20070907pumpknz.jpgThe first sightings of Starbucks' beloved Pumpkin Spice latte have been reported! Though it's barely September, the season of paying $4 for a pumpkin-spiked caffeine buzz is back. And we can't forget the drink's sidekick, a pumpkin cream cheese muffin, also available nationwide.

Just as Labor Day signals summer's farewell to some, the much-anticipated pumpkin latte means fall foliage and Halloween candy for many of us. Seeing pumpkin ale on shelves is equally heartwarming. Over at Whole Foods, they've got Sea Dog-brand and World Market has Buffalo Bill's version of the seasonal ale. Both are amber-colored, supposedly with undertones of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Saranac is another popular brand floating around out there.

Doesn't all this pumpkin talk make you want to read Robert Frost's "After Apple-Picking" and rake leaves? Even if canned pumpkin is available year-round, and technically, we could probably make these drinks anytime, it's only right to slurp them down in mass quantities right now.

Photo taken at Starbucks in Washington, DC at the corner of 19th and M Streets, NW.

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