In Boulder, foliage is changing along with people’s outfits and appetites. Fall alters eating habits and restaurant menus along with the colors and temperatures of the city. Hearty foods made from autumnal produce like butternut squash and sweet potatoes, along with sweet treats like pumpkin pie and hot apple cider, are the order of the season.


Jeff Lawson Colorado

Courtesy of Jeff Lawson


Coffee tastes also shift with the seasons. Many coffee drinkers begin to crave toasty or velvety seasonal-flavored beverages as Fall progresses in to Winter. Autumn is when the pumpkin spice latte is king, or at least that’s how many major coffee shops market it. Starbucks loves to advertise the pumpkin spice latte as their signature Fall drink and many Starbucks-fans actually do anticipate its presence on their menu every year. Regardless of your opinion of its reign, most of us can agree that the pumpkin spice latte is a bit of a decadent treat and not an everyday coffee beverage. If you’re looking for a more healthy, simple, or dairy-free caffeinated treat to cozy up with, as the weather gets chillier, try a few of these local specialties:


Boxcar Coffee’s Costa Rica La Hoya:

Many coffee retailers offer a rotation of beans, depending on seasonal or trade availability. Currently, Boxcar Coffee offers a lovely Costa Rican bean—the La Hoya. This Caturra variety, semi-washed bean comes from a family owned farm and brews a sweet flavor and plump texture. It’s a well-balanced but still rich bean variety that can transition you into bolder and stronger flavored coffee, as the weather gets colder.


OZO Coffee’s Mandheling Organic Sumatra:

Coffees with natural bold flavors give an extra boost to help you wake up during chilly mornings or add to the briskness of a Fall afternoon. Ozo’s organic Sumatra comes from a farming co-op in Indonesia, predominately made up of women. Ozo’s Sumatra is a staple for all lovers of strong-tasting coffee or Indonesian single origins. Its earthy and smoky aspects give it a comforting autumnal aroma.


Novo Coffee & Ritual Chocolate’s Anyetsu Bar:

For those looking for a caffeinated and warming dessert this season, Novo Coffee and Ritual Chocolate have got you covered. The two Denver-based companies collaborated to create the Anyetsu chocolate bar. It’s pure chocolate made up of 65% single estate cacao from Balao, Ecuador and Novo’s Anyetsu coffee from Wellega, Ethiopia. While it’s not exclusive to Fall, this light but full-bodied chocolate bar is a notable alternative to sweet seasonal coffee drinks. It’s also a great vegan dessert option for coffee lovers wanting to avoid dairy.


There are so many coffee treats that can make this season more cozy. Whatever your taste, remember that your local coffeehouses have delicious offerings beyond pumpkin flavored syrup.