Starbucks Just Announced the Official Start Date of PSL Season, and I Have Some Thoughts

PSA for PSL season!

Starbucks just announced its famous pumpkin spice–flavored lattes are headed back to stores on August 27, a day earlier than last year, and a day too late, if you ask me.

See, I have some thoughts for everyone saying that the start date (which has notoriously crept earlier and earlier into the calendar year—it used to be after Labor Day prior to 2018) is way too early.

On top of being shamed for liking pumpkin-flavored things, now PSL lovers have to contend with the contempt over a “too early” launch date of Starbucks’s bestseller. But can you blame the coffee chain for wanting to cash in on that green when the hype for orange is so real? That’s business, people.

Scenario: Given the chance to live a day in the Starbucks CEO’s shoes (we had to name check ourselves, because PSL—sorry, no, PSA—it’s not Howard Schultz anymore), wouldn’t you, too, want to eat into those artificial flavor–fueled profits as early as you could? Of course you would. 

But maybe these “too early”-ers have a right to be skeptical. After all, pumpkin was a calculated marketing ploy. Namely, when Starbucks renamed fall “PSL season,” they knew every Ugg-wearing, Insta-obsessed woman from age 13 to 43 would be lining up for their special seasonal latte, and they got that prediction right. A cool $1.4 billion (with a b, not for basic) has been generated from the sale of PSLs since their inception in 2003, according to Mic.

But here’s where the eye rolling and the “too early”-ing falls flat. See, in my opinion, the real reason people drink pumpkin syrup–filled lattes isn’t because they want to ascribe to some Starbucks-manufactured sorority girl ideal. It’s simply because these things are freaking delicious. They taste good, they feel good, end of story.

So while it may be a balmy late-August day, and I’m sweating through my linen shirtdress and fumbling with my sunglasses, you better believe I’m beelining straight to my local S’bucks (one of ten in a six-block radius), ordering a PSL (make it iced) and jammin’ to Earth, Wind & Fire as I usher in the beginning of my favorite season, wistfully wishing away the hours till sweaters, hot chocolate and piles of dead leaves are the norm. 

Now, give me a double-shot oat-milk Venti PSL, and make it extra spicy.

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Director, Branded Content + Cohost, Royally Obsessed Podcast

As Director of Branded Content at Gallery Media Group, Roberta helps oversee the ideation and execution of sponsored content and experiential campaigns across PureWow and ONE37pm...