As just about anyone in the middle part of America can probably tell you, tornados are formed when warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico meets the cool, dry air making its way down from Canada. The result is in an often-violent funnel cloud, capable of whipping cows around all willy nilly or even whirling you into an alternate dream-reality. And there’s an ominous storm a-brewin' in coffee, too. The warm air, in this instance, is ever-lengthening cold brew season (thanks global warming!), the cool air, the equally-expanding pumpkin spice latte season. The tornado, then, is the pumpkin spice cold brew, and it is here to destroy us all.
We’ve seen the warning signs for years now, but we did nothing. Cold brew, once a seasonal means of quenching your caffeinated thirst during the heat of the summer months is now a year-round staple on every cafe menu. On its own, much like the warm Gulf air, it’s no problem, great even. As a resident of the south, I can regularly be found enjoying the Gulf Air, both literal and metaphorical. But then you add pumpkin spice…
Oh how we guffawed as more and more seemingly incongruous products received an autumn time pumpkin spicing. Sure, a pumpkin spice Krispy Kreme donut sounds nice and would say no to a pumpkin spice cinnamon roll on a crisp October morning? But we start losing the plot when pumpkin spice Peeps come knocking. Now they’ve pumpkin spiced SPAM and nothing matters anymore. That’s right. SPAM. What was once a joke is available for purchase as Wal-Mart. Who’s laughing now? Not me.
You’d think we would have learned our lesson after we all hooted and hollered while the last orange-hued monster ran roughshod over everything we held dear, gaining ungodly amounts of power in the process like a craven political version of Karamari Dumbassy. But no, no lessons were learned, no ameliorative steps taken. Instead, we are left with the logical conclusion of only asking if we could, not if we should. Starbuck’s new Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew was just elected the president of coffee and it has just abolished term limits.
Per their website, the 11th plague consists of “Starbucks® Cold Brew sweetened with vanilla syrup, topped with a pumpkin cream cold foam and a dusting of pumpkin spice topping.” Sprinkle a little fall on your summer, because fuck seasonality.
And if you think this drink is just going to go quietly into the good night that is winter—or spring or summer even—then you are very much mistaken. We've created a being too powerful for us to stop and our only hope is that it gets bored and decides to no longer lord over us, which of course it won't. And the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew won't be satisfied with simply being a year-round offering on the menus of Starbucks and every knock-off bending the knee to our new PSL overlord. Oh no, it hungers for more. The Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew won't stop until it's the only drink on any menu. And it's already started. Starbucks currently won't sell their nitro cold brew in venti sizes. You think that's because they don't want to sell you all that coffee or is it because the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew has successfully executed a hostile takeover of the company and is already pushing out beverages most akin to itself?
I mean, what did we think was going to happen? You give two Frankenstein’s Monsters free rein and not expect them to replace each other’s arms with chainsaws. And now they are going to mow us all down, indiscriminately rending scarf from Ugg boot.
So say goodbye to your fresh crop Ethiopian coffees, to your properly-made cappuccinos on a brisk spring morning. Say goodbye to any coffee drink geo-located to a certain time and place. There are no seasons anymore, only one. It’s pumpkin spice cold brew season and it is forever.
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
Her flashing eyes, green floating hair!
Circle of whip round it thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on cold brew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of pumpkin spice.