Cozy Fall Drinks to Order That Aren’t Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Warm up to tea lattes, cinnamon drinks, and chai this fall.

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Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

Fall is upon us, which means changing leaves, chilly weather, and endless amounts of pumpkin foods and drinks: pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, and of course, the iconic and inescapable pumpkin spice latte. Look, I enjoy a pumpkin spice latte every now and then (despite the fact that they, for the most part, don’t contain any actual pumpkin).

But if you’re feeling fatigued by this often too-sweet drink, or your allergies bar you from enjoying foods and beverages from the cucurbits family, there are alternatives that are just as cozy for the season. Even Starbucks is providing options with a new Apple Crisp Macchiato. Here are all the non-pumpkin drinks you should be picking up this autumn, according to baristas, coffee roasters, and experts:

Bowl of Soul

Lyndia McGauhey, Head of Training and Development at Verve Coffee Roasters
Santa Cruz, California

“My fall season go-to drink is The Verve Golden Bowl of Soul. For me, the season brings warming spices to my mind and palate. The Golden Bowl of Soul is a blend of spices including turmeric and ginger root, paired with honey and steamed soy to elevate both spice and sweetness. Then, it's topped with cracked peppercorn to activate the turmeric—which you can always substitute, or add chocolate sprinkles for extra sweetness.” 

Dirty Chai

Lan Ho, co-owner of Fat Miilk
Chicago, Illinois

“In the fall, I like a dirty chai latte to warm-up. Year-round, I order the traditional Vietnamese coffee drink, Cà Phê Sữa Dá. Doesn’t matter if it’s cold, the drink goes with every season.”

Leaves of Red Latte

Rhiannon Cook, Head of Growth at Mistobox 
San Francisco, CA

"The Leaves of Red Latte [from Red Rooster Coffee] is [my] new favorite go-to fall beverage. It's made with cane sugar, sweet potato, vermont maple syrup, apple cider, cardamom, and sage. It gives you the same autumnal feeling as PSL but the sweetness is better balanced and the vibrancy of the fall spices is enhanced. This is what PSL was meant to be."

Golden Date Latte

Lenora Yerkes, Sales and Account Manager at Counter Culture Coffee
Durham, North Carolina

“I love the fall, but don't always love the heavy, sweet coffee drinks that seem to dominate cafe menus. I want something different, but still kind of light, if I'm going to have a latte at all. The Golden Date latte at Yellow, a Levantine-inspired cafe here in the Navy Yard neighborhood of Washington DC, is exactly that. Ayat, their coffee director, combines a date syrup with steamed oat milk and a double shot of Big Trouble espresso for a surprising drink that has both earthy, dark sweetness and classic coffee flavors like toasted cereal and chocolate. The oat milk makes this drink feel lighter, too, and I prefer it smaller—eight ounces is perfect.”

Matcha Latte

Michael Ripps, co-owner Jittery Joe’s Coffee
Athens, Georgia

“Fall has arrived, weather has turned and we’re in the mood for afternoon matcha! After coffee all through the am, Jittery Joe’s Matcha Latte is a favorite around here. We steam ground clove and orange peel in milk and express the peel over the top of the finished latte, along with a drizzle of honey. It’s amazing. Our Kokoro Matcha is imported directly from friends in the Aichi Prefecture in Japan. The warm combination of ingredients [is] a wonderful and healthy boost on a cold day.” 

Cinnamon Creamed Honey Latte

Melanie Porter, Owner of Lavender and Honey
Pasadena, California

“The most popular item on our fall menu is the Cinnamon Creamed Honey Latte. It has no artificial sweeteners, and to our knowledge, is the first latte of its kind. We've partnered with a fourth-generation beekeeper out of Sacramento called Backroad Beekeeping to use their creamed honey as an ingredient on this year's menu. The creamed honey is a naturally solidified honey that is both spreadable and dissolvable. The cinnamon creamed honey mixes perfectly with our espresso and cinnamon milk, dairy or non-dairy, and [works] hot or iced.”

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Kat Thompson is a senior staff writer of food & drink at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @katthompsonn