The pumpkin spice latte, love it or hate it, is back — and it’s not even fall yet.
August 27 was the official launch of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. Lines were long and hopes were high, waiting for that first sip of fall wonder. It even rained on campus that day. It felt very fitting. But it was still too early. Classes have just started, and we’re already wishing it were the holidays. Stores are starting to fill with candy corn, Halloween candies and pumpkin spice galore.
The pumpkin spice latte is a much anticipated holiday drink. Starbucks has even introduced the new pumpkin cream cold brew, a delicious addition. That being said, is August too early, or should people just embrace the pumpkin spice latte bombardment?
Sept. 23 is the official first day of fall. Unfortunately, stores and coffee shops seem to have missed the memo. Retail stores have recently felt like they’re moving directly to the next big holiday instead of giving seasons time to breathe.
Last year we jumped from Christmas decorations to Valentine’s — before Christmas and the joy of the season had even wrapped up. Spirit Halloween is open here in Arlington, and it’s only just now September.
When you think about it in terms of retail and money, it makes sense. The earlier the stores get merchandise, the more money they’re likely to make. It’s basic economics, but it does start to feel a bit premature when you’re seeing pumpkins months before October.
It can be a bit jarring to see holiday decorations when it’s still 95 degrees outside, and you’re wearing shorts and sandals.
Admittedly, anytime you go into a store and see pumpkin spice creamer or candy corn, it can fill one with a sense of joy for the fall season. Fall, in ways, is a time of change. It signifies new chapters in life — old things die away, and new things are given room to spring up and grow. It brings the promise of colder temperatures and fun times with your friends and family, as well as adventures to the pumpkin patch or drive-in movies. It’s easily the best time of the year.
But it’s still too early for pumpkin spice and witch costumes to be filling the store shelves. If Starbucks and other retail outlets pushed back the pumpkin spice season until fall began, maybe it would have a stronger nostalgia associated with it. The fact that the pumpkin spice latte is limited really does make the hype for the drink soar.
It would be unfortunate to see something that is so anticipated become another tradition that loses its hype and then fades away. Blasting the “Monster Mash” and watching Hocus Pocus forever would be wonderful, but like pumpkin spice, the song and movie don’t fit every season and their purposes.
Hopefully next year Starbucks will launch the pumpkin spice latte closer to the actual change of the seasons. Then we can all appropriately enjoy a spiced pumpkin drink while wearing our favorite fall gear.