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Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

starbucks pumpkin spice latte

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Image Source: Starbucks

Calling all my basic witches: pumpkin spice season has officially arrived! Within the past couple of weeks, coffee titans Dunkin’ and Starbucks launched their fall flavor lineups, including classics like the Pumpkin Spice Latte and new maple pumpkin flavored treats.

If you’re thinking that PSL’s comeback feels too soon, you’re not wrong. Both brands launched their pumpkin beverages earlier than ever, with Starbucks offering up fall staples on August 27th and Dunkin’ on August 19th.

As a self-proclaimed fall fanatic, I’ve already tried out pumpkin drinks from both chains and enjoyed both thoroughly. However, as I sipped on my medium iced pumpkin swirl with oat milk (thanks Dunkin’), I began to wonder why exactly people go crazy for pumpkin season. Since the drink’s launch in 2003, Starbucks has sold over 400 million Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. The level of hype surrounding one flavor add-on seems nuts, but scientists have broken the code.

Dr. John McGann, a sensory neuroscientist at Rutgers’ Department of Psychology, explains that it all has to do with our sense of smell and the powerful memories our brain connects to certain scents. PSLs include spices like cinnamon, clove and nutmeg that we’re more exposed to during the holiday season. As a result, the smell of pumpkin is associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas, typically happier times spent with family and friends.

Whether you buy into the psychology behind the power of pumpkin spice or not, I think we can all agree that fall flavors are delicious. Despite the hot weather in New England, I’ll be sipping on pumpkin-flavored coffee for the foreseeable future!

Posted by Kayla