The Truth About Your Beloved Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

It’s almost Fall (though you wouldn’t know it if you live in SoCal). This also means that instead of my Facebook news feed loaded with people counting down the days before they can get their Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, it’s now full of people posting photos of their Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin as much as the next girl, I’m just not a coffee drinker. But I feel you, PSL-lovers – it’s sorta like me and my obsession for pizza. (<—insert heart eyes emoji here)

A few years ago, The Food Babe, Vani Hari published an article breaking down the harmful ingredients found in a Pumpkin Spice Latte, making people sad everywhere. That really didn’t stop the power of the PSL as it still is one of the top selling drinks at Starbucks, but the article did go viral as did the accompanying graphic breaking down what actually was in the drink (as seen below).


Last year, Vani reported on her website that Starbucks had reformulated their ingredients, taking out the caramel coloring and adding real pumpkin in their sauce. A list of the new ingredients (from the Starbucks blog) as follows:

PSL Ingredient List:

Milk, Pumpkin Spice Sauce [Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% Or Less Of Fruit And Vegetable Juice For Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto, Salt, Potassium Sorbate], Brewed Espresso, Whipped Cream [Cream (Cream, Milk, Mono And Diglycerides, Carrageenan), Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid)], Pumpkin Spice Topping [Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove, Sulfiting Agents].

The evil ingredients of the Pumpkin Spice Latte can be seen in this parody infographic, which lists some hilariously alarming ingredients in the popular selling drink:


As with everything, good and bad, if you can’t totally give up your favorite fall beverage, enjoy with moderation. Happy Fall, Y’all!

Hanssie is the Communications Director for fitted. In her free time, she runs marathons to get medals, counts the days until her next cheat meal (as well as her macros), rescues big dogs and blogs about the divorced life when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at and follow her on her various social media sites (below).

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