Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee Co. announced the early access of its popular Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) to its most loyal fans. This is the fourth consecutive year that PSL fans were given early access to the beverage through a special online experience.

“Our customers tell us that their first sip of Pumpkin Spice Latte signals the onset of the fall season,” said Cliff Burrows, group president for the United States and the Americas and Teavana, in a statement. “The fanfare and excitement amongst our customers and partners surrounding its onset each year is extraordinary to witness, and we’re pleased to be able to give a sneak preview of this beloved beverage ahead of the official Fall launch in September. Our stores are a gathering place to re-connect and re-establish routines — especially during this time of year — and we’re humbled to be a part of that experience.”

To celebrate the beverage’s return, Starbucks launched an official PSL Twitter account, @TheRealPSL and a “Spot the Spice” social media challenge earlier this month. The online scavenger hunt led PSL fans through a series of daily clues, which concluded Aug. 25 with the final clue. A secret passcode, “First PSL,” allowed customers to unlock their local store to order the beverage a week early.

On Twitter, PSL fans have shared excitement for their favorite beverage in the past by posting more than 3,000 tweets each day during the months when it’s available in stores, the company says. The beverage is Starbucks’ top-selling seasonal beverage of all time, it adds.
“We know this cherished beverage is one that Starbucks customers wait for with anticipation all year, so this year’s online scavenger hunt was a fitting way to give our most fanatical Pumpkin Spice Latte fans an opportunity to unlock their store and enjoy this seasonal favorite before it officially launches across the country,” said Alexandra Wheeler, vice president of Starbucks Global Digital Marketing, in a statement.

PSL, along with other fall season beverages Teavana Oprah Chai Tea Latte and Salted Caramel Mocha, officially will kick off the fall season Sept. 2 at Starbucks stores nationwide. Also returning this fall is Starbucks Via Pumpkin Spice Latte; Starbucks Anniversary Blend, available in whole bean, K-Cup and Verismo formats; and Starbucks Fall Blend packaged coffee.