For Starbucks lovers, few truths hurt more than the one they learned last year: There’s no pumpkin in pumpkin spice lattes.
Last August, food blogger Vani Hari wrote a critique of what’s inside the coffee company’s most popular seasonal drink, which wasn’t publicly available. After back-and-forth emails with Starbucks representatives, Hari got the list of ingredients: milk, caramel coloring, “natural and artificial flavors,” lots of sugar, and no real pumpkin.
Hari’s blog post went viral, garnering millions of shares on social media. Many people—who, in 2015, care about where their food comes from more than ever before—were outraged. John Oliver captured that outrage well in this hilarious “Last Week Tonight” segment last fall, expressing surprise over the obsession with “the coffee that tastes like a candle.”
Now, just a few weeks before the PSL returns, Starbucks has acknowledged the lack of pumpkin. Peter Dukes, who helped develop the beverage, wrote in a blog post Monday afternoon:
After hearing from customers and partners about ingredients, we took another look at this beverage and why we created it so many years ago. It was simple —espresso, perfectly steamed milk, warm fall spices with delicious flavor of pumpkin pie that reminds you of the cool, crisp days of autumn. So, with that great taste you know and love, the PSL returns this fall, and this time it will be made with real pumpkin and without caramel coloring.
Real pumpkin! Is it fall yet?