Some consider the beginning of fall to be when the leaves start to change colors, or when a chill can be felt in the air. However, there is a new face for the dawn of autumn: a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. Or should I say, #PSL.

The 2016 release of PSL overtook social media with its personal snapchat filter, “top-trending” Twitter hashtag, and countless Instagram uploads. But why is this latte the latest fall craze?

I have taken a closer look into this phenomenon with hopes of discovering what makes this drink so popular. For one thing, it definitely cannot be the calorie intake. A 16-ounce pumpkin spice latte, whip cream included, has a total of 380 calories. If you would like to save 10 calories, order an iced pumpkin spice latte, and consume only 370 calories.

So, just what the heck could be in this thing to make it so very fattening? And so very iconic? I hate to crush your dreams, but this seasonal latte is not just coffee with natural pumpkin flavoring. Courtesy of Starbucks.com, the latte contains milk, espresso, whipped cream, vanilla syrup, Pumpkin spice sauce, and pumpkin spice topping. Stop right there! Notice something mind blowing, there is actually no pumpkin extract in the “pumpkin” spice latte. You might want to argue that there is pumpkin spice sauce in it, but this special flavoring contains sugar, condensed skim milk, pumpkin puree, contains 2% Or Less Of Fruit And Vegetable Juice For Color, natural flavors, annatto, salt, potassium sorbate. What even is potassium sorbate? Definitely not something I want in my (almost) 5 dollar drink.

While having your own Pumpkin Spice latte has been shaped into a “status symbol,” now that I’ve done my research, I’m not so sure I agree. Some view having a #PSL as an accomplishment. If this describes you, you can follow @therealPSL to stay close and connected to your favorite fall drink. As for me, I’m thinking autumn leaves and real pumpkins are where it’s at.

Photo credit: Healthynibblesandbits.com

What do you think of the PSL? Have you bought into the PS craze? Comment below!

7 Readers Commented

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  1. Mrs. Wolf on October 4, 2016

    While I might indulge in a *PSL* once in a while, I will only get one pump (instead of 4!) of pumpkin and have it made with skim milk. It is good for a once in a while treat, but tastes slightly of chemicals & I would agree that a piece of homemade pumpkin pie would hit the spot in a much healthier way!

  2. lucas on October 5, 2016

    This was truly amazing Carly great job!

  3. Brenda Hreschak on October 5, 2016

    Yuck! Sounds yummy but too many chemicals and calories!

  4. Kelly Bishop on October 5, 2016

    I wouldn’t like this latte because I don’t like the taste of pumpkin but this reminds me of the fall mood and nice breezy weather

  5. ryan on October 5, 2016

    In my opinion I think the PSL is totally worth the calorie intake!

  6. Brian on October 5, 2016

    I wouldn’t mind using natural pumpkin in order to make the PSL

  7. Gianna Milan on October 6, 2016

    I love the delicious Pumpkin Spice-flavored things that fall brings. (Especially great for us Floridians to experience a dose of fall) Sadly, as you wrote, none of these foods contain a sliver of actual pumpkin. I think a lot of people don’t know that, so thanks for making everybody aware with this article.