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Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte will chat with you, but mostly about its cat

The famed fall coffee drink has a chat bot on Facebook Messenger, but it should probably lay off the sugar and caffeine.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read
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Shhh...the pumpkin spice latte chat bot thinks this pumpkin is its cat, Ginger. Don't confuse it with the truth.


Eagerly awaiting the release of Starbucks' annual fall flavor, the pumpkin spice latte? Until your local barista gets the go-ahead to start making them (rumor: September 8), you can slake your harvest-season hankering by...chatting with the drink itself?

Yep, this year, Starbucks has launched a chat bot called TheRealPSL on Facebook Messenger, and simply by clicking the link you can start a bizarre conversation with the chatty if over-caffeinated drink.

But you might want to stay away from the chat if you have a cat allergy, because the pumpkin spice latte LOVES its cat. Its "cat" is really a pumpkin with a drawn-on face and purple ears, but to the PSL, it's Ginger and it's the cutest thing ever.

The PSL alternates between sharing photos of Ginger, delivering random pumpkin jokes ("Whatever you are, be a gourd one!"), and offering up pre-selected discussion topics it really doesn't have much to say about. Wait for it to offer up "OPP" as a discussion topic -- unsurprisingly, the drink's not really down with the OPP from the 1990s Naughty By Nature song, and has its own version -- still, a kind of daring joke for the coffee company.

Sadly, the PSL chat flops when it comes to getting any information about the drink itself. It'll tell you its name, Sylvester P. Umpkin, but not how much it costs or when it will go on sale. Until Starbucks confirms an official release date, your best bet is just to ask it about Ginger -- you'll get three full paragraphs of instant reply. Guess crazy cat people aren't always people.

(Via Time)