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Fans can get Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes early with secret code

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Published:   |   Updated: August 21, 2014 at 01:02 PM

The temperature in Tampa might be inching up toward 100 degrees, but autumn is right around the corner in many places, so Starbucks is moving up the launch date of the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

The only catch is that true fans need to play along with a Starbucks game to discover the secret code word to get the drink early.

To clarify for anyone here suffering in the Florida heat, this is a hot drink, not an iced one.

The iconic holiday drink is one of the most popular in the Starbucks lineup during the holiday season, and was seen last year as a kind of barometer to gauge the shortage of some holiday spices.

To drum up buzz on the drink, Starbucks set up a Twitter identity, @TheRealPSL (stands for “Pumpkin Spice Latte), with a series of quiz questions revealed once a day, starting today, and leading up to Aug. 25. Thursday’s clue: “Challenge 1: Brrr! I’m freezing! Bust out the ol’ Contra skillz at http://therealpsl.tumblr.com & reply if you spot something cozy. #spotthespice.”

Only those lucky enough to decode all the clues get the code word.

“Fall officially arrives in our stores on Sept.2, bringing the return of Pumpkin Spice Latte,” the company said in an email response to questions. “However, as in year’s past, our biggest PSL fans have an opportunity to get PSL early.” Official launch date to the public (without a code word): Sept. 2.

Calls to various Starbucks locations in Tampa confirmed that they expect the secret Aug. 26 launch, but that they haven’t been told the code word — yet.

rmullins@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7919

Twitter: @DailyDeadline

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