For some people, early September marks the ecstatic purchasing of school suppies. For others, it’s the kick-off for spooky Halloween planning. But, for diehard fans of a certain Seattle-based coffee chain, it is Pumpkin Spice Latte season. The company never expected the drink to be such a hit. But, over the last 14 years, it has become an inescapable fragrance, flavor, and status symbol.
Generally the drink, which the cool kids call a PSL (not to be confused with the Parti Social Libéral in France), is released following the labor day weekend. This year, that sort of is and sort of isn’t the case.
In the past, Starbucks has issued a grand announcement, heralding the arrival of the fall flavored sales juggernaut. However, this year, they have opted to host a Facebook Live stream, which hasn’t been particularly forthcoming. As of 11 o’clock this morning, customers could stare at a box with a pumpkin in a nest painted on it and the message “Naptime. Thank you for being patient.” Later, that transitioned into a live feed of a real pumpkin in a nest. Most of the followers seem less than impressed by the progression, and a lot of them just keep typing “Pour.” In moments of peak petty, commenters from around the world are also stopping in, to point out they have had PSL action since earlier in the week.
The plot is further thickened by the fact that Reddit hosted images of PSL syrup in stores weeks ago, and the containers indicated they were not to be used until September fifth, the traditional launch date. Yet, a PSL Twitter account (yeah, that’s a thing; this is serious shit) has been dropping hints that the launch is definitely September first. And, there are reoprts that corporate changed the release date, leaving even employees confused about the launch.
The bottom line is that the flavoring is in the stores. Provided you are a polite customer who does not require any goofy or politically-charged names penned on your cup, chances are one of the nice baristas will do you a solid (if for no other reason than to make what is surely a bear of a day run a little more smoothly).