To fall lovers and Starbucks aficionados everywhere, those three little letters inspire feelings of sweetness and warmth. Ahh, the Pumpkin Spice Latte.
This year, the Pumpkin Spice Latte celebrates its 10th birthday, and I have a little extra appreciation for the drink that almost wasn’t.
When Starbucks’ espresso experts brewed up drinks for fall, they market tested 20 favorites. The concept of a pumpkin beverage didn’t take off like they had imagined, coming in after creations like chocolate caramel or cinnamon spice. But someone had faith in the Pumpkin Spice Latte’s ability to skyrocket sales, so they took it to the next phase of testing.
This phase involved complete immersion into the idea that Starbucks developers were trying to convey: Thanksgiving. There were sweaters, Thanksgiving decorations, and tons of pumpkin pies. They went back and forth, nibbling pies and tossing back espresso, to create the perfect taste.
Interestingly, that perfect taste contains no pumpkin, only pumpkin spice sauce, which is made of a delightful combination of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg spices. Add steamed milk and espresso, and you’ve got the liquid embodiment of fall.