Love fall flavors? Swap your PSL for one of these 12 creative coffees around metro Phoenix – The Arizona Republic

Cooler weather, spooky decorations and the smell of cinnamon sticks in the grocery store are telltale signs that fall has arrived. And with it, the autumn tradition of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
This year, the coffee giant expanded its fall offerings with the new Apple Crisp Macchiato. But despite the allure of the green-logo cup, there are better beverage options available at the many independent and locally owned coffee shops around the Valley.
Some offer PSL fans upgraded variations on pumpkin-flavored coffees, while others have gotten creative, celebrating the season with the flavors of ginger, cranberry, pear and even sweet potato.
If you’re looking for cozy flavors, but want skip the drive-thru line at Starbucks and support local Valley coffee shops from Gilbert to Peoria, here are 12 great fall-flavored coffee drinks to try around metro Phoenix. 
If you’re a die-hard PSL fan looking to support local, Froth Coffee Roasters on McDowell Road might be the move. This bright and airy coffee shop serves a pumpkin-flavored coffee called the Erma Gourd ($5.25). The subtly sweet coffee is enhanced with a hint of pumpkin and can be ordered iced or hot. For those who love convenience, you can even order your fall-flavored drinks from their drive-thru window. 
Details: 1447 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix. 602-429-9954, frothcoffeeroasters.com.
If you’re in Gilbert and looking for a sweet fall latte, Bergies Coffee Roast House has you covered. Enjoy a warm Arizona fall day savoring the Pumpkin Creme Brulee Cold Brew ($3.85 for medium) on the coffee shop’s huge patio. The drink features more caramel than pumpkin flavor, amped up with a kick of fall spices. 
Details:  309 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert. 480-497-3913, bergiescoffee.com.
Tres Leches Cafe in central Phoenix specializes in over-the-top, unusual coffee drinks inspired by the flavors and desserts of Mexico. Their fall offering, the Pumpkin Horchata, ($6.50 for large) is thick, sweet, loaded with cinnamon and comes with a swirl of whipped cream on top. Snag this drink to go or hang out with the painted pumpkins decorating this brightly colored coffee shop.  
Details: 1714 W. Van Buren St., Phoenix. 602-368-1804, treslechesaz.com.
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For west side residents, making it down to Peixoto Coffee Roaster in Chandler is probably not a regular occurrence. Luckily, another coffee shop a lot closer to home serves the rich brew. Well Coffee Co. uses smooth Peixoto coffee in all of their specialty beverages. This fall, they have a whole menu of seasonal options, but those looking for something warming and sweet need to try the Caramel Apple ($5.95 for medium). This latte comes topped with crumbled dried apple and serves spiced apple flavors in every sweet and creamy sip.
Details: 27035 Black Rock Blvd., Peoria. 623-401-9703, wellcoffeeaz.com.
For those whose favorite fall holiday is Thanksgiving, the James Made This ($5.50 for 16 oz.) might be the perfect drink. Find it at Reap & Sow Coffee Bar inside the Rebel Lounge on Indian School Road and at sister coffee shop Driftwood Coffee in old town Peoria. This complex drink is made with oatmeal syrup, walnut, cranberry bitters, espresso, oat milk and banana. The wild combination starts off sweet and then offers a savory finish thanks to bitter cranberry flavors that complement the coffee. At the very bottom of the cup, you might find a slice of banana. 
Details: Reap & Sow Coffee Bar: 2303 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix.  602-756-9017, reapsow.com. Driftwood Coffee: 8295 W. Jefferson St., Peoria. 602-756-9051, driftwoodaz.com.
In a strip mall of medical offices in Peoria, Union Coffee Co. is a hidden gem. Nurses in scrubs stop in for an energy boost between shifts while customers fill tables sipping drinks and typing away on laptops as a coffee grinder whirs in the background. This fall, Union Coffee Co. is serving a full fall menu including the Oatmeal Cookie Cold Brew ($4.75 for 16 oz.). This drink gets its oatmeal flavor from oat milk and offers just a hint of fall flavor, perfect for fans of strong coffee looking to get into the seasonal spirit, but just a little.
Details: 6750 W. Thunderbird Road, Suite B109, Peoria. 602-603-2786, unioncoffeecompany.com.
At First Place Coffee truck, the seasonal menu is a big deal. Each season, the team creates new and intriguing flavor combinations. The drinks each get their own photo shoot and are announced to eager fans through social media. This fall, a couple of options stood out, including the Tahini Maple Spice ($6 for 16 oz.). Perfect for coffee fans, the drink is made with molasses and walnut fig bitters that lend a sweet and smoky flavor that complements the coffee without overwhelming it. Served iced or hot, this drink is worth tracking down the truck. 
Details: Locations vary. firstplacecoffee.com.
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The fall menu at First Place Coffee truck is packed with interesting options, but perhaps the most unique is the Shaken Peanut Butter latte ($6 for 16 oz.). Watch through the truck’s little window as a barista vigorously shakes the concoction in a cocktail shaker to create a foamy, frothy drink that delivers everything peanut butter fans are looking for. Salty, savory and sweet, this drink is shaken with ice and is only served cold. 
Details: Locations vary. firstplacecoffee.com.
Oftentimes, fall in metro Phoenix is not exactly sweater weather. For warm autumn days, a refreshing fall drink may be in order. At Descent Coffee on 16th Street, the Spiced Pear Cold Brew ($6 for a large) offers the perfect combination of seasonality and thirst-quenching power. The coffee is complemented with real pear. No artificial stuff here. Bits of the fruit settle to the bottom of the cup, so give it a stir to enjoy the mix of coffee, pear and just a splash of milk on sunny fall days.
Details: 2428 N. 16th St., Phoenix. 810-407-4078.
Mythical Coffee’s Apple Ginger Espresso Tonic ($5 for medium) is as confused about the temperature as Phoenix is in fall. This refreshing, bubbly drink is served over ice. However, the strong ginger flavor will warm the back of your throat. Watch baristas carefully craft the drink, pouring apple cider and ginger beer in first and gently floating espresso on the top. A slice of candied ginger garnishes the unique hot and cold coffee combination.
Details: 1090 S. Gilbert Road, Suite 102, Gilbert. 480-818-6209, mythical.coffee.
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How do you make a pumpkin latte more interesting? At Peixoto Coffee Roasters in Chandler, the twist is trading pumpkin for sweet potato and regular old orange for purple. Then, somehow, getting all those flavors to make sense with coffee. The coffee shop worked its magic and created a perfectly unique fall drink. The potato gives the drink a slight powdery texture, similar to matcha. The subtle earthy flavor combines with sweet cream to create a drink reminiscent of cereal milk. Served iced or hot and topped off with vanilla marshmallow cream and a little purple coloring, this drink is a quirky treat ($6.25 for 16 oz.).
Details: 11 W. Boston Str., Suite 6, Chandler. 480-275-2843, peixotocoffee.com.
Another of Peixoto’s fall coffee creations tops the list for unusual, yet delicious, autumn drinks. The Kettle Corn Latte ($6 for 16 oz.). tastes exactly as it sounds. Flavors of sweet buttery, caramel popcorn complement each smooth coffee sip. This fall favorite brings the taste of fall festivals, pumpkin patches and the state fair to downtown Chandler. 
Details: 11 W. Boston St., Suite 6, Chandler. 480-275-2843, peixotocoffee.com.
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