Stop ‘Premature Pumpkin Spicing’: Angry Non-Basics Rally Over PSL Release Date

Fall is a glorious time – NYFW takes over every notable venue in New York, new rows of this season’s most stylish leather boots magically appear in store fronts, and the PSL makes its autumn debut in just about every coffee shop in the country.

And, while many have had the PSL release date typed into their iPhone event calendar since last spring, some have decided that this pumpkin spice craze has gone too far.

Sean Bauer, for example, has had it with all things pumpkin spice. For four consecutive years, Bauer has been protesting against “premature pumpkin spicing.” This year, Bauer stationed himself in front of a Wawa on South Broad Street in Philadelphia to educate fellow passersby about this fall-flavored catastrophe.

On August 26, Bauer posted a photo on Instagram accompanied by the caption, “Make America Great again by joining me in stopping premature pumpkin spicing #StopPrematurePumpkinSpicing.”

Bauer’s movement is slowly gaining traction —”This is an issue no political candidate is talking about this summer,” wrote Bauer’s newest protest recruit and co-worker Billy Cress. “That’s why when @beansauer asked me to join the fight against this epidemic I was immediately on board.”

Cress and Bauer have reportedly been spreading the message via Reddit and Instagram with anti-pumpkin images.

“I always see people talking about the drama surrounding this pumpkin-spice thing. When some people think about fall, they think of horrible artificial taste. We don’t see it that way,” Bauer told PhillyVoice on Monday afternoon. “When I think about fall, I’m picturing myself wearing a flannel shirt, drinking something like apple cider, not a sugary, fake nutmeg taste.”

When asked when the appropriate time for pumpkin-flavored beverages and treats should start hitting the shelves, Bauer said, “I would say mid-September. It’s that whole ‘Stockholm Syndrome thing.’ People wouldn’t care about purchasing it if it was available year-round.”

According to PhillyVoice, Bauer’s campaign is far from over. The local activist plans on picketing at Reading Terminal Market to get his hands on an actual pumpkin. Bauer says he has “a few more pumpkin-themed things to up the drama.” But, ultimately Bauer says he really just wants to make people laugh,”the majority of my photography is aimed to make people laugh and smile. and I hope this accomplishes that,” Bauer told Kitchn.

In addition to Billy Cress, Bauer’s partner in pumpkin-spice crime, others have chimed in on the movement via Twitter and other social media outlets, some going as far as referring to Bauer as a “hero.”

And, of course, the true basics are sticking to their guns.

This year will mark Starbucks’ 13th anniversary of this fall favorite/non-favorite. That’s right, all of this autumnal, pumpkin-spice craziness began early in 2003 when a group of Starbucks’ scientists gathered in the “liquid Lab,” a secure research and development space located on the seventh floor of Starbucks’ headquarters in Seattle.

Director of Espresso Americas for Starbucks, Peter Dukes, was the product manager who led the development of the coveted fall beverage.

“Nobody knew back then what it would grow to be,” Dukes told Starbucks News. “It’s taken on a life of its own.”

As a trial run, Starbucks released the PSL in 100 stores in Vancouver and Washington, D.C. in the fall of 2003.

“Within the first week of the market test, we knew we had a winner,” Dukes continued. “Back then, we would call store managers on the phone to see how a new beverage was doing, and you could hear the excitement in their voices.”

In 2004, the Pumpkin Spice Latte hit stores nationwide, bringing life to a brand new fall tradition.

“Pumpkin Spice Latte has become more than just a beverage,” Dukes said. “It has become a harbinger of the season.”

[Photo by Thinkstock]

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