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November 01, 2007


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you know what though. at least they've made it less...squash-y.

the first couple years it was very squash-tasting with almost no pumpkin spice. I think they've gone a bit too much toward the spice again (based on last year's, I haven't cared enough to try it this year now that I don't have to), but just guessing that they're continuing to push it in that direction

sample cup

it's definitely leaning toward the spice aspect.

on the other hand, it tastes great mixed into a chai latte or a mocha.


I agree a pumpkin spice chai or pumpkin mocha is a pretty good combination. I know some people, who come in and they get the pumpkin spice in their drip coffee. I still think cinnamon dolce and gingerbread latte are the best.

this is my first starbucks christmas.
i think GB is awful, and with the SF, we have absolutely no room for any more syrups. i'm pretty sure i'll make at least a few vanilla lattes with gingerbread, as we have them on the counter right next to eachother.


Ugh... critics always give foods/drinks bad grades.

I honestly think the PSL is the best Starbucks drink, ever. CDL comes awful close, though...


Has anyone made a pumpkin hot chocolate? What do you think of that?

A hot pumpkin creme always appealed to me, but it tastes a bit chemical-y. I add half a shot of decaf espresso, which gets rid of that chemical taste.

Also, who cares to compare the pumpkin loaf with the lowfat pumpkin chocolate cake? I like the former better.


I read that today at work and was irritated - the article photo looked terrible, too. I wonder where he got the drink, and if it was made correctly.

Personally, it's got to be a mix of white mocha and pumpkin. It's so smooth and sweet and good.

barista lane

from the looks of the photo, i'd say its likely it came from a non-corporate store...never seen that mug or straw before...


One of my baristas made a Pumpkin Spice Eggnog Chai to sample yesterday. I "ewww'd" it till she pointed out what one would cost! =)


at my store meeting yesterday, we talked about how to make the chai aggnog latte aka the "CHE" i thought it was a menu item, we dont sample drinks with variations at my store

yay to my first holiday at 6th and congress in downtown ATX YO HO HO!

Herman M.

The photo is here on the blog, not in the article. Of course, the picture of the PSL on Starbucks.com is is a funky rounded mug that's not used in stores either...

Whatever, I can't taste the coffee in it, so I'm not a huge fan. French Press me any day!


Who *looks* at their coffee anyway?


I like the pumpkin spice latte though I would replace whipped cream with extra foamy milk.


hmmmm pumpkin spice in a red cup. its feeling like the holidays!


"Who *looks* at their coffee anyway?-Nick"

I have a friend that does. He's always bemoaning the fact that local coffee shops don't make fancy leafy swirl designs on the foam of his coffee like they did when he lived in Portland. I'm like 'dude, you are just going to drink it who cares what it looks like' but four months later and he's still moaning over it :P

As for the PSL, I tried one recently and found it much too sweet for my taste. But I can see where some would like it for the spice.


Does anyone know when the holiday flavors will be available? (I'm so excited about the SF Gingerbread!) I asked my local barista last night and they said that they didn't know.


Why did he let his drink sit so long that the whipped cream melted into it? EVERYTHING with whipped cream on it tastes weird when you let the cream melt.

Anyway, no longer being a partner and not being near a store I haven't gotten a PSL this year. I always liked it far better than GB. Unless it's used to flavor a chai I'm not a big fan of GB.

How long is PS going to be around this year? Is it being dropped at the end of Fall 2 again? Because I always wished, and some of my old customers agreed with me, that it was kept through the new year. It's a great winter drink.


I know I always talk shit about sugary crap, but have you tried Gingerbread White Mocha? That's f-ing awesome

Chantal Marie Hernandez

I'm just wondering, after staring at the menu board for a while, why would a Pumpkin Spice Latte be almost a dollar more than a regular latte, add pumpkin spice? I'm and iced coffee girl myself, and have never tried that pumpkin latte stuff, but isn't that a little bit unfair to the folks who do? As I recall from my frappuccino days, whipped cream is free and the little pumpkin dust that goes on top should be free as well.

Is there something I'm missing or have I discovered some sort of plot to charge customers much more than they should be charged in a desperate attempt to increase corporate profits?



Officer Hernandez,
You are onto us. You should be a detective but all joking aside. Yes, thats how Starbucks works its magic. The drink is a dollar more because its a seasonal offering and therefore in for a limited amount of time. Enjoy!

Holiday drinks are available in some stores now (there was a "soft luanch" this week). The official hard launch is next week.


Lis, in Canada, our holiday beverage quartet is already available because Thanksgiving is in October. We rolled out the drinks yesterday in what we call a "soft launch", but the real magic begins on November 8.

If you're in the States, I believe it's different because of American Thanksgiving falling in late November.

chocolate city angry barista

soft launch for the holiday beverages was yesterday at our store. believe you me, there's nothing like hearing a chorus of egg nog lattes being steamed for nine hours a day...for the next three months. let's just start the christmas music now, shall we????


I don't like the taste pf the PSL this year. There is way too much spice and not enough pumpkin flavor. I will have have not tried the latte though. I will have to give one a try.


Anyone else test marketing the shortbread latte?

