An Autumn Lover’s Guide to Coffee

By Maraya Rashid

It’s safe to say that autumn is finally here. With the cooler temperatures come flannels, pumpkin patches, apple picking and of course, everyone’s favorite drinks to help them stay warm. I decided to check out several coffee shops around Salt Lake City to see what they had to offer for this milder time of year.

The first stop was the artfully adorned Coffee Garden, located on 900 East and 900 South. When we asked the barista what seasonal drink he would recommend, he suggested the good ol’ pumpkin spice latte. Feeling like I knew exactly what I was about to taste, Coffee Garden pleasantly surprised me. Its pumpkin spice was a bit less sweet than expected, with strong tastes of ground cloves, allspice and nutmeg.

Through word of mouth, I was encouraged to journey to Publik Coffee Roasters, where there were a number of specialty drinks that were given entertaining names for fall. My favorites were Gryffindor, a cinnamon and butternut squash flavored treat, and Spellbound, a ginger and rosemary lover’s dream with a hint of molasses. Publik Coffee Roasters’ industrial design and windowed walls provides a phenomenal view of the Central City neighborhood.

I then ventured to a new favorite of mine, Sugar House Coffee. Its walls are lined with art from creatives around the community, and every Thursday the coffee shop entertains with live music from a variety of local musicians. Its chai latte, though not a seasonal drink, is easily the best I’ve had here in Utah, with the perfect mix of sweet and spicy, with plenty of cardamom flavor. Pair a drink with one of its enormous cinnamon rolls, and it’s a go-to date spot for autumn.

Next on our list was Starbucks, conveniently located every couple of blocks, with one right inside the University of Utah Campus Store. Although pumpkin spice lattes seem to be a favorite for this time of year, there’s a new kid on the block rivaling for the people’s hearts — the maple pecan latte.

The combination of pecans, brown sugar and maple syrup is surprisingly a lot less sweet than the beloved pumpkin spice, which I found to be a nice change. As an avid snacker of salty and sweet combinations, my favorite would still have to be its salted caramel mocha.

The final stop on the seasonal drink excursion was Nostalgia Café. Although it did not feature any specialty seasonal drinks at the time, the shop makes a mean London Fog year round, and its apple cider is a must try. Plus, the “stay awhile” atmosphere in this place is hard to beat. Plenty of quick drink stops have turned into hour-long visits, and with comfy couches and plenty of tables, it’s the perfect place to get some homework done while enjoying one of their delicious crepes or vegan mac ‘n cheese.

All in all, there are a great many local coffee shops to enjoy. Whether you’re in the market for a festive drink or looking for a new place to study, there’s that perfect spot for everyone. Be sure to check out all this city has to offer, you might just stumble onto your own coffee scented oasis.

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