Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte 2013

On September 3rd I ran out to get a Pumpkin Spice Latte with visions of Fall in my heart. I was disappointed. Now, I wouldn't call myself a Pumpkin spice latte (or Starbucks) expert, but this latte didn't seem quite right. Every fall I try to have at least one or two pumpkin spice lattes. I would have more, but I can't see (or afford) to spend $3.50 on a coffee on a regular basis. but today, as the first cool-ish day I decided to treat myself.
The light, smooth, spicy flavor I remember was not present. The flavor in general wasn't good at all. The latte tastes strongly of burnt sugar and a spice reminiscent of chai, in a bad way. The color is also a quite alarming shade of orange. I remember them being more latte colored in the past, or at least not so orange. I will not by again, most likely. I cannot even decide whether to finish the one I have.
so orange!!

My only hope is that this is barista error. Firstly, I asked for a tall, I was given (and charged for) a grande. I had to tell her repeatedly that I wanted skim milk and no whipped cream. (Also I doubt this effected the outcome as I always order skim milk and no whip). She also asked if I wanted espresso in it. Yes! I do! Apparently people drink them without.
So all in all, A very disappointing experience. Did Starbucks "improve" aka change their recipe this year? Was my barista just horrible? At least my wallet will be a bit better this year (though I can't get back my $3.50).
Did anyone else have a different experience with them this year?


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