Pittsburgh cafes are ringing in the fall with a flood of pumpkins and a variety of other warm flavors.
In the spirit of the season, local cafes such as coffee roasters and Scare Cafe in Shadyside, as well as Saxby’swhich has locations in the Cathedral of Learning and the Hillman Library, set their menus apart from the big chains by combining popular flavors such as pumpkin and matcha.
Rachel Astorino, business manager of Coffee Tree Roasters, said that in addition to their selection of traditional pumpkin flavored coffees, the cafe offers distinctive fall-flavored syrups.
“We have the hot pumpkin spice latte, the iced latte, we have a pumpkin frozaccino and a pumpkin white hot chocolate,” Astorino said. “Some of the syrups we have are maple, caramel crunch and hot spice. Caramel is like the good side of cereal milk.
Astorino said that the coffee’s high-quality espresso, as well as their syrups from different countries, make a delicious combination.
“We are one of a limited number of 1,883 syrup dispensers, which come from France and are intended for use with espresso,” Astorino said. “It gives drinks a much cleaner flavor.”
Shivani Gandhi, student CEO of Saxby, said that instead of venturing outside of pumpkin, the team thought of ways to integrate it into popular commands.
“When it comes to our pumpkin drinks, we’re bringing back pumpkin latte and pumpkin matcha,” Gandhi said. “My favorite seasonal drink is probably pumpkin matcha, which we make with our homemade pumpkin sauce, mix with ice and milk, and top it off with a shot of matcha. It’s quite simple but it’s so delicious.
In addition to the most common seasonal flavors, Gandhi said Saxby’s added four new energy drinks at the start of the fall semester.
“For the new school year, we have a rollout called ‘new school, new energy’, so [our] latte spritz drinks… are basically Saxby’s take on energy drinks. said Gandhi. “There’s the original flavor, strawberry flavor, and orange flavor, plus a new smoothie called Matcha My Energy.”
Rhea Godhania, barista at Jitters Cafe, said the staff at Jitters are very creative in the process of designing new menu flavors for the fall season.
“Our manager is like a mad scientist behind the bar,” Godhania said, “He’s just going to do crazy stuff. He’s actually worked on a lot of cool flavors. cinnamon and it was a big hit so he might come back.
Godhania said there was a distinct autumn flavor currently On the menu.
“We have a butterbeer cold brew that’s really good,” Godhania said. “We use caramel syrup to make it.”
The wide variety of seasonal fall flavors are only available for a few months, which Gandhi says is sometimes difficult for Saxby’s staff.
“Communication with your team can be tricky because sometimes not everyone knows when new drinks are going to start or maybe when they come out of season,” Gandhi said. “It’s also so hard to only see some of my favorite drinks for a short time.”
Godhania said a distinct feature of Jitters is, unlike most cafes, that it offers pumpkin spice year-round.
“One unique thing about our coffee is that we always have every flavor for every season,” Godhania said. “Even in May, people were ordering pumpkin spice lattes.”
Godhania said Jitters offers seasonal dishes that are on the menu exclusively for fall.
“My manager was mentioning that he was going to bring more pumpkin spice pastries,” Godhania said. “Right now we have pumpkin spice bagels, and I think he’s going to have pumpkin spice cake.”
Gandhi has an idea for an additional Saxby’s autumn drink for the menu, she said.
“I would add pumpkin chai because a lot of people don’t know they can order it,” Gandhi said. “But all it is is chai with pumpkin sauce.”
Intrigued by an autumn-inspired chai, Godhania said she would like to experiment by adding a new flavor of apple pie chai tea to Jitters’ traditional London mist drink, which includes Earl Gray tea, syrup and steamed milk.
” We wear republic of tea tea bags, and the company just released an apple pie flavored tea bag that I wanted to get my hands on, and I feel like if we did something similar to a London mist but with the apple pie chai, that would be crazy,” Godhania said.
Astorino said having a seasonal menu adds a level of excitement and inspiration to Coffee Tree Roasters’ drink recipes.
“It’s definitely a business driver. I mean, everything is exciting,” Astorino said. “To be able to get caramel or maple, those things just make us a little bit more special. Someone ordered a Pumpkin Caramel Latte earlier. We hear some of the greatest things simply by people bringing all the seasonal flavors together.