Let’s talk math for a second. Espresso + Steamed Milk = Latte. Not a difficult equation, one that most of the math class would get correct on a test, even if they didn’t study. However, Starbucks, the internationally famous coffee company extraordinaire and inventor of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, somehow messed up this straightforward formula. Yes, Starbucks is that kid in your class.
The early return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte had many teenage girls screaming louder than they would at a One Direction concert, but it had the rest of the world’s population slightly concerned and very confused.
The usual homecoming of the PSL is around September 3rd, but for an unbeknownst reason, this latte abomination decided to enter our lives early this year. August 25th was the date of choice for Starbucks to start reaping in money from its fall-themed menu. The decision is rather odd, considering the fact that August is still a summer month in North America, where most of this company’s stores are located. Are they just trying to make more money? Probably. Did they convincingly disguise their plots of commercialism with “10 Years of PSL” birthday celebrations? Yes.
So, the puzzlement regarding the premature birth of the PSL has now been resolved, but that leaves the question of why people get so excited about it in the first place. The Pumpkin Spice Latte is not so much a latte as it is liquified orange sugar hiding under a mountain of whipped cream. Furthermore, this so-called “espresso based drink” is seemingly espresso-less, with a lack of bitterness and brown colour to show for its supposed existence. However, it is chock-full of grease bubbles.
Since the flavour is obviously not why people drink the PSL, then there must be another reason. A sociological reason, perhaps. In the world of teenagers, an Instagram post of the “#PSL” is commonly used to recognize the beginning of autumn, much like how a Christmas tree post is used to welcome the holiday season. The annual return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte is used to gain “likes”, but more importantly, to fit in. In the mind of a teenager, the PSL is the epitome of coolness, even if it doesn’t taste good. A good comparison would be cigarettes. They make you cool but at a cost. Thank goodness the PSL is only life-threatening to your taste buds, and not much else.
There you have it folks, the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. Broken down into one part commercialism, two parts popularity, and about fifty million parts sugar.
For more on pumpkin spice (though I’m not sure why you’d subject yourself to that misery) check out my fellow writer’s article here