7 fall coffee drinks to try around Tampa Bay that go beyond pumpkin spice

From maple to sweet potato, there are lots of options for seasonal drinks this time of year.
A Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Latte at The Chelsea in St. Petersburg.
A Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Latte at The Chelsea in St. Petersburg. [ MICHELLE STARK | Times ]
Published Sept. 28|Updated Sept. 28

Fall is officially here and, blessedly, it sort of actually feels like fall in the Tampa Bay area. As our temperatures (and humidity levels) continue to drop, here are seven places to celebrate with a seasonal coffee beverage. From maple to sweet potato, we’ve come a long way from the ubiquitous pumpkin spice flavor.

Maple Bourbon Latte at Bandit: This St. Petersburg cafe’s signature fall drink is made with espresso, milk and a syrup that’s made with Kentucky bourbon (don’t worry, the alcohol gets cooked out for the finished product), Vermont maple syrup, Madagascar vanilla, anise, sea salt and demerara sugar. It’s a delightfully balanced drink, a nice treat that’s not too sweet. 2662 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Latte at Willa’s Provisions: This is a fun spin on familiar flavors. Instead of the more traditional pumpkin, the syrup used to flavor this latte is made with sweet potato, offering a mild sweetness that still evokes the coziness of the season. Cinnamon helps to round things out. Look also for seasonal bakery treats at this coffee spot that’s open daily next door to the restaurant Willa’s, like the hazelnut and cardamom morning buns. 310 N Rome Ave., Tampa.

The Chelsea in St. Pete offers seasonal lattes.
The Chelsea in St. Pete offers seasonal lattes. [ MICHELLE STARK | Times ]

Seasonal lattes at The Chelsea: This little coffee shop on Fifth Avenue S in St. Petersburg offers coffee and espresso drinks, plus a food selection that includes pastries, quiche, stuffed croissants, muffins and more. They offer several coffee flavorings all year, including the yummy strawberry rose syrup, but right now they have two seasonal drinks to try. For the Apple Pie Latte, two espresso shots are mixed with apple, caramel, cinnamon and milk. Our fave is the Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Latte, which mixes espresso and milk with pumpkin spice, honey and cinnamon. It’s on the sweeter side, but not cloying. 2462 Fifth Ave. S, St. Petersburg.

Pumpking State Latte at King State: This is essentially King State’s version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte, an elevated take on a classic drink that pairs house-made syrup with espresso and milk. We’re counting down the days till we can order one of these at the shop’s forthcoming St. Petersburg location, too. 520 E Floribraska Ave., Tampa.

Seasonal drinks at Blush Tea and Coffee: This cozy spot in St. Petersburg specializes in loose-leaf tea but has a lot on the menu, including some seasonal drinks. If you want tea, try the Caramel Orange Ginger Latte or the Spiced Sesame Oolong Tea. For coffee lovers, there’s the Peanut Brittle Latte made with real peanut butter and topped with a salted vanilla foam. 2382 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg.

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Explore all your options

Seasonal lattes at Blind Tiger: This cafe with several locations around Tampa has three fall drinks this year. There’s the S’mores Latte, made with flavors of mocha and toasted marshmallow, espresso, milk and a graham cracker crumble topping. It’s a nice departure from pumpkin flavors. There’s also a Pumpkin Pie Latte and a Caramel Apple Butter Latte made with apple butter. 1901 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City; 10118 Montague St., Tampa; 201 N Franklin St., Tampa; 934 S Howard Ave., Tampa; 459 Brandon Town Center Drive, Brandon; 2223 N West Shore Blvd., Tampa.

Iced Maple Latte at Supernatural Food and Wine: This isn’t a seasonal drink, but it fits in perfectly with the other options on this list. This gem in downtown Tampa keeps things simple with iced coffee with real maple syrup. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and bitter, and a refreshing beverage for Florida fall. You must pair it with one of Supernatural’s cinnamon and sugar doughnuts, which are baked daily and absolutely delicious. 305 E Polk St., Tampa.

A maple iced coffee at Supernatural Food and Wine.
A maple iced coffee at Supernatural Food and Wine. [ MICHELLE STARK | Times ]