Update August 25, 2020: Hear ye! Hear ye! The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is back today, August 25! This is the earliest PSL release on record, three days earlier than the original rumor. Rejoice! It’s 90 degrees, perfect weather for thinking about warming spices and fuzzy sweaters. Go get it.
Update, August 6, 2020: A spokesman for Starbucks wishes to us to convey the message to everyone that the August 28 return of the PSL is only a rumor. A rumor people! That means Starbucks will neither confirm nor deny that August 28 is PSL Day. (We’re sure you all know what the word “rumor”—which appeared in our original headline and several times in the story—means, but Starbucks doesn’t know you the way we do.)
Anyhoo, I think what Starbucks really wanted to say was that even though Pumpkin Spice Lattes won’t be available in Starbucks cafes until the mysterious day when Starbucks chooses to release them, other Starbucks pumpkin spice and maple-flavored coffees and creamers are already available in grocery stores, so if you’re desperate for the taste of fall and you’re not really a beer person, go for it.
Original post, August 3, 2020: The Worst Summer Ever grinds inexorably on. Can you believe it’s August already? Maybe time seems to have sped up because so many terrible things lie ahead: the should-schools-open conundrum, the end of unemployment benefits, the presidential debates. But cheer up, my fellow Americans. We have one thing to look forward to: the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, an event that should be—and has been—celebrated in poetry!
This puts to rest speculation that Starbucks would declare the official end of summer earlier than usual this year. According to a handy chart created by Business Insider, the earliest PSL release date ever was August 26, back in 2014. (It was an early release, not an official launch, true, but the result was the same: on August 26, 2014, we could walk into any Starbucks and get our Pumpkin Spice Lattes.)
Rogue Starbucks baristas have been posting photos on social media of jugs of Pumpkin Spice Flavored Sauce that have already arrived in stores:
(I have to say, the notion that the pumpkin spice flavor is considered a sauce is slightly unappetizing. A close inspection of the label shows that it does contain actual pumpkin, though, so that’s encouraging.)
Anyway, maybe if you’re lucky and wear a mask, a friendly barista will take pity on you and slip you a PSL a few days early. Hey, you never know.