So we all know that the Pumpkin Spiced Latte is THE drink for Fall. The PSL even has it's own verified Twitter account—it's legit. My question is how were we #blessed with this seasonal cup of sweet, spicy, goodness? Let's have a quick history lesson.

First Origins

The development of the now-famous drink began in early spring 2003. The Starbucks' director of espressos in America, Peter Dukes, and his team were tasked with coming up with a new seasonal drink for the fall. They had already created the Eggnong Latte and Peppermint Mocha for Christmas, but what about fall?

They needed a drink to satiate the tatsebuds of their loyal customers during the fall season. So, on they began in the "Liquid Lab" in Seattle, Washington testing out pumpkin pies and sipping expresso to see which flavors in the pie complimented the coffee the most. After 3 months of testing and re-testing, Dukes and his team successfully came up with the perfect formula. The original recipe was comprised of pumpkin spice sauce with cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg mixed into expresso and steamed milk, and then topped off with whipped cream and a dash of pumpkin pie topping. 

The Launch

cream, coffee, tea
Lindsey Law

The world was not prepared for this. The Pumpkin Spice Latte was launched in the fall of 2003. Starbucks first launched the PSL in 100 stores in Vancouver and Washington DC to test its popularity. The drink blew up and people were going crazy for it. The next year, the drink was added to the fall lineup across the United States so everyone could enjoy this spicy yet sweet masterpiece.

Quick Revamp

In 2015, a food blogger, Food Babe, broke down the ingredients in the pumpkin spice latte. This led to Peter Dukes deciding to tweak the original recipe to include actual pumpkin puree and remove any artificial coloring. There were mixed feelings about the change. Customers rejoiced/complained on an original blog from Starbucks. Some people liked it, some people didn't (go figure). 


The PSL is not just a drink, it has become a movement. Starbucks has sold over 200 million of these seasonal beverages since their launch back in 2003. Other chains, such as Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's, have joined in on the pumpkin spice trend and have created their own versions of the PSL. There are hundreds of pumpkin spiced products on the market now thanks to America's obsession with pumpkin spice. So go out and treat yo' self to a #PSL before it's gone.