Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte Is Back Today, Its Earliest Return Ever

Pumpkin spice-flavored foods are returning earlier this year, and Starbucks' PSL is no exception.

Courtesy of Starbucks
Courtesy of Starbucks

The days are still long, the summer heat is showing no signs of fading, and the first day of fall is almost an entire month away. That can only mean one thing: Pumpkin spice season is upon us and -- whether you're ready for it or not -- it's officially in full swing. Starbucks announced on Tuesday that its iconic Pumpkin Spice Latte is officially back in stores nationwide.

Just last week, the Seattle-based coffee giant was pushing its new summery star fruit and kiwi drinks, but as of August 25, it's serving up PSLs again -- earlier in the year than ever. In fact, PSLs and other fall menu items are back two days earlier than last year

Now, what's actually returning to menus in 2020? Of course, there's the PSL, back for its 17th year in a row, but also other returning classics: the Salted Caramel Mocha, Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino, and plenty of eats too. Starbucks is filling its pastry cases with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, Pumpkin Scones, and Pumpkin Bread.

If you've somehow not tried a PSL after all these years, here's what you've been missing. The handcrafted espresso and steamed milk beverage features pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove -- basically, all the flavors of fall -- topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spices. You get order it hot, iced, or blended as a Frappuccino. Meanwhile, the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is a more coffee-forward take on the classic that features vanilla syrup, pumpkin spice topping, and a pumpkin cream cold foam. 

If you're trying to steer clear of the fall pumpkin cliché, you can always go the Salted Caramel Mocha or Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino route. Both of those drinks feature mocha sauce and toffee nut syrup with coffee, steamed milk, sweetened whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and a blend of turbinado sugar and sea salt. 

Since you're likely going to do major damage on your Starbucks card due to the PSL return, you should at least start earning rewards for the habit. The chain is rolling out updates to its loyalty program so that users can more easily earn and redeem those coveted stars.

"Having a connection with our customers, whether in our stores or digitally, allows us to anticipate their needs and deliver the products and experiences they are looking for. Our customers have shared with us that they would like more options to pay and earn Stars in the app as a Starbucks Rewards member, in addition to the Starbucks Card," chief marketing officer Brady Brewer said in a statement. "We expect the expansion of payment options will appeal to an even wider customer audience and deepen engagement with our members." 

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.