Ahh…fall is here! The leaves are starting to turn beautiful jewel tones, the air is getting crisp, and I’m looking forward to smoking pre-rolls outside by the fire. If your town is anything like ours, Starbucks is ultra-busy—especially now that the seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte has made its yearly appearance.
My husband and I are both cannabis enthusiasts and seasoned baristas. We’ve made thousands of lattes, iced lattes, and tea, and we love coming up with our own unique concoctions. After seeing the coffee shop lines circling out the door, we asked ourselves: Why don’t we just make our own Pumpkin Spice Lattes…and infuse them with cannabis?!
This recipe is brought to you by my husband (the barista) and me (the budtender)—we hope you love it! We like to drink our lattes over ice, but feel free to serve warm or cold! Complete the vibe by sipping in a chunky sweater while shopping at your nearest pumpkin patch.
I like to use cannabis strains that are high in the terpene caryophyllene (or beta-caryophyllene). This terpene offers a warm, peppery flavor and is often found in classic cannabis strains like OG Kush or anything with “Cookies” in the name (Cookies & Cream, Monster Cookies, etc.). Caryophyllene is a naturally occurring compound found in common spices like clove and black pepper that is known for providing a warm and fuzzy feeling by easing stomach aches and reducing inflammation.
Start by “decarboxylating” your cannabis (baking it at a low temperature). Preheat your oven to 240 degrees. While the oven is heating up, use your cannabis/coffee bean grinder to grind your cannabis into a fine powder. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and evenly spread out the ground cannabis onto the tray. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes; this helps to activate the THC in your cannabis!
Put 16 ounces of whole milk in a saucepan and add your baked cannabis flower. Simmer on low for 45 minutes to an hour. Be sure to stir thoroughly every 15 minutes, and check to make sure the milk doesn’t come to a boil (this happens at 212 degrees).
Turn off your stovetop and let the cannabis-infused milk cool for 15 minutes. Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth (or strainer) to catch all the remaining cannabis plant matter and squeeze. Place your infused milk in the refrigerator to cool down entirely. You can expect your cannabis milk to have a slightly greenish tint to it at this point!
There are a few ways you can prepare coffee for an at-home latte.
Espresso Machine: If you’ve got an espresso machine, pull four shots of espresso total. We’re going to make two iced lattes with two espresso shots in each.
Keurig: If you don’t have an espresso machine, don’t fret! You can use your Keurig coffee machine. Put a K-Cup in, and press the button for the smallest cup of coffee. This will ensure that your coffee is nice and strong to simulate the taste of espresso. Repeat this for your second drink.
Cold Brew Concentrate: If you don’t have a machine to make coffee or you’re outdoors camping, you can make cold brew coffee concentrate without any electricity. I like to place two steeped coffee bags in a mason jar with 8 ounces of water and let them sit overnight. This is a super easy way to make coffee concentrate for your drink! We’ll use 2 ounces of this cold brew coffee concentrate for each drink.
Pour your four espresso shots (or Keurig-brewed coffee/cold brew coffee concentrate) into a glass Pyrex measuring cup. Measure out 2 tablespoons of pumpkin sauce and 2 teaspoons of rum syrup and stir into the coffee. This mixture will be enough for two drinks.
Barista Secret: Always mix your syrup with your espresso shots! This helps to blend them before adding the milk.
Now it’s time to put everything together! We’re going to be making two iced lattes for this recipe, so I’d recommend filling two 16-ounce cups three-quarters of the way with ice.
Start by pouring half of your espresso shot/syrup mixture from your Pyrex measuring cup into one cup, and then pour the other half into the second cup. Split your 16 ounces of infused milk in half and pour 8 ounces of infused milk into each cup. Stir with a long spoon.
Now comes the best part (and any barista will agree)—garnishing the drink! Once your iced lattes are mixed to your liking, add whipped cream and cinnamon on top. Pop in a reusable metal or bamboo straw, and you’ve got iced Pumpkin Spice Lattes…infused with cannabis!
To figure out exactly how many milligrams are in your latte, check out Veriheal’s Edible Dosage Calculator. This tool is an easy way to figure out the exact amount of THC in your drink.
Many people love to mix coffee and cannabis—I know I sure do! The coffee helps to keep me focused and alert while the cannabis offers a nice body high. It’s an award-winning combo! Keep in mind that the caffeine from the coffee will most likely kick in first and the cannabis will typically take one to three hours to fully take effect.
Enjoy! Let us know what you think of this fun fall treat in the comments below.
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