Changing leaves, jacket weather, back-to-school, football season — somehow none of these herald the arrival of fall more than Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte. Since 2003, we've spent more than a billion dollars on the beverage. Get excited, because this year, it's dropping on Friday, Sept. 1.
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That's not the earliest it's ever come out (that honor goes to 2014, when the PSL arrived on Aug. 25), but it's definitely one way to upstage Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end of summer. Of course, the solar calendar doesn't switch over to fall until Sept. 22, but if you're hankering for chunky sweaters, Halloween, and boots over tights, keep an eye on the countdown clock Is It Pumpkin Spice Season?
Starbucks may have opened the floodgates to a particular kind of fall-flavor madness — with the rise of the PSL, we've seen "pumpkin spice" flavoring in everything from beer to dog biscuits to hair products. But Americans don't seem to mind, and neither does the rest of the world. Some Brits are already sharing their first cups a day ahead of the U.S.
At the end of the day, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are still coffee, of course. Especially with the return to school for many, be sure to monitor how much you drink and whether it's actually affecting your performance. That said… no shame in loving the PSL. It's a pretty stirring achievement of chemistry and food science. Plus, if it makes you feel good? Five bucks is a small price to pay for an occasional one-cup hit of happiness.