LET’S TALK ALL THINGS AUTUMN.
If you thought I was corny before -- just wait, this is MY season, which means it’s peak pun time.
Pumpkin spice, chestnut praline, apple cider, gingerbread… I feel like those are the core, epitomized fall flavors. Whoever says maple is a fall flavor can go to hell. Maple is available year-round.
Now that “fall” flavors are established, let’s talk brands: Monin, Torani, DaVinci, Ghirardelli and 1883 are the most commercial brands you’ll find at your neighborhood coffee shop… I would exclude chain-made brands like Starbucks, Peet’s or Coffee Bean since those are only available at said locations, but honestly, there are some fall flavors they just nail...
Pumpkin being the most popular, I have to say the most underrated sauce on the market is DaVinci’s pumpkin. Many shops use a pumpkin syrup which tends to taste completely artificial.
My second pick for pumpkin is actually Coffee Bean! You probably know they use powders instead of syrups and sauces, and it’s true that powders make blending flavor with coffee and milk much easier. Next time you’re at Coffee Bean, try a hot pumpkin latte and you’ll never want Starbucks again.
Alright so this one goes to Starbucks, but it’s a close call between them and DaVinci. Torani and Monin make chestnut/praline syrups, but they’re hard to find at a coffee shop. Starbucks gets a boost thanks to the delicious topping and consistency of quality.
It’s amazingly difficult to find a list of seasonal non-alcoholic apple ciders, probably because the smaller farms and brands that sell them are extremely localized, based on my decade living on the east coast. To that end, I would argue those are some of the best ciders -- not Starbucks, not Martinelli’s. A local pumpkin patch, apple orchard or any farm that acts as a farmer’s market will probably have a delightful apple cider.
In this ex-barista’s opinion though, TRADER JOE’S effortlessly takes the cake as the best spiced apple cider on the planet, sorry farmers. Heat a mug up via steamer, stovetop or microwave and you’ll be transported to central park in fall.
I’ve yet to find a good gingerbread flavoring! I’ve only seen syrups, no sauces (I think it NEEDS to be a sauce), and they have always been more artificial than the streets of 90210. If you know a delicious gingerbread flavoring leave a comment below!
I hope this post leaves you thirsting for fireside evenings, horror movies and pumpkin carving.
Until next time - happy first day of autumn! ☕🍂
Autumn (all year-round) 🍁
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CoffeeMate is your utilitarian guide to LA coffee shops, dedicated to amplifying small businesses.
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