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5 Fabulous Fall Drinks in Old East Village

A mural made of ceramic pieces that reads: Old East Village
Leaves are changing...

Baskets filled with pumpkins and gourds at a market stall
... pumpkins are everywhere

Last week marked the official beginning of Fall! Since the season is off to such a chilly start, nothing beats some iconic Fall flavours to get us into the seasonal spirit. Whether you are grabbing a drink to go or sitting down in a café with a good book or company, Fall drinks are like a rite of passage into a season of cool breezes, falling leaves, and a certain orange gourd.

Now, picture the steam rising from a warm drink. Everything from its full flavour to its spicy smell reminds you of fall...

You thought of something Pumpkin Spice flavoured didn’t you? Well, move over PSL because OEV has five serious contenders for the best new fall drink.

1. Nepali Tea at Momos at the Market (and 630 Somerville)

An open coffee cup filled with a dark, spicy tea is sitting on a white table
The rich and spicy Nepali Tea at Momos

Our first contender will really warm you up. If you like spicy drinks, then the Nepali Tea from Momos at the Market should be on your radar. This hot drink combines tea leaves from Nepal with milk and an impressive medley of spices that includes cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, peppercorn, and bay leaves.

Now the ‘regular’ version of this amazing beverage is made with milk, but I highly recommend switching it up to the Vegan Nepali Tea even if you don’t normally use milk substitutes. The Vegan Nepali Tea adds coconut milk into the stove-top blend which not only adds a complementary flavour but also a richness that regular milk just can’t compete with. This hot, spicy drink pairs excellently with Momos signature dish: Momos!

2. Spiced Apple Cider from Asmara Coffee House

An open, steaming cup of warm apple cider is on a bright blue table with the Asmara Coffee House logo
A warm cup of spice apple cider on Asmara's iconic blue patio tables

When I think of Fall, I think of fairs, farms, and apple cider. No matter where I am, being able to enjoy a piping hot cup of apple cider is like nostalgic magic in a cup. Since Asmara Coffee House is carrying spiced apple cider as a special this season, you can get your own cup of magic in Old East Village, too.

Asmara’s apple cider is a crisp, delicious apple base with plenty of natural sweetness. Served warm, spiced apple cider is like a tart apple pie filling in a cup. With cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, you get a lot of the same spicy notes as your favourite fall drinks with a fruity twist. While I suggest trying the apple cider while it’s in season, fans of coffee and cakes should definitely make a return visit to Asmara Coffee House. They also serve coffee, tea and espresso beverages alongside a display of pastries and a must-try cake of the week.

3. Cappuccino from Strings Café & Guitar Shop

A cup of cappuccino is sitting in a saucer, on a table with four guitars hanging on the wall in the background
A cup of cappuccino from Strings. Mmm!

Did you know that Strings Café and Guitar Shop also serves coffee and other beverages? When you stop by for lessons or to look at guitars and other musical accessories, you can also take a seat and enjoy the café side of Strings.

While there are plenty of options out there, nothing beats a cappuccino when I’m looking for a blast of flavour and caffeine. Made with espresso and steamed milk, a cappuccino is perfect harmony for fans of a strong coffee taste and warm milk. Strings Café and Guitar Shop also hosts live music and open mic events, so you can enjoy your tasty beverage alongside some sweet music, too.

4. Sweet Potato Latte from Bella's Acacia Catering (in Somerville 630)

A Sweet Potato Latte is inside an open coffee cup on a natural wood counter and an arrangement of succulents in the background.
Bella's Sweet Potato Lattes are finished off with some light frothing, too!

Sweet Potato Lattes are super popular in South Korea. It is a staple drink in many cafes during the fall and winter and thanks to Bella’s Acacia Catering in Old East Village, we have it all year round. If you are a fan of Korean food, Bella’s makes vegan and vegetarian versions of many popular dishes like bibimbap, japchae, and kimbap, too!

Much like pumpkin-inspired drinks, using sweet potato has a lot of natural sweetness. As a base, it also gives the latte a heartier flavour that tastes natural because it is actually made from blended sweet potatoes. Despite the ‘latte’ in the name, a Sweet Potato Latte isn’t made with coffee, so it is totally caffeine free. Bella makes her Sweet Potato Latte with steamed sweet potato and almond milk and sweetens it with 100% pure honey instead of sugar.

An open coffee cup sits on a counter with a light ring of steamed milk in the cup and teapots in the background
A Kyoto Fog is made from a special kind of green tea called hojicha!

A ‘fog’ is like a latte, but instead of adding steamed milk to espresso, you add it to a perfectly steeped mug of tea with a little bit of vanilla. Wisdom Teashop sells at least a dozen different fog drinks, so it was a real challenge to choose just one for this list. In the end, I went with the Kyoto Fog because it has this delicious roasted flavour.

This drink is called a Kyoto Fog because hojicha is a special variety of green tea that originated from Kyoto. Unlike other kinds of green tea, hojicha tea leaves are roasted which is what brings out that delicious flavour I mentioned earlier. With natural notes of sweetness and a nutty undertone, a fog made from hojicha blends fall flavours perfectly. Pair any of Wisdom Teashop’s fog beverages with a savoury Japanese-style crepe for a delightful combination that preserves the sweetness of the drink!

With so many fabulous options available, why settle for the same old Fall drink? Now that we’re at the end of the list, I hope I have persuaded someone to try something new this season and to check out some of the local specialties that Old East Village cafés and restaurants have to offer.

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