Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte, the fall beverage 'that almost never was'

In the WSJ, Lisa Fleisher breaks down the history of Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte, a harbinger of autumn for its fans–and a hit beverage for the coffee giant that resulted from an interesting R&D process.

To get the taste right, Starbucks developers a decade ago decked out their R&D lab with a ton of Thanksgiving flair, even though it was only spring. There were sweaters, Thanksgiving decorations, and, of course, a bunch of pumpkin pies – made from a variety of family recipes, and some store-bought. They nibbled and taste-tested their way through the pies, swigging the pumpkin filling down with espresso. They even poured espresso directly onto the pie….

I'm not a fan of the drink, but a quick search of the #PSL hashtag on Twitter and Instagram shows me that many, many other people are.