You heard it here first: Pistachio is the new Pumpkin Spice. The nut is growing in popularity when it comes to the beverage world, whether it be @CoffeeBae97’s go-to coffee shop order or Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski’s favorite morning smoothie add-in.

Starbucks understood the assignment and appeased TikTokers everywhere with the return of their Pistachio Latte, which hit coffee shops nationwide Tuesday. This creamy, smooth coffee drink boasts a sweet pistachio flavor paired with espresso and milk, and is finished with a rich, salted brown-buttery topping. It’s also available iced if you, too, deny the social constraint of hot coffee and cold weather.

Courtesy of Starbucks.

The limited-edition favorite first debuted at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries in 2019 before launching nationwide in 2021. While crafting the seasonal feature, Starbucks beverage developers “were mindful that pistachios can take on some different flavor profiles. For example, spumoni ice cream can lean into a cherry, almond flavor,” said Erin Marianan, a Product Development Manager for the coffee chain. “But this is more a true pistachio flavor, it’s earthy with slight fruity notes that are really delicate.”

After trying both the hot Pistachio Latte and the Pistachio Frappuccino, I can confirm that both coffee beverages are about as close to drinking a pistachio as I could imagine.

Kennedy Dierks

There was a distinct nuttiness and creaminess to the beverage that was delightful, but in my opinion, it clashed with the espresso overall. It was reminiscent of a hazelnut latte, but I would argue the Starbucks flavor was less nutty and more rich and creamy – just like a real pistachio.

I made the mistake of ordering almond milk in hopes of evading my lactose intolerance (PSA: the pistachio sauce is not dairy-free), and that was not my best decision. I forgot that hot almond milk (Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte excluded) is just…not great. It wasn’t the ideal latte base, nor did it taste too great with pistachio. Next time, I’d try the pistachio latte with oat milk or soy milk to complement the creaminess of the nut without compromising my lactase production.

Kennedy Dierks

I also sampled the Pistachio Coffee Frappuccino Blended Beverage with no modifications, and enjoyed that much more – though I’m not sure I would choose the Pistachio Frappuccino over another flavored blended beverage. Each sip made me feel more and more like Kombucha Girl. While it was enjoyable at first, I was over it after a few sips, but ended up going back for more. Even though I still wasn’t the biggest fan of the coffee/pistachio combo, I think the flavor would be great as a coffee-free Pistachio Crème Frappuccino – especially if you’re a fan of pistachio ice cream.

Though the menu describes “a rich, salted brown-buttery topping” on both the latte and Frappuccino, I wasn’t totally sure where the topping was. There was almond milk foam on top of the latte, and whipped cream on top of the Frappuccino. I was expecting some sort of sauce (similar to the drizzle on a Caramel Macchiato or chocolate syrup on the Mocha Cookie Crunch Frappuccino), but all I noticed was the foam and whipped cream. I noticed an extra frothy layer under the whipped cream on the Pistachio Frappuccino, but didn’t taste anything spectacularly rich, salty, or brown-buttery beyond the present pistachio flavor.

Kennedy Dierks

All in all, I’d recommend the Pistachio Coffee Frappuccino, but would not get the Pistachio Latte with almond milk again. It’s not my favorite flavor, and I’d be hesitant to spend upwards of $5 on a subpar latte or blended beverage when I know the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso is now a permanent menu fixture.

Here’s to seeing what nutty creation Starbucks has in store next!