I love a Pumpkin Spice Latte on a crisp fall day. And, yes, I was absolutely drinking a Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew in August on the day it came out. But this fall, you’ll find me with my hands wrapped around a warm mug of at-home coffee at all hours of the day (because let’s be real, my Starbucks trips are limited to maybe once or twice a month). And though I love my pumpkin spice coffee and creamer, the fall coffee options go beyond just pumpkin. ‘Tis the season for apple, maple, and chai flavors, too! If you’re ready to add some variety to your fall coffee, read on for a few ideas to give your cup of joe a seasonal twist.
1. Dirty Chai Latte
Chai is a great fall drink option for coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers alike. Originating in India, chai is essentially black tea mixed with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. It’s often brewed with milk and sweetened with sugar or honey, making it both sweet and spicy. If you want that extra kick of caffeine, adding a shot of espresso makes it a “dirty” chai and helps cut the sweetness.
There are a few ways to make a dirty chai at home. You can brew chai tea bags you find at the grocery store in milk and water, or you can add chai concentrate to frothed milk, which is how they make it at Starbucks. Then, mix in your shot of espresso. If you want the real deal, you can also brew your own chai from scratch! It will no doubt make your whole house smell amazing. Plus, you can’t beat the flavor that whole cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods will add to your tea.
2. Maple Coffee
If you ask me, maple is definitely an underrated fall flavor. Yet, you’ll still find a few maple products among the pumpkin spice ones at grocery stores this season. For example, Trader Joe’s Non-Dairy Maple Oat Beverage is perfect for making maple oat milk lattes at home. (Just froth up the milk and add espresso or coffee). At Target, you’ll find Maple Vanilla Whipped Dairy Topping that goes perfectly on top of hot coffee for a subtle maple flavor. Dunkin even has maple-flavored beans and K-cup pods, aptly named “Falling for Maple.” If you already have maple syrup in your pantry, add some to your milk and froth it up with a hand frother for a homemade maple coffee creamer.
3. Caramel Apple Coffee
Until I tried an Apple Crisp Macchiato from Starbucks last year, I wasn’t sure about mixing apples and coffee. But upon my first sip, I was surprised to discover that the flavors were delicious together. To re-create this at home, pick up some apple-flavored coffee beans or K-cups from brands like The Original Donut Shop Coffee or Target’s brand, Good & Gather.
For a more adventurous take, try adding espresso or coffee to some warm apple cider. It may sound odd but bear with me here. Drizzle your mug with caramel, and warm up your cider with cinnamon and a little bit of milk. Then, add a splash of espresso. It’s all of fall’s best flavors in one cup! Top it off with some whipped cream and a cinnamon stick. Now, you’ve got yourself the coziest cup of caramel apple coffee. My go-to cider every fall is Trader Joe’s Spiced Cider. Be sure to shake it before you pour, so the cinnamon doesn’t settle at the bottom.
4. S’mores Latte
While s’mores ultimately remind me of summer campfires, a s’mores latte is the perfect way to extend the treat into colder weather. Graham flavor is warm and toasty, and although it’s not as strong as pumpkin spice, you still get a hint of cinnamon that’s reminiscent of fall. To make one, brew a cup of Starbucks’ Toasted Graham flavored coffee or Caribou’s S’mores flavored coffee. Then top with a dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of chocolate sauce, and crushed graham crackers for an indulgent fall coffee. I can definitely see myself sipping one of these in front of a fire this season!