It’s the perfect time of the year to put on your favorite sweater, take a stroll through a patch of crunchy leaves, and nostalgically gaze out the window with a warm drink in your hands… And what better way to fully immerse yourself in New England autumn than ordering a cozy, comforting drink from Dog Bar Jim?

I tried out 5 different hot drinks from this beloved local cafe, and hopefully one of them will be the autumn drink for you. Take a book, your work, your friends, or all of the above, and enjoy these drinkable autumns at Dog Bar Jim.

Note: Due to my dairy allergy, I subbed in almond milk for drinks that used milk, unless otherwise specified. 

1. Café Nico

Isabelle Lee

Flavor pairings with orange add a mysterious, elegant, and lush dimension to the flavor profile, and the orange flavor in this Café Nico does exactly that. This macchiato features a dreamy combination of house-made vanilla and orange syrup, dusted with a layer of cinnamon on top. I was a huge fan of the marriage between the orange and espresso flavors; the sweetness came first, then the bitterness, and lastly the orange, which lingered for a while.

My plant milk of choice is typically almond milk, but Ben Gatchell, the chef-owner, recommended that I sub in oat milk instead to counter the bitterness for this drink. Oat milk tends to have a thicker and creamier consistency than almond milk, and those properties worked out really nicely in the Café Nico to create a coffee that was delightfully smooth and easy to drink.

The Café Nico strikes a sweet balance between cozy and sophisticated, and it comes with just the right amount of flair.

2. Matcha Latte

Isabelle Lee

The Matcha Latte is a slightly less traditional take on the typical cozy autumn beverage. The pale green foam and the earthiness of the matcha flavor feels very calming and grounding. I can totally see a relaxing weekend morning spent with some homework and a gentle push of caffeine from the Matcha Latte.

If you’re looking for a comforting, hot drink that feels softer and milder than a cup of coffee, this drink would be a lovely choice. The foam on the latte is pleasantly fuzzy, and the combination of the slight graininess from the matcha powder, the earthiness of the matcha flavor, and the clean taste reminds me of a favorite wool sweater.

3. Chu’s Choice Cappuccino

Isabelle Lee

This house favorite drink at Dog Bar Jim is a delicate twist on the beloved comfort coffee.

The Chu’s Choice Cappuccino is topped with a layer of deep beige-colored foam, instead of the standard white milk foam you’d see on regular cappuccinos. The secret house recipe for this drink gives it a little mystery— I’m not sure what it could be, but there’s something that’s so light and beautifully smoky about the aroma of the Chu’s Choice Cappuccino. It’s deep, but it’s not overwhelming or rich. There’s a prominent sweetness to it, and the flavor reminds me of dalgona, caramel, or brown sugar.

The Chu’s Choice Cappuccino would be a graceful way to wake up and start your autumn morning.

4. Café Bombon

Isabelle Lee
Isabelle Lee

Cute and small, but potent. The Café Bombon comes served in an adorable glass that shows off the beautiful layers of the sweetened condensed coconut milk and the double shot of espresso on top. Once thoroughly stirred, the layers in the Café Bombon combine to create a beautiful shade of warm brown.

The texture of Café Bombon is so soft and buttery, like a nice cashmere scarf, and the aroma is sweet and strong. The first taste was very sweet, but the bitterness is still consistent throughout each sip. The coconut blends in beautifully to create a sweetness with depth. It’s a rich, intense choice for an autumn beverage—an intensity matched with dark mornings, dense books, and vivid hues of red and orange seen in autumn foliage.

5. Pumpkin Spice Latte

Isabelle Lee

Perhaps the one drink that started it all. This staple autumn beverage at Dog Bar Jim tastes just like the excitement of fall with its strong notes of cinnamon and ginger. Its sweetness is welcoming without ever being overwhelming, and there’s little to no bitterness tasted in this PSL. Instead, the bitterness just gently sits at the very end, allowing for the cozy sweetness and spicy notes to really shine. This Pumpkin Spice Latte would be perfect to have in hand for a stroll through autumn foliage on a chilly day, or sitting on the table for a lighthearted study session with friends.