Photo Courtesy Starbucks

WTF is happening with Starbucks right now?

Maxine Builder
September 01, 2017

It looks like it's about time to toss out your bathing suits and white pants, trade in your baseball cap for a cashmere beanie, and cancel your plans to go to the beach this Labor Day weekend, because according to Starbucks, fall starts today. That's right. Pumpkin Spice Latte season is coming back, and in honor of the occasion, Starbucks is "hatching" the Pumpkin Spice Latte on Facebook Live—even though neither pumpkins nor lattes hatch from an egg, but that seems to be besides the point because it's 2017 and details like that don't seem to matter much any more.

There were some early clues that some big announcement regarding the Pumpkin Spice Latte would be coming today, and it's looking like the official release date of the PSL is imminent. After all, Starbucks baristas have been prepping for the official return of Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte like the zombie apocalypse, and according to baristas' posts on Reddit, jugs of pumpkin spice syrup started arriving in stores last week.

Starbucks started officially hinting at the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte on social media earlier this week, starting with a cryptic post from the maniacal PSL Twitter account on August 28.

This Twitter account—and @TheRealPSL's whole online persona—is seriously wild. And I mean that word in the most literal sense.

The news of PSL's return  first dropped on Starbucks Canada's Facebook page late last night with a short video featuring a woman wrapping herself in an oversized plaid scarf then holding up a Starbucks cup with PSL written on the side. The post's emoji-laden caption announcing the return of the PSL on September 1 reads, "Surprise! Fall has arrived early And fall = #PSLSeason!" 

That led some Americans to take to Starbucks's official Facebook page, asking why Canada gets all the good stuff, like universal healthcare, a sane prime minister, and now, Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

Americans got their own Facebook video, but much like our politics, our version is much stranger than the Canadian one. At 11AM Eastern, Starbucks posted a live video feed on its Facebook page, with the caption, "For the first time ever seen by humans!! The magical arrival of the Pumpkin Spice Latte!! Don’t miss a moment!!" Pictured is the inside of a barn with hay and a piece of orange paper on an easel that asks, "What's a sweet and spicy mix that answers to '756'?" The answer, of course is PSL—but no word on what it looks like to see a Pumpkin Spice Latte arrive.

Why Americans couldn't have a straightforward announcement video like the Canadians is beyond me. But that's (surprisingly) not the only weird thing about this announcement. 

if the PSL does return today, September 1, as many pumpkin spice enthusiasts have been speculating, the early return is something of a departure for Starbucks. The brand, which has been making PSLs for 14 years now, has been conservative about the timing of the release of this beloved autumnal drink. Last year, the PSL didn't come out until the day after Labor Day, which is usually when Americans can agree that summer is over. But even if the drink comes out today, at least Starbucks had the decency to wait until September to unleash the original Pumpkin Spice Latte into the world. That's more than we can say for some other coffee companies.

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