The Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks is so popular - in 13 years, the chain has sold 200 million of the drink - that it's now become a legitimate symbol of fall. It takes a serious drink to move in on PSL territory, and Starbucks believes that the new Chile Mocha is it. Here's everything you need to know about the latest addition to Starbucks's fall lineup:
1. The Chile Mocha has some heat. There's spice in the steamed milk and spice in the topping. Starbucks found customers have been responding well to hot stuff. The brand has successfully introduced products like Sriracha and the spicy chorizo, Monterey Jack, and egg breakfast sandwich to the menu, and customers are ready for more.
2. It was inspired by the PSL. The coffee team played off the spice in Pumpkin Spice Latte and found other "heat-forward flavors" to "mingle with coffee and other ingredients that represent the coziness of the season," according to a press release. Fall spices like nutmeg go well with cayenne and ancho chili pepper, which led to the development of the Chile Mocha.
3. The milk is steamed with the spice. Instead of adding the flavor to the milk after it's been steamed, the baristas steam the milk together with a blend of cocoa and spice.
4. There are six ingredients in the spice topping. Much like the PSL, the Chile Mocha gets a topping sprinkled over the whipped cream. The topping has ancho chili pepper, sea salt, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne, and sugar in it.
5. You can get the Chile Mocha served hot or as a Frappuccino. You can also get the PSL as a Frappuccino!
6. It's actually not that sweet - or that spicy. There's an earthy quality to the drink because it has the complex spice element, but the heat is pretty minimal. It coats your mouth with a little extra warmth, but it's not going to make you sweat. If you're someone who's always wished hot chocolate were a little less sweet, you should give the Chile Mocha a try.
7. The Chile Mocha will be available nationwide starting Sept. 6. But if you're a rewards member, you can get early access starting Sept. 3.
Bonus: PSL Update
1. The PSL will be back in stores Sept. 6. Starbucks Rewards members (and anyone following @TheRealPSL) will find out how to get early access starting Sept. 1.
2. You have to try the PSL will Starbucks's new Almondmilk. It's not regular almond milk, it's Almondmilk, a recipe Starbucks developed to work well with espresso. And using it in the PSL makes your favorite fall drink a little nuttier and definitely different. It's like seeing the PSL through a whole new light.
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