Are you overwhelmed by all the choices? Our round-up of the best fall coffee drinks will help you feel warm and cozy during the colder months. Let’s dive in.
If you’re like me, there’s a guilty pleasure in drinking flavored fall coffee drinks as soon as that first leaf hits the ground (or Starbucks puts it on the menu, whichever comes first). What is it about these coffee drinks that makes them so delectable? Is it their ability to make me feel warm and fuzzy despite having to face the treachery of the wind, or is it the sweet yet spicy taste?
There’s a reason why fall coffee drinks are so popular during the holidays and why some people flock and create massive lines to get their fill. Unfortunately, because many of these drinks are only available during the fall season, it can be tough to find them outside of the holidays. Fortunately, this list of best fall coffee drinks can teach you how to make your favorite beverages, from your go-to pumpkin spice latte to cold brew fall drinks and everything in between!
1. Cold Brew With Pumpkin Cream
Who doesn’t love a cold brew coffee in the morning? It’s simple to make, and you can use a wide range of coffee beans to make your cold brew as strong as you like! Nothing says fall quite like pumpkin flavor, which makes this pumpkin cream cold brew a hit during the season.
Before you get started, it’s important to understand a little bit more about how cold brews are made and why you should make your own cold brew at home instead of standing in line to get your morning fix. Cold brew coffee, as the name suggests, is made by placing your coffee beans in water and leaving it in the fridge overnight. The result is an incredibly smooth-tasting coffee that isn’t as acidic as other coffees.
The most important thing you’ll need to remember about making a cold brew is that you’ll need to grind your coffee quite coarse and purchase a cold brew filter bag, as well as a large Mason jar. To get started, visit your local coffee shop and buy your favorite beans, or look for beans at the grocery store, but for added fall flavor, you can purchase beans that have underlying tones of hazelnut, vanilla, pecan, cinnamon, or other yummy fall flavors. Afterward, place your ground coffee in a filtered cold brew bag and follow the instructions on the packaging.
Most cold brew bags will recommend using a ratio of one cup of water to one ounce of ground coffee. After you’ve placed your coffee in the bag and used filtered water to cover it, leave it in the fridge for 16 to 24 hours for the best results. All you have to do now is create your fall cold creamer; combine half-and-half with pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and maple syrup together.
Froth the mixture with a whisk until combined. Then, simply place your half-and-half concoction into your iced coffee, and voila!
2. Dirty Chai Latte
Just like pumpkin, there’s really no other drink that is quite as distinguishable as the dirty chai latte. More than just a latte, this espresso-based drink is one of the best options to get you perked up and feeling warm during the middle of the cold fall morning. For many people, dirty chai might seem intimidating to make at home, but it’s fairly easy to gather your favorite spices, brew a strong tea, and then create your dirty chai latte.
To get started, you’ll need an espresso machine at home for that barista-quality brew. There are also lots of espresso machines that can make single or double shots at the push of a button. You might find our Casabrews 3700Gense 20-Bar Espresso Coffee Machine With Powerful Steam Wand review helpful.
Once you’ve set up your espresso machine, you can then make hundreds of your favorite fall coffee recipes at home, saving you time and money. To get started on your chai tea latte, combine a shot of espresso, black tea, and a variety of ground spices.
While you can use any strong black tea for this recipe, chai lattes are generally made with a robust and deep-flavored black tea from India, known as Assam, although you can also use Darjeeling tea if you prefer. If you can’t find these at your local grocery store, you can always order them online or simply use a stronger black tea.
As for spices, blend up ground ginger, cardamom pods, ground cinnamon or a cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, and peppercorns. While it sounds strange to combine spices with your drink, it’s what gives the chai latte that bold and warm flavor coffee lovers crave in the fall.
To get started with this recipe, steep your tea in boiling water for about five minutes or until the packaging says so. Take your spices and put them in a reusable tea bag. Then, steep them in the prepared black tea for about another five minutes.
