavors.

Images: Starbucks, therealPSL/Twitter, Giphy (1, 2, 3, 4)

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