I love coffee like most people love breathing, but by the time we get from AM to PM, I’m banned from the coffee pot by my husband, who doesn’t want to hear me pace our house until three in the morning.

Still, I need an afternoon pick-me-up to help me stay focused and cheerful (and to prevent audible snoring on conference calls). And I want it to be a) fun; b) flavorful; and c) festive… like my thermos itself.

Fortunately, there’s a lot more than coffee to be had on a rainy, cool day in Boston, and I’m going to share a few of my favorite non-java sips.

Hot Chocolate Marshmallows
Marshmallows infused with hot chocolate tea? Marry me.
Courtesy of David's Tea

Meta Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate Squared?

The folks at David’s Tea have invented a wild new ingredient for your chocolate-sipping pleasure: Hot Chocolate Tea-Infused Marshmallows. They had me at “Hot Chocolate Tea,” of course, but the idea of a marshmallow that combines the complexity of a rich, cocoa-y tea with the vanilla creaminess of those puffs of joy? A. Ma. Zing.

You can find the Hot Chocolate Tea at a David's in your area, or snag some online. Just be sure to hide it well out of sight at your desk; in my experience, people get really excited about David’s Tea. (Did you know they have Peanut Butter Cup Tea? As my friend said, “It’s so completely weird… yet proof that the Universe loves us.”)

Chai A Little Tenderness

With six locations in Boston, you’re probably not too far from a Pavement Coffeehouse—and when you need a little perking up in the PM, proximity is everything. According to both Foursquare and Yelp, the folks at Pavement make a mean chai latte, so I headed there to snag one of my own. SOLD! Perfectly balanced, with the right amount of creaminess and spicy goodness.

I once equated drinking a chai latte with drinking a sweater. A sweater that warms you from the inside. Your favorite sweater. Your favorite sweater that smells like cinnamon.

I think I killed the metaphor.

Mull It Over

I consumed approximately one million cider donuts this fall, often accompanied by a cold cup of cider. Our temperatures never really got low enough to go any warmer with my beverage.

Now that our weather is starting to act more like New England than Northern California, it’s time to get into mulled cider. Pour some good apple cider (or even apple juice) in a pot on the stove, and add some cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, fresh-ground nutmeg and a couple of allspice berries. Let it simmer a bit to allow the spices to infuse their flavor—and voila! It only gets better when it hangs out in your thermos all day, waiting for you to drink it up.

If you’ve only got a minute, just head to your office microwave with a bottle of cider, a mug and a mulling tea bag. It’s easy, it’s quick, and everyone will roam the hallways trying to figure out who baked a pie at their desk.

OR… head to Boston mainstay Flour Bakery and get yourself a thermos-full, ready-made. And because it’s a bakery, you’re legally obligated to have a ginger-molasses cookie, or some almond biscotti to dip into your cider. Really. It’s the law.

This autumn and winter, take full advantage of warm drink weather by moving beyond the standard latte or Americano to truly seasonal treats. Oh, and if you want to really enjoy your drink?

Pick it up and tote it in one of these.