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Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Silvia Storti

The Pumpkin Spice Latte is back!

By
Anna Ben Yehuda
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We might start considering the Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) the new Labor Day.

Marking the beginning of fall, the seasonal drink won't officially be on the Starbucks menu until September 6 but customers aware of its availability can feel free to order it at locations across the country starting today. No, you don't need to be a loyalty program member or have the Starbucks app to have access to it. 

Since first introducing the drink back in 2003, the chain has sold roughly 200 million cups of it—officially making it the most popular seasonal Starbucks beverage of all time.

A bit of history about the autumnal offering: Starbucks' coffee education specialist Mackenzie Karr told Business Insider that the latte was created while trying to "pin down" "fall-y" flavors when discussing espresso-based seasonal beverages. "The team sat with a pumpkin pie on one side and an espresso machine on the other, alternating shots of espresso and bites of pie in an attempt to deconstruct how best to combine the two flavors," reports Business Insider.

Given its extraordinary fan base, will Starbucks ever consider selling the drink year round? Don't get your hopes up. "I think that if it was available year round, it wouldn't have nearly that kind of cult following," Karr tells Business Insider.

This year, the drink will be joined by "a new, slightly spicier pal: the Chile Mocha." Expect cocoa powder to be infused with fall spices and then mixed into steamed milk and espresso—the concoction will then be topped with whipped cream, cayenne pepper, ancho chile, paprika, cinnamon, sugar and sea salt. Will the Chile Mocha be a worthy rival to the extremely popular PSL? We'll let you know.

PS. You should know that the Pumpkin Spice Latte has an official (verified!) Twitter account and a chatbot on Facebook Messenger. Given our rigorous journalistic standards, we went ahead and initiated a conversation with the online robot—take a look:

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