Combine your shot of espresso, chai tea mix, a third of a cup of milk, and a dash of honey to sweeten. You can also leave out the espresso for a classic chai latte with less caffeine. In addition, there are many chai tea drink packages you can mix into milk instead of brewing your own spices.
3. Brown Sugar Latte With Espresso
Starbucks’ new shaken brown sugar lattes are all the rage among coffee lovers and for a good reason. Nothing brings people to comfort more than a combined concoction of espresso with warm brown sugar and whipped cream to top it off. This is a drink anyone can make at home, and that’s ready within seconds!
To get started, you’ll need about two to three shots of espresso (depending on how strong you want your latte). Starbucks uses the word “shaken” to describe the brown sugar latte, which is more or less what you’ll do here.
To get started, you’ll want to make your own brown sugar syrup to sweeten your beverage. To do so, turn your stove on to low or medium heat, and mix equal parts water and brown sugar. Stir constantly until both are melted, giving you a beautiful, golden homemade syrup.
Once you have your syrup, combine it with your three shots of espresso. Then start shaking the drink until the syrup is distributed evenly throughout your coffee. Some people like to add other spices to make their brown sugar latte similar to chai, such as cinnamon and cardamon; I personally only like a dash of cinnamon, but you be the judge!
Finally, add your choice of milk to finish off your drink. Oat milk is especially good in this drink since it’s still creamy yet lighter than traditional milk. You can also add half-and-half or just about any other dairy or dairy alternative you have in mind.
This is the perfect convenient drink where you can make your maple syrup ahead of time, store it in the fridge, and simply mix all of these ingredients before you head off to work. Make your drink as sweet or bitter as you want by changing the level of brown sugar syrup.
4. Hazelnut Mocha
At its core, a mocha is simply a latte with a little bit of chocolate syrup added to the mix, but what if you could make your mocha just that much more warm and inviting? Hazelnuts are the perfect addition to your morning cup of coffee, and it’s so easy to combine into this hazelnut mocha latte! You can have it iced or warm in the morning, making it a great morning brew or an afternoon pick-me-up.
To get started, you’ll need to brew your espresso and make it a single or double shot. Keep in mind that there are different espresso beans that can have underlying tones that make this coffee all the richer. For instance, you can find espresso beans that have underlying notes of chocolate, hazelnut, pecan, vanilla, or caramel, which will pair perfectly with this hazelnut mocha.
If you can’t brew a proper shot of espresso, don’t worry; this is one drink where you can simply use strong brewed coffee or anything else you have on hand, making it easy to implement into your daily routine. Once you have your coffee or espresso prepared, put it to the side, and heat half a cup of milk on the stovetop. If you see a skin forming, lower the heat and remove it.
Once your milk is done heating, mix in about two tablespoons of your favorite hazelnut chocolate spread, most people use Nutella, although you can now find dozens of variations online and in stores. If you’re feeling guilty about using this sugary blend, don’t worry; there are also sugar-free hazelnut chocolate spread options out there, making it a good choice for health-conscious coffee lovers!
Next, mix everything up with a whisk until the chocolate spread and milk are evenly combined. Pour your warm milk in with your coffee and give it a quick stir. You can make a refreshing iced version of this drink by pouring it over some ice cubes.
Top it off with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce, and you’ve got a winning drink on your hands. For more added flair, add a couple of chopped hazelnuts into the mix, although this is completely optional.
5. Caramel Apple Cold Brew
Nothing says fall quite like going apple bobbing or having a beautifully baked apple pie after dinner. What better way to celebrate the changing seasons than with a caramel apple cold brew? This iced drink is perfect for the winter blues, and it’s as easy to make as a regular cup of coffee; you can make this drink using iced cold brew, or you can go old-school and stick with your favorite hot coffee.
The key is in the high-quality ingredients used to make this delectable treat. For starters, you’ll want to use your favorite brand of cold brew concentrate (diluted with water), homemade cold brew, or just about any coffee you have on hand. If you’re making your own cold brew, you can use coffee beans that have hints of hazelnut, chocolate, or other similar fall flavors to get a really robust caramel apple cold brew.
