I know in a previous post, I said that I prefer Vietnamese iced coffees over pumpkin spice lattes. After a busy weekend, I had absent mindedly forgotten to pre-cold brew some coffee. I found myself sleepily scratching my head pondering what kind of me-time caffeine kick I could make myself instead. I don’t generally like to give into hype, but for some reason…I wanted a pumpkin spice latte.
The clouds have continued to hang low over my home town for the past few days, and I was craving a warm drink. I had no interest in getting dressed just to drink coffee. I wanted to drink coffee, while wearing my robe and slippers. I wanted coffee that only tasted like I had paid $7 for it, with real pumpkin.
I don’t really like to call it a recipe, or a latte, because it is actually pretty customizable to your own tastes, but this is how I manage to satisfy my coffee house cravings at home without the fancy espresso machine.
Sweetener of choice, to taste-I used one packet of Sugar In The Raw, but I occasionally use a packet of Stevia, a teaspoon of light brown sugar, or a teaspoon maple syrup
3/4 cup any milk of your choice-I used plain almond milk
2 tablespoons ground espresso or strongly flavored ground coffee
1/4 cup hot water
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tiny pinch of fine salt-don’t leave this out! It does not make the coffee salty-it only intensifies the other flavors, and makes any coffee taste exquisite
Note: I do not add cloves to my pumpkin spice coffee, because I find it the flavor little too strong-but if you like it, go ahead and add a pinch. You can also use about a half teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, but I prefer to make my own because I often use these other spices individually in other recipes
2 tablespoons Libby’s pure pumpkin puree-please do not use pumpkin pie mix in a can because it is NOT the same thing
Optional-Whipped cream or whipped topping, to taste
-Add the sugar to the mug
-Microwave or heat the milk until it is hot. I like doing this uncovered in a jar in the microwave, approximately two minutes. I take the milk out after one minute, and shake it, to make sure the heat is evenly distributed.
-Add the ground espresso or coffee to your coffee filter, along with the pumpkin pie spices and pour the hot water over it.
-Once the coffee strength is to your liking, add the pumpkin puree. Mix to combine.
-Add the heated milk, and combine.
-Add the whipped cream or whipped topping, one tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition until frothy.
Step By Step:
Heat the milk until it is hot, one minute at a time, shaking the jar vigorously after each minute. If you shake the jar hard enough, your milk will froth. This morning was not that kind of morning for me. To be honest, I couldn’t be bothered with any extra physical activity. If you like frothy milk, read on.
Pour the hot water over the coffee and pumpkin pie spices. This can also be done in a standard drip coffee machine, but I prefer to do this with a pour-over, because I think the cone shape helps to hold the water in with the grounds and spices, for a more intense flavor
Open up a fresh can of pumpkin puree, and measure out two tablespoons…or if you’re like me, and have already planned to make a LOT of pumpkin recipes in the future, defrost a pumpkin puree cube.
Pumpkin puree cubes can be made by adding a can of pumpkin puree to an ice cube tray, and freezing it until solid. Store in a ziplock bag.
Regardless, you should make pumpkin puree cubes, because you shouldn’t waste the rest of that deliciousness hanging out in that can of pumpkin!
To defrost, just reheat the cube in a small bowl or cup in the microwave until it’s softened, approximately 1.5 to 2 minutes. This can also be added to the jar of milk in the initial milk heating phase, but to be honest, I had forgotten.
Now it’s softened!
Add the puree to the hot coffee
Stir to combine
Add the hot milk, and stir
I know, you’re thinking, DID I DO SOMETHING WRONG? IT LOOKS CURDLED!
No, you didn’t do anything wrong. This is what happens to coffee when you add real pumpkin puree to it. I know it doesn’t look like anything special yet. This is why I add this next step:
Add one tablespoon of whipped cream or whipped topping, and stir. See? Now it’s pretty.
Add another tablespoon of whipped cream-notice that the whole thing is now foamy. This is why I used a bigger mug than usual-it will foam quite a bit!
I love cafés and coffee houses, but sometimes staying in and taking a moment to spend time alone is what feels right.