Shortbread latte? No, we are not however,maybe thats going to be a promo drink for next Holiday season. I miss the maple latte and have to go to the Border's Cafe instead to get it from there. Not the same.

Our new holiday beverage is the Shortbread Latte this year! Noe GBL for us!


I am not a fan of whip cream on anything really. Even though Starbucks uses realy whip cream and not that horrid stuff from a can (thank goodness). When PS first came out I couldn't get past the scent of the annetto seed which is used to give it the orange colour. At the time I had stepped down to barista in order to manage a botanicals shop full time and we sold annetto seeds in bulk to people making natural soap. I have trouble tasting the actual pumpkin. On the other hand I love pumpkin scones!!
And yeah, I miss the maple flavour too. Two pumps in an americano was sooooo good.

So some markets get gingerbread and others get shortbread?

i made my first eggnog latte of the season today. and thus i am reminded of why i despise the holidays.


It always gets me that there's NO pumpkin in a pumpkin spice. I think they're foul.

Then again...so are the test marketed Shortbread Lattes.

I have never been a fan of flavored coffee drinks other than maybe a mocha or peppermint mocha (my usual is an americano). However, I completely understand caffiene addiction, and if you don't like coffee, that syrup is a good way to mask it. But jeez, seems to me that we could do half the amount of each flavor in those two-flavored drinks. Soooo much sugar. EW.

Chai Eggnog Latte is "CHEG" and it is an official drink. They featured it on the menu last year.

Pumpkin Spice is nasty, but I think most of the drink flavors are.

Chantal Marie Hernandez

There's no way in hell I'm drinking a CHEGnog latte.


I know you all hate making eggnog lattes, but I had the BEST one EVER today. I seriously almost ran back into the store to give the barista a hug, it was just that good. I got so excited when the guy at the counter told me they had them I think I may have squealed. It was my first one of the year and I know I am going to have my fair share in the upcoming weeks. So, what I'm saying is THANK YOU BARISTAS for putting up with the annoying eggnog latte addicted customers like myself, I REALLY appreciate it.


Just a note about the CHEG.
I was training new partners on how to mix and steam eggnog (especially on cleaning steaming wands!) and I noticed on the beverage card they sent out, it is supposed to be marked as CHEL on the cups. Last Christmas was a long time ago, but I thought we marked cups as CHEG. Or was it only on the POS that it says CHEG?


This sounds kind of like the whole "OMG! McDonalds Coffee is better than starbucks!!!!1!" story to me. They don't say anything about their methodology in this one, but it sure doesn't sound like a blind taste test, which, in a nutshell, means it's basically worthless. Sure, maybe, they're giving sincere reviews, but more likely, they're colored by their biases. And a good healthy "Starbucks is the corporate anti-christ" bias is pretty common these days.


First thought: Let's find out where best to shell out for some tasty fall treats.

On second though: Complete lack of serious methodology. Take these results with a grain of salt... or pumpkin spice. Trust them only as much as you trust the writer to not jump on the "starbucks is the corporate anti-christ" bandwagon.

Grade: C-

Henry Evil

I have to agree with the article. I might have enjoyed the PSL if I haven't read so many comments extolling its virtues. I guess I had built it up in my head too much as being some sort of supreme latte.

I'll wait for the Gingerbread instead!


We're getting Crème Brûlée lattes in Scotland (and the rest of the UK i presume)

Pat Nerr

I've heard that they run a Nacho Cheese Latte with Salsa Verde sprinkles in the Mexico market... for the holidays...

can any Mexico partner confirm this?


what do these shortbread lattes taste like?


I'm currently in Berlin and trying the Crème Brûlée latte tomorrow.

Woo hoo!


how many calories are packed into this drink anyway?




Creme Brulee lattes?!!
Please tell me we may get those in the states........they sound AMAZING.

If anyone has one...please tell me if it's as good as it sounds!


Of course its going to taste horribly, the doofus drank it out of a green straw. I believe that the wrapper says "not recommended for use in hot drinks." Oh its not good to use a straw in a hot drink? Who would have thought? Oh well, he's ignorant.


Sheik - About your Nov 1 post - Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate ROCKS. I've been ordering it (seasonally) for 3 years now. Always confuses the SBUX folks when they try to ring it up. :-)


geez i cant believe we got beat... but i love to put a pump of white mocha into my psl. i agree tha food critics are indeed arses and when actually made correctly our drinks are "bombdiggity" oOOh yeah... heh well anyway i think its totally the barista's prerogative on how the drink is made... i think partners are too pressured on drinks that they slip, i love my downtime making drinks to perfection and having contests with partners to see who makes the best drink or foam or steams milk perfectly...


oh yeah and the bev code for the chai nog was changed.... oh how i freakin hate them


The code was changed? For the Chai Eggnog?
That's weird... when I was at work this afternoon it was still CHEG.

I had heard it might be CHEL...which would be really lame... but I was happy to see that it was still CHEG on our servers.

We like that better :] and even if it changes.. I will still call it that. I don't even care. Our store has too many traditions with the holiday screamer to let it become CHEL. Ew.

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