UK students react to Pumpkin Spice Latte return

McKenna Horsley

There are a few almost universal signs that the autumn season is upon us– football games, leaves changing color, the weather becoming a little cooler and the return of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

Earlier this month on Sept. 5, the iconic seasonal drink returned to Starbucks locations on campus and UK students, faculty and staff either began eagerly waiting in line to order their first of many this holiday season or rolled their eyes in dismay.

The seasonal latte, only sold annually at Starbucks from early September to a few weeks after Christmas, is made of espresso and milk with notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg and is topped with pumpkin pie spices and whipped cream. It was first released 14 years ago, according to a press release. Many compare the taste to an actual pumpkin pie.

The hype surrounding Pumpkin Spice Lattes mostly comes from Starbuck’s marketing plan. This year a live video parodying the viral video of “April the Giraffe” was used to countdown until Pumpkin Spice Lattes were officially on the menu, according to the Washington Post. The company also runs a verified Twitter account personifying the drink and interacts with Twitter users throughout the year.

Paulina Alatriste, a UK graduate student studying plant pathology, is one of the many who have waited all year to again enjoy the flavor of Pumpkin Spice Lattes. In the next few months, she estimated she will order 10 or so before they leave stores; she doesn’t want to buy that many because the drink is perhaps too sweet for a daily treat.

“I think it’s just a fall seasonal thing. So, I think people just wait for them all year,” she said. “Around this time of year, everything is pumpkin.”

On the other hand, some think Pumpkin Spice Lattes are highly overrated like campus Starbuck barista and mathematics and art history sophomore Ploy Nontapan. Since Pumpkin flavor products have returned to the coffee chain, she’s made 20 different pumpkin-based concoctions such as the classic latte, Frappuccinos, chai lattes and regular iced coffee with flavored syrup.

“I get them all the time and I just really don’t see the appeal,” Nontapan said.

Both students agreed though that the draw to Pumpkin Spice Lattes is most likely the feeling of fall that drinking one gives and the fact that customers can only buy them for part of the year. Many fans of the drink associate it with the holiday season and other joyful thoughts.

No matter how the UK community feels about Pumpkin Spice Lattes, they are here to stay– at least until next semester. Then, the wait will begin again.