Someone, somewhere is sipping on a Starbucks PSL (between bites of a Boston Scream Donut from Dunkin') deciding which filter and set of emojis will best highlight all the leaf-peeping adventures they had over the weekend.
Nowadays, autumn might as well come with a basic package, replete with all the pumpkin lattes and treats, pure sticks of cinnamon, and crates of hand-picked apples. These are the fruits of autumnal culture; this is how we enjoy the cooling air, the changing leaves.
In the spirit of fall, Olive Garden is introducing the all-new Caramel Apple Butter Latte, which combines the coziest and warmest flavors of the season, soon to replace any (and every) PSL you'll ever order.
The new latte is a refreshing take on a seasonal favorite. Made with a buzzy Lavazza espresso and steamed milk, blended with caramel apple butter and a sprinkling of cinnamon, the result is a super decadent latte that Trend Hunter says "is comparable to a drinkable dessert."
Olive Garden's new coffee drink will have to contend with Starbucks' perennially popular Pumpkin Spice Latte and Dunkin' Donuts' Maple Pecan Iced Coffee. Each coffee bigwig seems to be hedging its own fall flavor bet. According to Forbes, pumpkin spice products are growing slower this year, while maple flavorings grew 85 percent between the second quarter of 2016 and 2017.
Numbers aside, of the three quintessential fall flavors -- caramel, pumpkin and maple -- two of the three often get the "gut check," as in, it sounds like a good idea.
But the outlier, pumpkin, tends to fall victim of mistaken identity; for instance, pumpkin spiced Pringles, pumpkin spice pasta sauce. Perhaps the insanely popular pumpkin flavor will be its own undoing.
Olive Garden has nothing to lose by facing off against the other traditional coffee chains with its Caramel Apple Butter Latte, which might not sound super exciting on the surface but could be a smart savvy choice.
Food and Wine reports, "... this new drink could potentially entice people to drop in at the prospect of trying something a little different."
For the sake of the tyrannical PSL, we hope that is true!