When a group of Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee Co. employees teamed up to create a fall espresso beverage 14 years ago, little did they realize that they would be launching a nationwide trend that would extend far beyond coffee.
“Nobody knew back then what it would grow to be,” said Peter Dukes, who was the product manager and led the development of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, in a statement. "It’s taken on a life of its own.”
More than 14 years later, Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) has become an annual tradition for many. The company announced that the original handcrafted beverage is making its official return to Starbucks stores nationwide.
Made with real pumpkin, PSL is a combination of smooth espresso, steamed milk and warm fall spices including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove. Topped with whipped cream and pumpkin spice topping, the beverage has become an icon, symbolizing the arrival of the fall season for Starbucks consumers in more than 50 countries around the world, the company says.
Since its debut, customers have embraced ways to customize the PSL, oftentimes at the recommendation of baristas. Although some prefer not to mess with a classic, others adjust their milk options, the amount of pumpkin or espresso in their drink or even add “a pump of pumpkin” to their everyday beverage, it says.
In fact, popular customizations led to the addition of a new item to Starbucks menu boards this fall: the Teavana Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte. Both beverages will be available in the United States and Canada while supplies last.