But customers and baristas in many locations are still confused about whether they can order or serve the drink – and they’re getting angry.
On Friday, Starbucks’ Facebook page was flooded with people asking the same question: Can I buy a Pumpkin Spice Latte today?
At 11 a.m. ET, Starbucks began airing a Facebook Live video titled “PSL Pumpkin Hatch.” In the comments of the video, Starbucks wrote that this year, “the official launch of PSL season in the US will be the same day for everyone.”
“The road to PSL’s return will be livestreamed 24/7 on Facebook for all his fans to see,” a Starbucks spokeswoman said in an email to Business Insider, adding that the video would have “potential clues” about when the Pumpkin Spice Latte will officially launch in stores.
“Keep an eye on the livestream and ultimately the official launch time for Starbucks PSL will be revealed!” she continued.
While the official Pumpkin Spice Latte Twitter account had been hinting at a Friday PSL debut all week – and several US Starbucks locations put out signs that indicated a September 1 launch date – the company has so far not given an official release date for the beverage.
On Starbucks’ Facebook page, many customers responded to other people’s questions by saying they had successfully ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte on Friday morning simply by asking the barista for the drink, though others said they faced problems.
Adding to the confusion is the absence of the PSL from the chain’s mobile-ordering app.
“Really blown when I couldn’t get my PSL today at Starbucks,” one person wrote on Starbucks’ Facebook page.
“Fail, Starbucks,” wrote one woman, who said her husband was served a Pumpkin Spice Latte an hour before her own order was denied.
When Business Insider’s Amanda McKelvey ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte in New York City on Friday morning, the barista told her the location was not yet serving the beverage. McKelvey pointed out that the store had a sign that said the PSL launched on September 1.
- Amanda McKelvey
After checking with a manager, the barista told McKelvey that they actually could make her the beverage – this location’s first PSL of the year.
According to one person in the Starbucks subreddit, the company changed the beverage’s release date, which may have contributed to the confusion.
For the past six years, Starbucks has launched its Pumpkin Spice Latte early for certain customers, allowing fans of the beverage to buy it before it officially hits menus in early September. The early launch often has been restricted to members of Starbucks’ rewards programs or participants in an online scavenger hunt.
This year, however, there has so far been no explanation about who can order a Pumpkin Spice Latte on Friday and who cannot.
Making people like though they’re part of a special club that can order from a secret menu helps build hype for the Pumpkin Spice Latte. However, confusing customers just makes people craving the iconic drink angry.
Here’s Starbucks’ Facebook Live video of the ‘PSL Pumpkin Hatch’:
If you’re a Starbucks employee with more details about this year’s Pumpkin Spice Latte rollout, or if you have other stories you want to share about working at the chain, email firstname.lastname@example.org.