It’s that time of year again: the leaves are changing colors, pumpkin flavoring is showing it up in everything, and it’s the perfect temperature for hot coffee drinks. Starting in September and October, a slew of flavored drinks are going to cross your path, but not all are created equal.
Sure, there are some classics you’ll want to sip on, but there are some you might not expect and others you can make at home without spending any extra money for the coffee shop “experience.”
It’s impossible to start a fall coffee list without including the extremely classic pumpkin spice latte. Yes, it’s been done a m i l l i o n times, but it’s popular for a reason.
Here’s a tip, though: you can make it at home pretty easily and save yourself a trip and a buck or two or ten. Here’s a standard recipe for your own pumpkin spice latte:
- 1 cup Milk
- 1-2 tbsp Sugar (your preference)
- 1 tbsp Pumpkin Puree
- 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¼ cup Espresso or Strong Coffee
- Whisk all ingredients except coffee in a saucepan over low heat.
- Add coffee, whisk until foamy.
- Top with whipped cream if desired.
Note: You can microwave the ingredients for 2 minutes, whisk, and then pour over the coffee, as well.
Just because it’s the classic fall coffee doesn’t mean you should have to pay a ridiculous price for it. Enjoy!
Easy Hot Chocolate Mocha
Speaking of drinks you can make at home, this easy mix is a no-brainer, and depending on what types of coffees and chocolates you go with, you can come up with some extremely creative combos.
Grab a pack of the best instant hot chocolate mix you can find, then pour a freshly brewed cup of coffee over it. Stir, add a bit of milk and whipped cream if you like, and enjoy. Get extra fancy with a drizzle of chocolate if you want and impress your friends—or, you know, keep it for yourself.
Salted Caramel Coffee
This is one you’ll see popping up in a lot of coffee shops in the next few months, and there’s a reason—the salty/sweet coffee mixture is heavenly. This one is probably best when made by your local barista, but there are a few options if you want to try it at home.
When you’re looking in the coffee or cream section of your favorite grocery store, look for flavored coffee syrups. Salted caramel is likely to be one of them. While you can buy coffee flavored mixes, the flavors are often watered down. With the syrup, you can control how much or how little flavor you get.
If you’re adventurous, you can make your own salted caramel, but if you’ve never made caramel, be prepared for a bit of effort!
Maple Syrup Coffee
Take any coffee you like and make it instantly fall by exchanging your normal sweetener for maple syrup. The result is surprisingly successful. It’s not overly strong; you’re not likely to drink it and think of pancakes, for instance, but it provides a different flavor you can’t help but enjoy.
If you end up liking the maple syrup coffee, spring for the good syrup—driving to Canada is not out of the question.
Ahhhh, okay, so peppermint may be a little more reminiscent of the next season, but there’s nothing wrong with starting this trend a little early, especially if you’re already starting to get tired of seeing pumpkins everywhere.
Like the salted caramel, your best bet is to buy this one or to look for the flavored coffee syrup. Still, if you’re a peppermint fan, it’s well worth it. Don’t forget to grate a little peppermint on top if you’re serving these at a party. Who can resist?
Explore, experiment, enjoy—it’s the right time for sweaters, boots, and really good coffee drinks.