It’s that time of year again. The weather’s getting colder, the leaves are changing colors, and all the coffee shops are busting out the specialty fall drink menus with pumpkin spice flavored everything. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good PSL, but it can’t hurt to have a little variety in your fall drink rotation. As a barista of over four years, I’ve made and tried my fair share of lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and mochas. So whether you’re not a fan of pumpkin, or you’re just looking to spice things up a bit, here are 5 perfect fall coffee drinks that aren’t pumpkin flavored.
- Mexican Mocha
If you’re a chocolate lover, it’s time to make a Mexican mocha your go-to drink. This twist on a classic mocha is made with espresso, steamed milk, chocolate, cinnamon, and sometimes cayenne, depending on the coffee shop. It’s sweet, warm, rich, and a little spicy; perfect to get you in that autumn spirit. You can get your Mexican mocha hot or iced (I always prefer it hot), and if you’re dairy free, it’s even more delicious with oat milk.
- Caramel and Toffee Nut Latte
This delicious latte takes a crowd favorite, the caramel latte, and elevates it with the slightly salty, nutty taste of toffee nut. If you’re an iced coffee person all year round, this one is delicious cold. If you want it hot, I would recommend topping it with whip cream, caramel sauce, and maybe even a dash of sea salt to really warm you up inside. For dairy free options, I would stick to oat or almond milk to pair with that toffee flavor.
- London Fog
This ones for any of my tea drinkers out there (I know I said 5 fall coffee drinks, but this one is too good to pass up). A London fog is earl gray tea with vanilla syrup topped with steamed half and half. It’s subtly sweet and perfect for any gray day once it starts getting rainy. It traditionally comes hot, but if you really wanted to, you could get it iced. The half and half can also be substituted for milk or a dairy free option. In my opinion, coconut milk pairs best with this flavor combo.
- Honey Cappuccino
This one is light and simple, combining honey with espresso and foamed milk (a cappuccino is similar to a latte but with less milk and more foam). Any cappuccino is always going to come as a hot drink, but if you’re committed to iced coffee, an iced honey latte is a must try. I personally enjoy this one with oat milk over any other milk or dairy free option. Also, if you’re a fan of cinnamon, I recommend adding a bit on top and stirring it gently into the foam.
- Dirty Chai
Last but not least we have a dirty chai which is essentially just a chai with added espresso shots. It’s got all the spice of pumpkin spice but without any of the pumpkin. Delicious hot or iced, a dirty chai is the perfect compliment to any fall day. I haven’t tried any milk or alternative milk that doesn’t pair well with this amazing drink.
Even if you are a dedicated pumpkin spice lover, why not branch out and give these five drinks a try. Not to mention, because they aren’t on any specific fall menu, if you find your new favorite, you can order it all year round. As the days get shorter and midterms get closer, why not face the season with some caffeine in hand whether it be a PSL or something new.