PSA: The Best Ingredient to Add to Your Coffee This Fall Isn’t Pumpkin Spice

Step aside, PSL

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

Yulia Petrova/Getty Images

No offense to the official flavor of fall, but pumpkin spice everything is getting a little tired, no? I could get on board with the cereal. But I draw the line at pumpkin spice chewing gum. Even Starbucks’ PSL just isn’t hitting the right notes these days and frankly tastes more artificial than delightful (there, I said it).

But plain java is, well, plain. So imagine my delight when I came across a video on Instagram that had some tantalizing tips for spicing up a cup of Joe using ingredients I already had at home.

In the video, cookbook author and mom of three Caroline Chambers shouts out to “all the other moms out there” who only manage one sip of hot coffee or tea before being pulled away to deal with a screaming child. Rather than tossing the now-cold beverage, she has a genius little recipe that will revive your brew.

First you grab a jar, fill it with ice and add your “dead coffee.” Next she says to add “a scotch of maple syrup, a tinch of vanilla extract, a little pitty pat of cinnamon," noting that if you’re a pumpkin spice person you could add that in instead (not for me, thank you very much). Shake it up and you’ve got yourself a nice little afternoon treat.

And I’ve made that exact recipe with excellent results. It’s got dessert vibes with a jolt of caffeine—10/10 would recommend.

But my favorite part of the recipe is a rather surprising ingredient—vanilla extract.

Chambers inspired me to the stuff to my morning, still-hot cup of coffee and I’ve found that I don’t actually need the syrup or cinnamon. Just a few drops of the stuff is a simple way to liven up a regular cup of Joe, adding depth and a hint of sweetness sans tons of sugar. And it really only takes a smidge of extract to add rich flavor.

So if you too are getting pumpkin spice ennui and looking for a way to boost your brew, I urge you to try this easy yet delightful add-on. Now you could go the Ina Garten route and make your own vanilla extract but happily, the Barefoot Contessa also recommends Nielsen-Massey vanilla if you want store-bought ( “buy real vanilla, not the imitation stuff—it’s terrible”). PSL, who?

img 0936

Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...