The return of the PSL marks the start of fall for Starbucks lovers, despite falling well before the official first day of autumn. Since it’s still too hot to comfortably drink a hot latte—and because cold beverages accounted for 50 percent of the coffee giant’s sales in 2018—Starbucks is giving fans a new pumpkin drink to sip on: the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew.
This drink marks a few firsts for Starbucks—it’s the first cold pumpkin drink to be introduced (yes, you can get your PSL iced, but this one is only available as a cold drink) and the first riff on the PSL since it first came to stores in 2003.
As for what’s inside, the drink is very similar to the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew. It’s made with Starbucks cold brew, vanilla, and a float of pumpkin cream cold foam (vanilla sweet cream frothed and mixed with a little pumpkin spice sauce), then sprinkled with pumpkin spice topping, a mix of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
A Starbucks spokesperson said the brand started working on the new drink this year and went through around 10 variations before landing on this one. I tasted the cold brew ahead of the launch and personally am a big fan. The pumpkin flavor is way subtler than the PSL’s and the drink itself less sweet, making it more of a day-to-day drink—Starbs knows how to keep us coming back! Interestingly, the drink can’t be made dairy-free, as the foam doesn’t hold up as well with nondairy milk. Other than that, it’s a 10 in my book, and…dare I say it…even better than the PSL.
The new drink joins menus Tuesday, August 27, the same day as the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, Salted Caramel Mocha, and fall food. Bakery items include the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin, which has a thick swirl of cream cheese on top, the Pumpkin Scone, packaged Pumpkin Spice Madeleines, and the vanilla Cat Cake Pop. I can smell fall coming!!