Once you have your coffee ready, you’re going to combine several ingredients, including apple syrup, caramel syrup, and vanilla syrup. If you can find these syrups made by Starbucks, it’s even better, but some other trusted brands include Ghirardelli’s caramel or salted caramel syrup and Monin’s vanilla or apple syrup. No matter what brand of syrup you use, make sure it’s high-quality and check out some reviews beforehand.
To start your drink, take a glass or mug and drizzle some caramel syrup on the inside of it. Next, pour in some ice (or leave it out if enjoying this hot), followed by your coffee—mix in one tablespoon of your apple syrup and about a teaspoon or dash of vanilla syrup.
Remember, you don’t want to overpower the flavor of the apple, so use only a little bit of vanilla for added sweetness. Next, pour in your coffee, and that’s it! You can also add your favorite milk, including oat milk or almond milk, followed by a good helping of whipped cream to top it off.
6. Salted Caramel Mocha
At this point, we know just how delicious mocha and caramel can be, but what about salted caramel combined with chocolate? Salted caramel is simply caramel topped with a bit of salt to truly bring out the sweetness. It seems counterintuitive, but trust me; it’s worth putting just a dash of salt on your chocolate or caramel to highlight those beautiful notes, heighten the flavor profile, and make your drink all the more delicious.
Starbucks’ salted caramel mocha is an instant hit during the fall, and you can make it just as easily at home! To get started, you’ll need to gather a couple of ingredients.
First, use toffee nut syrup instead of caramel syrup. Many people might think of toffee bark when they first think of toffee syrup, but toffee is much similar to caramel syrup; however, the difference lies in the type of sugar used to make the syrup. As the name suggests, there are also nutty notes.
Starbucks is known for having perfected the art of toffee syrup, but you can easily make this at home using brown sugar instead of white sugar (as is traditional in regular caramel syrup) and melted butter. All you need to do is combine your brown sugar and melted butter in a pan until you get a thicker, creamier consistency similar to caramel.
While this might take a while, it’s worth it to recreate one of Starbucks’ biggest-selling drinks from the comfort of your own home! Alternatively, you can use a high-quality premade toffee nut syrup for your drink.
After making your toffee nut syrup, you can then store it in the fridge and scoop a spoonful into your favorite coffee drink for the rest of the season! You can also add hazelnut syrup to your toffee nut syrup for added warmth and body.
To make your salted caramel mocha, start off by making your toffee nut syrup as described. You can then add your toffee syrup and mix it with chocolate or mocha syrup, followed by a shot of espresso or strongly brewed coffee, whichever you have on hand.
Once you have all of these ingredients, mix them thoroughly until they’re blended evenly with a nice consistency. Next, add your favorite milk, whether it’s froth, steamed milk, or ice-cold milk, as is. You can then top off your drink using whipped cream and a bit of caramel with toffee bits!
7. Pumpkin Spice Latte
Ah yes, the unforgettably iconic pumpkin spice latte. If none of these coffee flavors on this list make you excited, you’re probably a die-hard PSL fan that can’t think of any other drink to celebrate the changing seasons with. Fortunately, making a pumpkin spice latte recipe at home isn’t terribly difficult, although you will need to purchase various spices and other ingredients to get started.
The great thing about the pumpkin spice latte is that it’s reminiscent of the holidays and is about as traditional as apple cider, meaning it can be a hit when entertaining at home! In addition, you can make this pumpkin spice latte using simple ingredients and can turn it into a Frappuccino.
To get started, gather your ingredients, including espresso and steamed milk. While you can feel free to use other brewed coffee and milk options, you’ll truly only get the creaminess of a pumpkin spice latte when using froth or steamed milk and espresso. If you have an espresso machine on hand, that’s perfect, but if not, combine strongly brewed coffee and froth your milk using a handheld frother instead of a steam wand.
Next, you’ll want to use pumpkin puree, which is commonly used to make pumpkin pie and various other desserts, and usually comes in a can. Opt for high-quality pumpkin puree for this recipe, and store the rest for later.
