August 09, 2023
As summer winds down, the telltale signs of fall have begun creeping in — including the brisk chill of cooler temperatures, the swift reappearance of Spirit Halloween stores and the sweet cinnamon scent of pumpkin spice lattes (commonly referred to as PSL).
While autumn does not officially start until Saturday, Sept. 23, coffee shops and convenience stores across the Philly region are already rolling out their versions of the PSL.
The origins of pumpkin spice can be traced back as far as the 1700s, when the spice blend — usually a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves — was used by American bakers to flavor pumpkin pie. The modern PSL was successfully introduced by Starbucks in 2003 and has been a seasonal staple in coffeehouses (and on Instagram feeds) ever since.
For fall enthusiasts looking to kick off the season early, here is when and where to acquire pumpkin spice lattes in Philadelphia. This list will be updated as more information becomes available.
The highly-anticipated Starbucks PSL returns for its 20th year on Thursday, Aug. 24. The coffee chain's fall menu also includes pumpkin cream cold brew and the new iced pumpkin cream chai tea latte.
Local fan-favorite convenience store Wawa has unveiled its fall products. Customers can enjoy hot, iced and frozen pumpkin spice beverages, including pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice iced macchiatos and pumpkin spice cheesecake smoothies.
Dunkin' first teased the release of its fall products with an Instagram post hinting that "pumpkin is back" on Wednesday, Aug. 16. The coffee chain's fall menu this year includes the pumpkin spice signature latte, nutty pumpkin coffee and pumpkin swirl flavoring that can be added to hot, iced or frozen drinks.
Philly-based coffee roaster La Colombe will release ready-to-drink cans of its pumpkin spice latte, along with an oat milk variation, on Tuesday, Aug. 15. Cans will be available to purchase on the La Colombe website, as well as through Amazon and at grocery stores nationwide.
Starting Thursday, Aug. 17, La Colombe will have its best-selling seasonal drink, the pumpkin spice draft latte, available on tap in its cafés. It is made by blending pumpkin spice flavoring directly into La Colombe's oat draft latte. The coffee shop will also offer the opportunity to add pumpkin spice flavoring into any hot beverage.
La Colombe teased the upcoming release on Twitter, asking, "How soon is too soon for (pumpkin)?"
Old City Coffee — which has locations in Old City (221 Church Street) and at Reading Terminal Market — will once again offer its pumpkin spice flavor, available to add to any hot or iced drink. The coffee shops plan to roll out the pumpkin spice flavor around Labor Day (Sept. 4).
ReAnimator Coffee plans to bring back pumpkin spice lattes on Friday, Sept. 1. The Philadelphia coffee chain concocts its version of the PSL using a house syrup made with real pumpkin. ReAnimator has five locations in the city, with cafés in West Philly, Fishtown, South Philly, Kensington and Port Richmond.
This year, 7-Eleven rolled out its pumpkin drinks earlier than ever, on Aug. 1. Now through Oct. 31, the convenience store chain will offer pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin coffee and pumpkin syrup to add to coffee drinks.
"im not like other girlies...i dropped pumpkin spice latte early," the brand joked on Twitter.