There was a time, during the nascent rise of the modern coffeehouse a few of decades back, when finding a fancy flavor or spin on your must-have java was something of an unusual occurrence.
Then oodles of fancy flavors and syrups came down the coffee-scented pike, finding devoted fans looking for a quirky caffeinated experience outside the traditional brew.
But only one libation has risen, like so much airy foam, to the tippy top of the bean-big mountain: the Pumpkin Spice Latte, a drink that's so associated with autumn nowadays that it often mentioned ahead fall's longtime libation creation, hot cider.
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Many a shop creates its own cinnamon-sweet version of the drink, but it is Starbucks that has fashioned a foam-topped powerhouse that practically has its own chapter in the annals of pop culture.
Or, at least, in the annals of the internet, where fans take to social media to inquire about the drink months ahead of its expected arrival.
That arrival has happened, as of Thursday, Sept. 1, with an asterisk: Starbucks has invited latte lovers to enter their mobile number at the PSL Fan Pass site for the chance to purchase the drink ahead of its official Sept. 6 debut.
Can you not wait? You don't have to, PSLers. (The drink's name being shortened to "PSL" further enhances its pop culture cred.)
But if Pumpkin Spice Latte, and all of its whipped cream richness, has never quite rung your bell, stay tuned: Chile Mocha is making its 2016 debut at the seen-everywhere coffeehouse chain.
Champurrados were one inspiration for the "bit of heat"-bearing beverages, as well as horchata.
What's your fall sipping pleasure? The equinox is still a few weeks away, but pretending it is sweater weather, via the PSL in your hand, starts now, specialty drink mavens.
(And cider people, stay chuffed: Starbucks has a solid apple-sweet beverage, as do many spots that kept cider on their core menus.) (Yes, we said "core" there.)