Try This One-Step Trick To Get PSL Flavor Without The Added Sugar
As much as autumn may be associated with pumpkins and apples, it's also associated with that flavor blend we call "pumpkin spice." And its most iconic role is probably in latte form, usually accompanied by plenty of sugar (and, let's be honest, a not entirely low price point).
If you're someone who loves the way those flavors accompany the season, though, good news: There's a super-easy way to infuse your morning coffee with that warming flavor at home, without the syrups or creamers—just real spices.
How to infuse pumpkin spice flavors into your morning coffee.
All you have to do to get those flavors thoroughly blended into your coffee is add them to your coffee grounds before brewing—as you (or a machine) send hot water through the grounds, it'll also extract the flavor from the spices so the final cup has the comforting scent and warming flavor inside.
While this tip is meant to help you get some good fall flavor into your cup, it's worth noting it works with any spice or spices—any of the flavors in a pumpkin spice blend on their own would be a great enhancement to your cup, too. While it works a treat with pour-over methods, a French press, and in a classic coffee pot, I might not be as inclined to try this with an espresso machine.
What actually goes into a pumpkin spice blend? There's some variation, but the core flavors seem to be cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove—with additions like cardamom, clove, and allspice sometimes appearing. There are also shops that sell it all blended and ready to go (looking at you, TJ's) which makes the process of adding it to your coffee even easier. But if you have all the spices on hand, there's no need to go buy more (we have directions for a homemade blend included at the bottom of this frappé recipe).
You might be wondering how much you need to add; that's fair. When I use this trick at home, I usually add just a large pinch of spices to my grounds for one cup of coffee. If you don't grind the beans fresh, though, you could mix a larger portion into your grounds in advance for spicy brews every morning. There's no exact amount prescribed—just like when you brew a cup of coffee, the ratio of water to coffee to spice is totally up to your taste preferences.
The bottom line.
Let's be honest: The best part of pumpkin spice lattes isn't the sugar; it's the spice. So when you want all the flavor without the additives, you can use this one-step trick at home for a spicy cup that gives you all the coziness of autumn.
Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.