The New Secret Ingredient in Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Trying to squeeze those last few sunny days out of summer? Well, stop trying. The Pumpkin Spice Latte buzz has begun, and that means we all have to start wearing sweaters and calling things “crisp” because we’re firmly in the stages of Pre-Fall. Halfway through August, and we’re already discussing the finer points of Pumpkin Spice. Hello darkness my old friend…

The famously basic beverage is making headlines: Starbucks is adding a new ingredient to their Pumpkin Spice Lattes… and it’s pumpkin.

Yes. The Pumpkin Spice Latte didn’t have any actual pumpkin in it until this year. Previously, the PSL flavor consisted of “spices associated with pumpkin pie.” So, really more of a Spice Latte Associated with a Dessert Made from Pumpkins, I guess?

But Starbucks has decided to break free from their web of lies and actually put pumpkin in their pumpkin-themed drinks (a bunch of food bloggers publicly shamed them for selling pumpkin-less pumpkin drinks). They’re also ditching the artificial caramel coloring, a controversial (and possibly toxic) additive.

Not to be outdone, Panera Bread is revamping their Pumpkin Spice Lattes, too. They already had pumpkin in their mix though; they’re just taking out artificial preservatives to make the drink “cleaner.” Panera’s also going to start a new line of healthy drinks, including cold-pressed beet juice (I’d rather just stick with Pumpkin Spice, even if it’s full of garbage).

So, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is super healthy now and we should feel no shame in buying one as soon as possible. Well… sugar is still listed as the first ingredient – but if Pumpkin Spice is your jam, I won’t stop you.

Apparently, Starbucks made the change because of customer outcry (no word on whether or not they were wearing yoga pants and/or uggs). A few vegan Starbucks fans were upset to hear that the new actual-pumpkin-pumpkin-flavoring contains condensed milk, but beyond that most reactions seem to be more along the lines of, Wait, there wasn’t already pumpkin in the pumpkin spice?? We’ll just have to wait until Fall to see what the public thinks of this new, more veggie-focused coffee, and what basic-white-girl Twitter jokes it will spawn.

We can all start getting hyped about this brave new world of putting squash in our lattes. But until September 1st  rolls around, I, for one, will be clinging desperately to the end of summer and living in full-on denial of the impending reign of pumpkin spice.