How The Inventor Of The Pumpkin Spice Latte Really Feels About Its 'Basic' Label

There's no denying that pumpkin spice lattes started a polarizing trend in the food world, with chefs saying they hate it, companies releasing products like pumpkin spice Spam, and every other item in cafes seemingly containing the blend of pumpkin spices that give those dishes their signature flavor each fall. But how does the inventor of the pumpkin spice latte feel about the drink's "basic" label? Is he proud, or does he feel like his creation totally got away from him? 

In 2003, when the pumpkin spice latte was invented, its creator had no idea that it would become a worldwide phenomenon (via Business Insider).

Who invented the pumpkin spice latte?

Peter Dukes was working on a team brainstorming new seasonal drinks for Starbucks. The pumpkin pie coffee was dreamed up, and it tested well — so well that it was added to Starbucks' seasonal menus around the country and became the chain's most popular seasonal drink of all time (via CNBC).

Though dealing with the drink's fame took awhile to process, these days Dukes says he's comfortable with his place in history as one of the inventors of the iconic autumn drink. "It was a fun experience, I worked with a great team on it and you know, you never know when you take risks, you never know what's going to happen with it," he said. 

And as for the "basic" reputation of the drink? He doesn't really care whether or not people think it's a legit crafted coffee drink or something for those who don't truly appreciate what java has to offer. 

"People seem to have fun with the PSL," he said, "and, if that's basic so be it." 

Dukes still works at Starbucks, in the espresso innovation department, and who knows — with two decades in the coffee business, maybe he has another pumpkin spice latte-like hit up his sleeve.