Vanilla is sort of the white paint of coffee. On its own, it’s fine, but there is so much potential for beautiful pairings. In the fall, when pumpkin holds the throne, we so often crave a bit of variety in coffee drinks that bring us comfort. We’ve had Torani Vanilla Syrup so many times that we can easily tell you what it’s like — basic, simple, sweetened vanilla flavor. It’s a classic.
Many years ago, we set out to develop an autumnal latte that feels like how bonfires smell and how falling leaves sound — just as much as a PSL does. This is where our vanilla taste test latte comes in, and why we would rank such a basic flavor so high on our list. For this taste test, we made a vanilla maple spice latte. It’s the harmony of maple, vanilla, and warming spices. Vermont maple syrup and a mix of fall spice are a sugar-spice-everything-nice duet, but they’re stitched together by the comforting familiarity of vanilla — a flavor that doesn’t get its due when it’s there but is missed when it’s gone. We normally prefer this recipe with vanilla extract, but it can be easily adapted to vanilla syrup. Simply make a vanilla latte, add maple syrup, and steam pumpkin pie spice with the milk.