Basic Beverage

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Now that fall is in full swing I have finally given in to my own urges and decided to write this week’s Thirsty Thursday blog on the drink that truly reigns in the fall season–Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL for the people in the know. Yes this over commercialized beverage has become a social media star and a true icon for our society and the millennial generation and you know why? Because even as much as I hate to admit it, this drink is delicious. I am a true pumpkin lover of course, who doesn’t love fall? But I wouldn’t write about this drink if I didn’t at least sample 1 or maybe several each fall season. So let’s learn a little bit more about it’s history and rise to the top.

PSL’s are a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, steamed milk, and espresso. Place in Starbucks cup and top with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice and you have just created one of the most iconic drinks ever poured into a cardboard cup. But where did this legendary beverage come from? It turns out Starbucks started developing this drink back in January of 2003. They were looking to expand their seasonal drinks and tested out a range of new flavors. Although their pumpkin spice mixture did not fall at the top of the list, they decided to stick with it because, at the time, there was nothing else on the market like it.

After several months of development they decided to test the final recipe (which by the way didn’t include any pumpkin) in the fall of 2003. Their test markets were Vancouver and Washington D.C. Because the drink exceeded they expectations, out performing their classic holiday drink like peppermint mocha and eggnog latte they decided to go full steam ahead (puns intended). From 2003-2015 their have been over 200 million PSLs sold, bringing in over $80 million a year. Their was a significant spike of 234% from 2008 until 2012 as popularity continued to grow. The latest change came to the drink just last year when after an outcry from the people Starbucks added actual pumpkin to their drink recipe.

So now you know a little bit about this famous, or rather infamous drink. I may be dreaming about one right now and can potentially see a Starbucks from my window, so now I will leave you to dream about them too.

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