You will also need pumpkin pie spice, which is widely available during the fall season. If you can’t find it in stores, you can make your own by combining three tablespoons of ground cinnamon, two teaspoons of ground ginger, two teaspoons of ground nutmeg or freshly ground whole nutmeg, one teaspoon of ground allspice, and one teaspoon of ground cloves.
To get started, blend together two tablespoons of pumpkin puree, half a teaspoon of your pumpkin pie spice, one and a half tablespoons of white cane sugar, and one tablespoon of vanilla extract. Add your warm steamed milk (or any milk you prefer) and blend it until it’s smooth, and afterward, add your espresso or coffee base to the mix. Pour it into two cups and top it off with whipped cream to get your day started.
To turn this into a Frappuccino, leave your mix in the blender and add ice. Crush the mixture until your Frappuccino is smooth and delicious. If you like festive drinks, check out our toffee nut explainer.
8. S’Mores Latte
If you grew up camping during the chilly fall and winter nights, you know nothing completes the camping trip better than making s’mores over the campfire. What if you could harness all those warm, fuzzy feelings surrounding the campfire and put them into a coffee drink? S’mores lattes are now incredibly popular and are a delicious treat for anyone in the family.
The great thing about this s’mores latte is that it’s reminiscent of those chilly fall nights, and you can have it hot or cold poured over ice. You can use espresso or a strongly brewed coffee for this recipe.
First, you need toasted marshmallow syrup; you can use Torani, Amaretti, or your favorite syrup brand for this recipe. You’ll also need chocolate syrup, such as mocha sauce or even your favorite homemade option. You’ll also want to use steamed or frothed milk which adds a beautiful consistency and makes this drink even creamier.
Steam your milk using an espresso machine with a steam wand attachment and froth it until you see a layer of foam form at the top. You can also use a handheld frother to add foam to your milk, with 2% milk being the best option to get the right consistency. You’ll want this layer of foam at the end when finishing up your s’mores latte.
To put this drink together, add one tablespoon of your toasted marshmallow syrup, half a tablespoon of chocolate syrup, and your espresso or about a quarter cup of hot coffee to your mug. Mix it together so the chocolate syrup melts and combines easily with the drink.
Then, tip the mug over at about a 45-degree angle while pouring in your steamed milk. You’ll notice the foam layer will sit atop the mug, giving this s’mores recipe a beautiful appearance.
Add a graham cracker crust layer to the rim of your glass by breaking up graham crackers and mixing them with water. Place them on a plate and place your mug upside onto the gram crackers to ensure they coat the rim. You can even add a layer of toasted marshmallows to the top of your drink and use a torch to give them a beautiful crust.
9. Peppermint Mocha
One of the most timeless and classic seasonal drinks out there, peppermint mochas are a hit among both young and older crowds. If you’re having cravings for something sweet and minty, this is one of the best recipes to try any time of year! Starbucks, of course, is known for its peppermint mochas, available only during the holidays, but, as you know by now, all it takes is a few simple ingredients to make this recipe from the comfort of your own home – and at a fraction of the cost.
For your peppermint mocha, you’ll need milk (any type works fine in this case), white sugar, cocoa powder instead of the traditional mocha syrup, your choice of coffee, vanilla extract, and peppermint flavoring! Most people opt for using peppermint syrup, which you can easily buy online throughout the year; alternatively, you can use mint extract or even a peppermint candy cane if you have one lying around.
Heat a three-quarter cup of milk on the stovetop with three tablespoons of sugar and one tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder until completely dissolved. Once bubbles form around the edges and everything is dissolved, take it off the heat and add your espresso and or three-quarters of a cup of brewed coffee, a dash of vanilla extract and half of a peppermint candy cane, a dash of mint extract, or peppermint syrup.
Let your candy cane melt into the drink. Pour it over ice or serve it in a mug with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and peppermint shavings! If you liked this post, you might also be interested in our round-up of the best Starbucks drinks.