Starbucks Spices Up Fall as Pumpkin Spice Latte Returns

by Lee Hernly, Editor

Starbucks Spices Up Fall with Pumpkin Spice Latte and the New Chile Mocha

Pumpkin Spice Latte (Courtesy photo)

Making its 13th consecutive seasonal debut, Pumpkin Spice Latte (affectionately known as “PSL”) is Starbucks most popular seasonal beverage of all time. The fall favorite is made with pumpkin spice sauce with real pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg. It’s handcrafted with espresso and steamed milk, and topped off with whipped cream and a dash of pumpkin pie topping. PSL can also be enjoyed served over ice or as a Frappuccino® blended beverage. And, new this fall, Starbucks customers can try PSL with almond milk in select U.S. markets.

Although the official fall launch at Starbucks is September 6, PSL fans will be able to order the drink beginning today (September 1). Customers can choose to get an early access code from @TheRealPSL or just stop by a Starbucks store.

Now a global phenomenon, PSL will be available at stores throughout the Northern Hemisphere, in more than 50 countries throughout the Americas and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) regions.

Chile Mocha at Starbucks (Courtesy photo)

PSL will be joined by the new Chile Mocha, bringing a little heat to the fall spice mix.

Michelle Sundquist, Starbucks senior product developer, was part of the team that created the new fall beverage.

“When we think about fall, often people think about warmth and spice, like cinnamon and apple pie,” Sundquist said. “We decided to take that idea in a new direction with chocolate and a bit of heat.”

The team was inspired by other sweet and spicy flavors such as mole, horchata and a thick Mexican drink called champurrado. In addition, they explored a variety of chile peppers along the heat scale and settled on ancho, a heart-shaped pepper with mild heat and a sweet fruity flavor, and a touch of cayenne.

“We found that the ancho chile and cayenne perfectly complemented chocolate,” she said. “It has a sweet touch to it, with an approachable amount of heat.”

The new Chile Mocha, available in participating stores in the U.S. and Canada starting September 6, is made with espresso and steamed milk infused with a cocoa and cinnamon powder, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and finished with a sprinkle of Chile Mocha topping consisting of ancho and cayenne chile pepper, cinnamon, paprika, sugar and a touch of sea salt. It’s also delicious as a Frappuccino blended beverage or even coffee-free as hot chocolate.

“The first sip should be warm and chocolatey, quickly followed by the creaminess of the whip and just a kiss of sweet and savory heat all at once,” said Sundquist.

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