If you ask Starbucks, fall officially began a few weeks ago with the kick-off of PSL season. And while the "official" start of fall is still weeks away, fall holiday products are dropping earlier and earlier every year – partially thanks to food brands’ unhinged zeal for all things pumpkin spice. But if you ask said brands, there’s PSL everywhere because consumers can’t wait another day to get their hands on the latte that makes fall feel real.
The autumnal triumvirate of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg has ruled seasonal fall menus for over a decade and shows no signs of waning. Just like pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice is synonymous with the season. It’s something we’ve grown to look forward to, like the smell of pine and hot chocolate in Christmas. So these days, it pops up not just in our coffee, but in our snacks, desserts, candles, makeup, and even deodorant. We’ve moved on from the PSL era and into the age of the PSE – Pumpkin Spice Everything.
Our team braved the pumpkin spice seas and taste-tested every weird and unusual pumpkin spice treat we could get our hands on. Read on for our reviews, so next time you raise your eyebrows at a pumpkin-spice-something on yet another supermarket shelf, you’ll know if it’s worth bringing home with you. We ranked them from best to inoffensive to call-the-manager egregious... and some of our reasons may surprise you.