You haven't started your Labor Day barbecue yet, but fall is here – at least at Starbucks.
Its Pumpkin Spice Latte will return for the season on Aug. 28, the coffee chain announced Tuesday.
This year marks the much-awaited autumn drink's 15th birthday, and over the decade and a half the beverage, known by its initials PSL, has become a fan favorite.
It began in a research and development lab, where tasters ate bites of pumpkin pie followed by sips of espresso to pinpoint the exact tastes to highlight, according to Starbucks. The new drink – which was almost called the Fall Harvest Latte – went on sale at 100 stores in Washington, D.C., and Vancouver in 2003 and launched from coast to coast the following fall. Real pumpkin was added to the recipe in 2015.
Since then, Starbucks expanded its pumpkin spice offerings to include Ready-to-Drink Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin Spice Flavored Ground Coffee, Pumpkin Spice Caffe Latte K-Cup Pods, Iced Espresso Classics Pumpkin Spice Latte and VIA Instant Pumpkin Spice Latte. This year, the company added Pumpkin Spice Cookie Straws and Pumpkin Spice Flavored Ground Coffee K-Cup Pods.
The familiar taste of pumpkin spice has been embraced by many other brands and now can be found in products ranging from ice cream to liqueur.
A 16-ounce PSL is $4.95 to $5.45, depending on the market, and contains 380 calories, 14 grams of fat and 50 grams of sugar, according to Starbucks.
The Pumpkin Spice Latte helped Starbucks get into its groove of offering up a special drink to customers for a short period. The PSL is on sale for much of the fall, though the best example of a Starbucks limited-time offer is the Unicorn Frappuccino. Available for a few days in April 2017, it went viral as customers turned to social media to share photos of the pink-and-blue drink and comment on the sweet-then-sour taste.
But exactly a year later, the chain announced that it planned to cut the number of temporary additions to its drinks menu by 30 percent and focus instead on its mainstay.
Starbucks stock closed at $53.92, up 36 cents or 0.67 percent, on Monday.