Happy Autumnal Equinox! Today is the first day of the fall season, which, these days, is not signaled by the changing leaves or the cooler temperatures, but the pumpkin spice latte’s return to cafe menus nationwide.
Once you see cafés tease this fall staple’s return, you know it’s time to break out the plaid, sweaters, boots, and other cold weather accessories. Coffee is a cold-weather accessory, right? We like to think so, as many people don a warm beverage this time of year. To celebrate the changing of the season, we’re sharing our top five favorite fall coffee recipes to get you pumped for autumn.
How to Froth Milk
Before we dive in, let’s talk about frothed milk. Almost all the recipes shared in our list today include some sort of frothed milk or cream, which is a popular coffee topper no matter the season. Frothed milk is simply milk that has been aerated to create a light and foamy texture, like the milk in a cappuccino. Luckily, making it at home is easy. You can use a jar or whisk to vigorously shake or stir your milk to create the texture you’re looking for. A French Press is also a handy tool to use - simply heat your milk, add it to your press, and move the plunger up and down until the milk doubles in volume. Or you can purchase a dedicated milk frother, some of which are handheld.
Now that we have that covered, let’s get started. Bring on the fall goodness!
#1 Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew
Okay, we can hear your eyes rolling, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to not include at least one pumpkin recipe on this list. If you’re a fan of this Starbucks drink, you’ll love this recipe. It’s easy, delicious, and cheaper than the drive-thru. This drink is made with homemade cold brew coffee, which is made by mixing coarsely ground coffee beans with cold water and steeping for up to 12 hours. Be careful with how long you steep your brew, though – if you steep for too long, you’ll get over-extracted coffee, which can taste bitter.
For this recipe, we’re turning to Midwest Nice, a blog with a great recipe for the pumpkin cream that tops the cold brew. Check it out here. The nice thing about this recipe is it makes a big batch of pumpkin cream that will last in the fridge for up to one week, so you can easily make this drink each morning. For the cold brew, try using Good Sumatran, a crisp and clean dark roast with low acidity and notes of chocolate and floral spice.
#2 Honey Ginger Cinnamon Latte
Next on our list is a latte made with ginger and cinnamon, a spice combo that brings a subtle spiciness to this beverage by Yay! For Food – grab the recipe here. Most fall drink recipes use some sort of spice mix that perfectly captures that cozy fall feeling, and this recipe is a great example. This fall coffee drink is made with espresso (or a strong, dark roasted coffee, like Good Sumatran or Strike Up The Band), honey, and milk that is infused with fresh ginger and cinnamon sticks. Optionally top with frothed milk and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
#3 Dirty Chai Latte
Speaking of spices, chai tea, or masala chai, is the epitome of spice. You can buy premade chai blends or chai concentrates, but this recipe by A Couple Cooks has a simple homemade chai spice blend made with ingredients that are already likely in your spice cabinet – grab the recipe here. This spice blend includes cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and fennel seeds (which are optional), and is then simmered with water and black tea to create a spiced tea that can be made into a big batch to have throughout the week. So, where does the coffee come in, you ask? The “dirty chai” (sometimes referred to as a chai charger or a java chai) was accidentally invented in England in the 1990s when a barista added a shot of espresso to a chai latte, and it grew in popularity since. So, once your spiced tea is ready, you can add a shot of espresso – our Will Power Espresso is a great choice – simple syrup, and top with frothed milk.
#4 Simple Maple Latte
For those looking for a simple fall coffee recipe that still has those cozy fall flavors, this one is for you. This recipe by Fox and Briar uses real maple syrup and a spice blend of cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Mix the syrup and spices in your coffee cup, brew your favorite roast, and pour over the top. Top with frothed milk and optionally sprinkle with additional spices – simple at its finest.
#5 Maple Whiskey Coffee
This list wouldn’t be complete without a fun boozy fall coffee recipe. Whiskey is the perfect choice for cozy fall beverages – think hot toddies or traditional eggnog. This recipe by The Bourbon Review uses maple cream, made with heavy whipping cream, maple syrup, vanilla, and brown sugar, and is mixed with whiskey and freshly brewed coffee. Try it with Strike Up The Band, which will add notes of bittersweet chocolate and roasted nut to this spiked fall coffee drink. Top with more of the maple cream – of course – and a drizzle of maple syrup.
That’s a wrap on our top five fall coffee drinks – which of these would you try? And, more importantly, are you a pumpkin spice latte fan? Drop us a comment to let us know!