While this summer's scorching temperatures—combined with the growing trend of going iced, iced baby for your morning cup o' joe—has made cold brew more popular than ever, clearly, people are already ready for fall: So far this year, searches for the Pumpkin Spice Latte have surpassed those for the trendy drink. It's also eclipsed searches for classic ones, like a regular latte, cappuccino or Caffe Mocha, according to Google Trends data.
It should come as no surprise, then, that when you start to search "Starbucks pumpkin," one of the suggested auto-complete options is "Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte release date 2016." Inquiring minds need to know when they can get a cup of espresso infused with their favorite autumnal spices, after all.
As the competitors dropped their release dates, Starbucks stayed quiet—until now.
This year, the brand has obliged its fanatics, offering the drink the Tuesday after Labor Day (Sept. 6)—as it usually does—but giving those who simply cannot wait for fall to start (Mother Nature and weather patterns be damned!) a chance to score a cup on Sept. 1—a full five days early. You just have to be a rewards member, which you can do by signing up here, or follow the brand's cheeky, anthropomorphic beverage, @TheRealPSL.
And, for those who aren't into gourd-y drinks, Starbucks is bringing out a hot new alternative: The Chile Mocha Latte. It combines heat from ancho and cayenne chili pepper spices with cocoa, much like you'd expect from a Mexican hot chocolate. This drink isn't made like a typical mocha latte—the spices are mixed with cocoa and steamed with whatever milk you order, rather than pumpkin mocha syrup into already steamed milk. It infuses the drink with a richer flavor, a Starbucks representative said.
The whole drink's topped with whipped cream and a blend of ground ancho and cayenne chili peppers, sea salt, paprika, cinnamon and sugar—it's sweet, smoky and a little spicy. It will officially hit store menus on Sept. 6, but rewards members can order a cup as early as Sept. 3.
While a spicy drink can be polarizing, Starbucks reps said the brand wanted to experiment with adding heat to a latte after seeing how popular its sriracha packets and Ancho Chipotle Chicken sandwiches were with customers. It makes sense they'd serve a drink that warms you up as the temperatures drop—though whether it reaches PSL levels of infamy (at 200 million cups sold, it's the brand's best-selling seasonal beverage of all time) has yet to be seen.
You know you've made it when you've become the punchline to every fall—and Basic B*tch—meme.
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Candace Braun Davison writes, edits, and produces lifestyle content that ranges from celebrity features to roll-up-your-sleeves DIYs, all while relentlessly pursuing the noblest of causes: the quest for the world's best chocolate chip cookie.
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