Fall in summer: Starbucks releases Pumpkin Spice Latte early

Photo Courtesy of Vino Wong/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/MCT

Coffee lovers crowded the Starbucks store located at Fresno State Henry Madden Library on a recent day, everyone trying to get their hands on the Pumpkin Spice Latte, which was released early this year on Aug. 28.

“The lines are definitely longer than they usually are,” said Starbucks staff member, Jay-Jay. “The season hasn’t even changed yet and they’re bringing out all the fall items already.”

Indeed, while waiting in a long queue for coffee on a stingingly hot, summer evening, customers are surrounded by the fact that autumn is basically here for Starbucks stores. Advertisements for the Pumpkin Spice Latte are on the main display on the menu, as well for the other popular fall treat, the Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino.

“Usually Starbucks is always ahead of schedule when it comes to seasonal things,” Jay-Jay said, explaining why autumn came early for Starbucks.

Releasing seasonal items earlier every year is not uncommon for Starbucks, as Jay-Jay mentioned.  In 2016, Starbucks released the Pumpkin Spice Latte on Sept. 6, while in 2017, the beverage was released a day earlier: on Sept. 5.

This year, however, the release happened much earlier, but it is safe to say it’s something fans of Starbucks truly appreciate because even though it may still fee like summertime, fans are lining up for this autumnal drink all across Fresno.

A few miles away from Fresno State stands the Starbucks store on Herndon and Willow avenues, where the Pumpkin Spice Latte craze is also in full effect.

“Pumpkin Spice is super popular for our fall season,” said Desiree, who has been working for Starbucks for a few years and is currently at the Herndon location.

“This year we did an early soft launch for the fall season and people are definitely happy about it,” she continued.

Echoing the statement of Jay-Jay, who works at the Starbucks at Fresno State, Desiree said: “the lines have been consistently long and we expect it to get even longer once fall hits.”

Meanwhile, a customer standing in that long line was Karla, who waited patiently for her Pumpkin Spice Latte. “This is the third Pumpkin Spice latte I’ve had in the last two days,” Karla said, happily. “I waited almost a whole year to get this back, and I’m just so ecstatic it came earlier this year,” she beamed.

“I’ve been craving it for so long, and I know I am not the only one,” she continued.

To have long lines at Starbucks stores where staff members like Jay-Jay and Desiree work at only means that there are customers like Karla who are waiting to be satisfied and happy, with the yearly release of the fall favorite drink.

So all this matters and it is important to note because as Desiree said, “Pumpkin Spice Latte only comes once a year so get it while it lasts!”

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