Is maple the new pumpkin spice?

By Maxine Builder and Maxine Builder
Updated February 13, 2018
Credit: Photo Courtesy Starbucks

For many, fall starts when the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte returns to stores, which, this year, happened the day after Labor Day. But according to the calendar and actual astronomy, this year, the real first day of autumn falls on Friday, September 22—and this year, Starbucks is celebrating the true start of the season with the launch of a new fall drink: the Maple Pecan Latte (or MPL, as Starbucks is casually calling it).

If you've ever put maple syrup in coffee or eaten a slice of maple pecan pie, you'll be somewhat familiar with the taste of Starbucks' new Maple Pecan Latte. The drink starts with a pump of maple pecan syrup—which includes actual maple syrup in the list of ingredients—to which a shot of espresso and steamed milk are added. The latte is finished with a "colorful autumn topping," which are basically red, orange, yellow, and brown sugar sprinkles.

If you don't like lattes, but still want to give the maple pecan flavor a taste, don't worry! You can ask for a pump of the maple pecan syrup in any Starbucks drink, like an iced coffee or a regular drip coffee.

Credit: Photo by Maxine Builder

This new MPL isn't the only way Starbucks is ringing in the new season. The Seattle-based coffee company is also launching new, limited edition fall cups, inspired by the success of the Pantone-inspired spring cups that came out earlier this year.

All hot Starbucks drinks will come in one of these seasonally appropriate, jewel-toned cups, designed by Starbucks in-house creative studio.

Credit: Photo by Maxine Builder

If you've got an artistic streak and like to doodle, there are fall cups with no designs on them on which you can put your own spin and artwork, like some customers did with the solid red holiday cups a couple years back.

Credit: photo by Maxine Builder

Both the new fall cups and the Maple Pecan Latte are only available as long as supplies last. But the launch of this new Starbucks drink on the first day of fall begs the question: Is maple the new pumpkin spice? Guess we'll have to wait until next autumn to find out.