As it turns out, part of the unfiltered luster of pumpkin spice is the existence of pumpkin spice season. Once you remove the PSL from the cool embrace of fall, it loses its essence. It becomes less of a cultural phenomenon, and more of a... well, just a drink.
Which explains why there seems to be such unmitigated rage at the early appearance of the PSL, and a genuine love of indulging in the pumpkin-y drink when the air gets crisp and your dad starts cleaning leaves out of the gutter.
Obviously, putting PSLs on Starbucks' menu full-time won't solve the problem, or quell the waves of anger in the anti-pumps (as I've started calling them). So what Starbucks decided to do, was simply give the people who love PSLs one more week of optional autumn-accented joy.
While it did piss some people off, the brand is simply trying to give those who wish to indulge a head start on fall. It's not going to single-handedly end summer. It's not going to ruin seasonal traditions. And it's certainly not paving the road for a year-long PSL advent.
Essentially, if a pumpkin spice latte drops at a Starbucks before you're ready for summer to end, does it even matter at all?
No, it really doesn't. Because you don't have to drink one.
For fans of the drink, it represents the spirit of the season. And they'll wait until they feel that spirit to buy one.