Fall has officially arrived! The nights are getting cooler and the once-green leaves have begun to fall, leaving their remnants like dried-up memories of summer on the sidewalk. Yes, we’ll have to say sayonara to cold brew and iced lattes, but don’t sweat (get it?) — we get to say “hello again!” to much-missed hot drinks, cozy scarves, and those amazing wooly socks we haven’t worn in months. We can’t really complain, right?
Coffee rocks in all forms. With a new season always comes new coffee drinks. Of course, the pumpkin spice latte is back on Starbucks’ menu as well as at many local coffee shops in the city. But if you’re interested in switching up your fall drink roster, here’s a list of non-pumpkin, fall-inspired drinks we love to indulge in during this season. And if you’re a die-hard pumpkin fan, scroll down for instructions on how to make your own at home and which CUPS café to go to for a great pumpkin latte.
1. Chai Latte
For a lot of coffee-drinkers, masala chai and chai lattes become the go-to cold weather drink. While we do love them, chai lattes in coffee shops are often made using a powder mix or something similar — so sometimes it’s fun to make them at home. That said, you could absolutely get great masala chai at most Indian restaurants and be sure to check out Espresso77 in Jackson Heights and Park Slope. They make a pretty phenomenal chai latte.
2. Maple Latte
Maple lattes seem to be a more recent trend, but Gorilla Coffee in Park Slope has been serving maple-laced lattes for years – how Vermont of them! If you want to try making them at home it’s super easy. Try mixing a tablespoon of maple syrup into the espresso then top it with steamed milk. The result, a subtly sweet and mapley latte perfect for that fall fix.
3. Nutella Hot Chocolate
Let’s be honest — Nutella is amazing with most (if not all) things. Combine Nutella with hot chocolate and you’ve got yourself a masterpiece. Don’t have time to make them at home? Don’t worry! Pushcart Coffee has a terrific Nutella hot chocolate. Swing by their new location in the East Village and have a taste! Speaking of hot chocolate, CUPS member Roni-Sue makes one of the best hot chocolates in town and it even includes bacon! Woah!
4. Brûléed Cappuccino
Now if you’re not a fan of too much sugar in your coffee, a simple, yet indulgent (and fancy!!!) drink is the brûléed cappuccino. And yes, this isn’t exactly a fall-inspired drink, but we do feel like caramel flavors and a little indulgence is in keeping with this post’s theme. Try it at Kopi Kopi or make it at home if you happen to have a kitchen torch laying around. All you need to do is make a regular cappuccino, sprinkle the top with brown sugar and use the torch to create a caramelized topping. Just be careful not to set anything on fire… and even if you accidentally do, maybe it’s worth it for to be saying: “Wow you fancy, huh?”
5. Pumpkin Pie Latte
Finally, if you want to fill that pumpkin-and-coffee craving, 12 Corners makes one of the best pumpkin pie lattes in the city. And if you love a pumpkin latte, but dislike the fact that most coffee shop versions do not even have actual pumpkin in it, then this recipe for a DIY pumpkin spice latte at thekitchn.com is a great one to try. It’s guaranteed to give you a delicious cup and your kitchen is gonna smell like grandma’s house on Thanksgiving. A little nostalgia never hurts. ‘Tis the season!
Cheers, and make sure you download CUPS on iOS or Android — we promise you’ll fall in love, pun intended.