Fall and Winter Coffee Drinks Are Here

Add seasonal flavors like persimmon and sweet potato to your fall offerings.


Cover photo by Jajob Owens for Unsplash

What’s not to love about fall? It’s officially Cozy Season in the Northern Hemisphere as temperatures start to drop, leaves change color, days get shorter, and outfits become layered. As if we needed an extra excuse to stay in during the pandemic, the chill in the air is another reason to curl up on the couch under a pile of blankets. Whether that’s to tackle your reading list, tune into a podcast, or treat yourself to a TV marathon, you’ll probably want a delicious coffee beverage to go along with it. 

Many fall-flavored coffee drinks are inspired by seasonal produce, such as apples, persimmons, sweet potatoes, squash, and of course pumpkins. While fall has immortalized pumpkin spice lattes, we love to see how cafés and baristas get creative with a variety of seasonal offerings.

There are also easy ways to incorporate fall flavors into your brew-at-home methods. Mx. Brit Alexandria, a Portland, Ore.-based writer, barista, and coffee educator, who was inspired by a recipe from Gyst Coffee on Instagram, recommends adding a few slices of poached pear to the coffee bed of your pourover. Add a little honey and cinnamon, and give it a stir before sipping. Kebechet Moxen, roaster for Roadkill Witchcraft, makes a syrup by mashing up local, wild persimmons and adding a dash of cinnamon. Add the rich flavor of persimmon to your latte and enjoy!

And if you’re heading out for a socially distanced coffee experience and live close to any of the following cafés, be sure to try out these seasonal drinks.

Sweet Potato Pie Latte from Black Coffee, Fort Worth, Texas

Mia Moss, owner of Black Coffee, says, “The Sweet Potato Pie Latte pays homage to the pie that resonates with our community. This breve latte is made with a sweet potato paste and a hint of marshmallow.” It can also be made dairy-free.

The Sweet Potato Pie Latte pays tribute to another seasonal produce during fall. Photo by Mia Moss.

Muscovado Sugar Latte from Blue Bottle Coffee

Blue Bottle experimented with many different sugars to find one that best complements their Hayes Valley Espresso blend, served in all locations in the U.S. East and West Coasts, as well as in Japan, Hong Kong, and Korea. Muscovado was the winner. Muscovado sugar is unrefined cane sugar that has natural molasses. “The design challenge was to create a deceptively simple beverage, stripped away of any unnecessary ingredients so that every flavor represented would be in harmony, and all the elements would reinforce each other. … Unlike some indulgent coffee beverages that are difficult to enjoy every day, we wanted the Muscovado Sugar Latte to be an everyday special drink,” says Matt Longwell, Blue Bottle coffee product manager.

The Muscovado Sugar Latte is meant to be an everyday special drink. Photo by Blue Bottle.

Sorghum Cinnamon Latte from Portland Coffee Roasters, Portland, Ore.

Sorghum is grain that originated in Africa along with coffee. The two are often grown together, says Scott Klepper, learning and development program manager at Portland Coffee Roasters. “Due to their sturdiness and height, lots of sorghum is grown at Acacia Hills, a farm in Tanzania we have partnered with for over 13 years. It’s planted between rows of young coffee plants to offer shade and to help protect the coffee from high winds.”

Sorghum has a sweet molasses flavor with a hint of fruit. Added to a latte with cinnamon syrup, the result is a “cinnamon molasses cookie flavor” that complements the espresso. 

Sorghum tastes like molasses, and the grain is grown alongside coffee plants for shade. Photo courtesy of Portland Coffee Roasters.

White Chocolate Peppermint Latte from Brooklyn Perk, Brooklyn, N.Y.

As a little preview of winter flavors, check out the decadent White Chocolate Peppermint Latte from Brooklyn Perk, in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. This Black-owned café also features lattes made with charcoal, including the Onyx Latte, as well as turmeric flavors.

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Mark Van Streefkerk
is Barista Magazine’s social media content developer and a frequent contributor. He is also a freelance writer, social media manager, and novelist based out of Seattle. If Mark isn’t writing, he’s probably biking to his favorite vegan restaurant. Find out more on his website.