It’s here — the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The pronouncement that heralds the coming of Fall, ushering in the season of sweaters, boots, fiery foliage, and cool (well, cooler) weather. That's right — the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte 2016 release date has been announced: It’s Sept. 6, people! That’s in just a few days! And what’s more, there will apparently be a way for some folks to get their hands on one early! To quote Almost Famous, IT’S ALL HAPPENING!
The almighty Pumpkin Spice Latte was originally developed in 2003 by a team led by Starbucks product manager Peter Dukes. Now in its 13th year, the PSL has been a staple of my personal Fall Experience (yes, capital letters) for pretty much my entire adult life. I feel a particular kinship with the PSL; proverbially speaking, I flew the coop the year it debuted — so in a way, we’ve grown up together, finding our way through this big, bad world as a team as the leaves have turned each fall.
Perhaps this is an unusually strong way to feel about a coffee beverage. But whatever. I’ve got you, PSL. I’m here for you. And I will be ready for you when you arrive next week.
In case you need a refresher of what a PSL actually is, here’s the lowdown: Starting last year, the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte began including real pumpkin in its recipe (hoorah!). Additionally, each beverage features Starbucks signature espresso, steamed milk (take your pick — the number of milk options at Starbucks has expanded rapidly in recent years; indeed, you can even get your PSL with almondmilk this year if you like), and a mix of fall spices — namely, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove, also known as exactly what gives pumpkin pie its magnificent kick. You can expect to shell out about $4.25 to $4.75 for a 12-ounce Tall, depending on the market you’re in.
Plus, there are countless ways to customize your Pumpkin Spice Latte. For example, a Tall, 12-ounce PSL contains 75mg of caffeine; however, if you prefer your beverages low-test, the drink can also be ordered decaf. Not a fan of hot beverages? That’s OK, too; it’s also available iced and as a Frappuccino. Heck, you can even get your PSL kick if you’re nowhere near a Starbucks (which, I realize, is probably unlikely for many, given the dispersal rate of Starbucks locations, but work with me here): The beloved seasonal treat is also available in K-Cup, VIA Instant, bottled Frappuccino Chilled Beverage, and bottled Iced Espresso Classics form.
You do you, Chanel. You do you.
The timing, by the way, makes a lot of sense. As Bustle’s Megan Grant observed several weeks ago, in 2015, the PSL was released on Sept. 8, while in 2014, it was Sept. 2 — both of which were also the day after Labor Day in their respective years. Given that Labor Day in 2016 is on Monday, Sept. 5… well, of course the release date would occur on Sept. 6. Right?
Of course, there’s also been an early access program of sorts for the past few years which has allowed select few to get a hold of the PSL before Labor Day. In 2014, folks who solved an online puzzle got early access, while in 2015, guessing a secret password unlocked the PSL curiosity door. There’s no word yet on what this year’s game will be, but apparently Starbucks Rewards loyalty members and people who follow @TheRealPSL on Twitter will be getting some sort of hint about how to get a Pumpkin Spice Latte early… uh… today. On Sept. 1. So stay tuned, because I will definitely report back when I figure out what the deal is.
Update: @TheRealPSL has announced how to get early access to the Pumpkin Spice Latte for 2016 on Twitter and Instagram! PSL enthusiasts can go to the PSL Fan Pass website and input their phone numbers to receive a pass allowing them to access the Pumpkin Spice Latte starting now; additionally, the PSL is also available on Mobile Order & Pay as of Thursday morning:
But in the meantime, start counting down the days to Sept. 6, y’all. Because Fall is officially almost here.
Images: Starbucks; Giphy (2)