Ahh, fall. Season of color-changing leaves, crisp mornings and the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte. It's an oft-yearned-for treat when September finally comes around and local coffee shops finally roll out their seasonal pumpkin-flavored coffee drinks.
But if you're buying them daily or even every other day, it can add up to a lot of dough for coffee infused with what is essentially nutmeg-scented, artificially-colored-and-flavored high fructose corn syrup. But don't worry, there is a BrokeAss solution: Make them at home with high-quality ingredients, obvs.
This freshly brewed, wildly cheap version of the pumpkin spice latte can be warming your hands and your spirits any time you please—even after the coffee shops close, and without an espresso machine. The directions below are for one latte, but the listed ingredients will make about a week's worth of homemade lattes. And best yet, you likely have most (if not all) of the ingredients at home already.
If you like your lattes straight, feel free to omit the spices and/or sweetener.
3 tbsp strong ground coffee
2/3 cup water
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp honey or agave nectar
2/3 cup milk (any fat percentage, or even soy)
Brew the coffee with the water in a regular coffee maker, French press or drip cone.
While the coffee brews, stir the pumpkin pie spice into the honey or agave nectar until completely blended. Set aside.
Pour the cold milk into a microwave-safe bowl, the edges of which should come up a bit higher than the milk.
Keep the bowl slightly tilted to the side, so that the milk is gathered more toward one side. Using a wire whisk, quickly and vigorously whisk the milk in the bowl for about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. If the milk isn't frothy after 2 1/2 minutes, continue whisking an additional 30 to 60 seconds. The milk should be very frothy at this point.
Microwave the milk in the bowl on high for 8 to 10 seconds. It should puff into a high foam immediately.
To serve the latte, pour the hot coffee into a mug and stir in the honey/agave-spice mixture until completely dissolved. Top with the hot milk, spooning the thick foam on top. A dash of additional pumpkin pie spice or some ground cinnamon on top is a nice touch. Serve immediately.
BrokeAss Gourmet caters to folks who want to live the high life on the cheap, with delicious recipes that are always under $20. Gabi Moskowitz is the blog's editor in chief and author of The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook and Pizza Dough: 100 Delicious Unexpected Recipes.