Anyone ready for autumn? Colored leaves, crisp mornings and evenings, and the anticipation of end-of-summer crops…

Fall Fusion

Instead of infusing coffee with cinnamon and cloves, roaster Nicole prowled our sacks full of coffee from the Americas, Oceania, Asia, and all over Africa to concoct the September Coffee of the Month. Don’t expect pumpkin pie spice in this mixture, but instead bank on something unusual, put together with extraordinary care, and perfect to sip on a chilly evening or rainy morning.

Usually, a Coffee Tale relates something about the coffee, its growers and processors, or the country from which it comes. Instead, let’s list some activities that go with coffee and the third season of the year. We might…

Pick apples

Take along a thermos of hot coffee.

Go leaf-peeping

Stop at an independent coffee shop for latte and buy a couple of pounds of some coffee we’ve never tasted.

Walk a corn maze

If it’s hot out, bring iced coffee. See “Considering Cold Brew.”

Don’t get lost!

Move your bones

Touch football, a game of soccer or baseball, drag out your volleyball net, or venture out for a brand new hike. Abundant freshly-brewed coffee is perfect if you’re near a house. A backpack stove and pour over cone can perk up the midway point of a hike.

Pumpkin patch!

Take hot apple cider for the little ones and coffee for mom, dad, auntie, uncle, a grandparent, or a neighbor. Now, this might get boring as kids run from one squash to another and yell, “Hey, look at this one!” So bring along a couple of adults to chat with while you follow children around and respond “Good one!”

Leaf art

Bring your best autumn-colorful leaves back and invite kids’ friends to spend an afternoon making wreaths, photo frames, or sprightly table centerpieces.

Handmade Charlotte has some cute ideas. Sip your favorite home-brew, sweetened with maple syrup.

Pack an overnight bag

Head to the mountains to experience autumn, savoring the nip in sundown air and the tang of sunrise coffee from a lawn chair in the woods. Bring plenty of Holler Roast coffee.

Just take a walk

This works for city, suburb, and country dwellers alike. Load up your Holler Roast insulated mug and head outside on a crisp, dry autumn day. Be sure to step on as many leaves as you can before the bottom of the mug looms. In fact, if you’re in an appropriate setting, jump rump-first into a pile of leaves.

Invite some friends for the first cool-weather bonfire in months

Feed them hot dogs, German potato salad, and (maybe) spiked coffee or a coffee cocktail or mocktail. Recipes follow and will appear on Living Free in Tennessee as a Recipe of the Week.

Here’s the place for pumpkin pie spice enthusiasts to shine: make your dessert thin coffee-flavored wafers from a recipe like this or packaged like these and serve on on boughten pumpkin pie spice ice cream.

Finally, soften the pain of putting away shorts and singlets and taking out puffy jackets, knitted hats, and long johns with a cup of the September Coffee of the Month, Fall Fusion.

Recipes

No Booze

Kerry Brown contributed his own recipe for a delicious, but still coffee-based, convivial beverage. He values freedom and autonomy above all else. You surely know Kerry as co-proprietor of Strong Roots Resources, a business centered around helping folks build resilience from the ground up, including consultation and design assistance for the aspiring homesteader. Brown has an off-grid cabin and small homestead in East Tennessee and drinks Holler Roast daily.

Coffee Cherry Cordial

Says Kerry:

Mama Sauce asked if I wanted to contribute a coffee mocktail recipe for this month’s Coffee Tale. As if I needed an excuse to consume more coffee…

Like Nicole, I don’t really do recipes, so there’s wriggle room. Make the drink your very own.

I made mine with cold brew, or you can just chill leftover brewed coffee. (Heresy, but I don’t like to waste coffee.)

Slice in half about 4 fresh or frozen black cherries per cup of brew and soak them in a few tablespoons of fresh cream for a few hours or overnight to blend the flavors.

Dump the cream and cherry mixture into your brew, add a drop of vanilla or almond extract and half a teaspoon of maple syrup, and shake.

Grab some coffee ice cubes and serve.

As a warm drink, Angel Brown suggests making a teaspoon or so of ganache topping. Just blend 1 cup of cream with ¾ cup maple syrup. Boil over medium heat until it’s the desired consistency. Don’t let it turn into candy!

If that’s still not fancy enough, a little bit of muddled mint would be a nice touch. Or you could add a little bit of chopped dark chocolate to the ground beans in the French press.

That’s it! Enjoy.

Reach out to Kerry at strongrootsresources@gmail.com.

Booze

Maple Bourbon Coffee

2 drinks

Ingredients

1 cup coffee
2 ounces bourbon or 1 ounce each, bourbon and Kahlúa
2 tsp maple syrup
½ cup whipping cream
1 cup ice

Combine cooled coffee with bourbon or bourbon plus Kahlúa.

Mix maple syrup and cream.

Place ½ cup ice in each of two glasses.

Pour in half the coffee and then the cream mixture and serve.