The History of the Pumpkin Spice Latte

The History of the Pumpkin Spice Latte

Sam Drane ·

Back in 2003, Starbucks headquarters pondered the idea of a fall seasonal flavor. They had spent many years mastering the taste of Christmas with the peppermint mocha latte and other variations surrounding caramel and chocolate flavors. When asked the question of what the company could produce for the fall season, product manager Peter Dukes, suggested the idea of a pumpkin pie latte - motivated by the seasons signature dessert. 

When the company ran a survey of what flavors would be successful for fall, the pumpkin pie idea fell short. However, Dukes wasn't ready to dismiss the PSL flavor yet! He went to work putting together a drink which included all of the spices typically used in a pumpkin pie recipe: nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. However, when he presented his first concoction to the boss man, it was brought to his attention that a specific flavor was missing: PUMPKIN.

Back to the lab Dukes went, determined to find the perfect marriage between pumpkin and spice in one delicious comfort drink. Peter Duke's flavor voyage lasted 3 months until the perfect elixir was complete! He introduced his final version of Pumpkin Spice Latte to his boss and the rest is history!

Since, the Pumpkin Spice Latte or "PSL" as it's referred to in pop culture, has become the seasons hit drink and a staple to the fall season.

Hats off to the man behind Americas most beloved - and also most hated latte. PSL has not only become a staple to the fall season, but it has also become an identity for "basic PSL lovers."  Personally, I'm a fan of the PSL and therefore a bigger fan of its inventor. However, am I basic? NAHH KEHD.

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