Expensive Cafe Coffees: Who Knew They Could Be Made At Home For Cheap And With Such Little Effort???

Sunday, December 11, 2011

So if you are like me at all, you have a weakness for those $5 a pop coffees from Starbucks or other similar places. After a long day at work or even as a cap off to a fun-filled girls night, I get giddy when I see that frozen or steaming concoction coming from the drive-thru window into my anxiously awaiting hand, but later I feel a little guilty at spending $5 on one drink that disappears in 30 minutes or less. Do you ever feel that way? Well, *drum roll* feel guilty no more because you can create ice coffee that tastes just as good as what you spend gobs of money on, but you can do it for a small fraction of the cost and keep it in your refrigerator for enjoyment for up to a month! Drinking indulgent coffee is now guilt free... as long as you don't think about the calories involved :) To see where I got the original concept go check out Craving Comfort

Let's start with what you'll be needing to create this decadent coffee:

-1 lb of coffee (if you want a more realistic version of what you usually buy, you'll want to buck up and spend the money on the expensive coffee from the company, but I believe you'll be able to get similar results even with cheaper store bought coffees.. plus you'll save even more!)
-1 gallon of water (straight from the faucet works, but you can also buy drinking water in a gallon jug, then reuse the jug for the process which you'll understand more in a little bit)
-1-12 oz can evaporated milk
-1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

-large bowl, has to hold at least a gallon of liquid
-large pitcher to store coffee, or if you've got an empty gallon jug or purchased a gallon of drinking water for the recipe it will work too :)
-small container (preferred one that's easily poured from even something like a salad dresser bottle would work as long as it can hold 26 oz) to hold sweetener
-coffee filters
-kitchen funnel

This is so exciting to share! Let's get started!!!

1. Pour your gallon of water into the bowl you've chosen to use
2. Add the pound of coffee straight into the water (yes you are cold brewing the coffee- you don't even need a coffee machine!!!), let sit for 12 hours or overnight

** This is what it will look like after setting**

Now comes the only time consuming part, but believe me its worth it!

3. Place funnel into gallon jug (or if you are like me and planned to put the coffee in a pitcher with no gallon jug available, you'll need something with a small neck that a funnel will fit into, I chose a 2 liter bottle I had just emptied and it worked great!)

4. Place a coffee filter in the funnel and slowly start to pour the coffee through the filter (I used a measuring cup to scoop it from the bowl and transfer it). You will end up going through several coffee filters as they start clogging up with all the grounds. Like I said this is time consuming, but worth it!

5. Once you've strained all the coffee put it into the fridge, whether in your gallon jug or transferred to a gallon pitcher

Now it's time to make the sweet stuff!

6. Combine the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk into your designated container, mix together-- that's it, just store it in the fridge too!

Now for the creation...

When you are ready to enjoy your coffee simply fill glass 2/3rd full of coffee and fill the other 1/3rd with sweetener (I even enjoy it slightly sweeter than that, but it's a good start to see what you like), and that's it ENJOY!!! AND You can store the coffee for up to a month in your fridge :)

You can add ice first if you want, but I find it kinda waters it down if you don't drink it fairly quickly. I also think you could easily blend it to be frozen by adding the coffee/sweetener mix in with a scoop of ice and blending it YUM! Get fancy and add some whipped topping from a can and drizzle chocolate or caramel syrup over it just to make it look more official. I enjoyed it without all that, but I can see where it could be fun to play with for parties or company to impress them :)

One thing I think will improve the overall flavor of the coffee is to use pre-flavored coffee. Let's say you are a vanilla or caramel lover, then get coffee that is infused already with your favorite flavor, and that will take the coffee from basic iced coffee to flavored iced coffee! I plan to try this out with some pumpkin spice coffee a friend gave me next-- see if I can recreate those seasonal favorites from Starbucks. Experiment with it, it's hard to mess up so have fun! Let me know what your favorite combo is, maybe I'll wanna try it too!

Admittedly, I will not be giving up the occasional trip to my favorite place for coffee, but I think that this will definitely satisfy me 3 out of 4 times! What a money saver! I estimate that I spent $16 to make all of this (keeping in mind I used expensive coffee bought from Starbucks to make it more authentic to them). So far I've had a 24 oz glass (no ice- pictured above) full of it, plus gave a 16 oz glass to a friend to try, and so far it hasn't hardly put a dent in my coffee. I do think you will go through a couple rounds of the sweetener to get through the gallon of coffee, esp if you like it sweet like me so keep that in mind. I would estimate I will probably spend $20 or so dollars in total, but I will most definitely get at least triple the equivalent of $20 (or 4 coffees) from mine vs buying it. So that means probably around 12 large coffees for $20-- that's only $1.66 per cup, which is equivalent to about a venti at Starbucks. If you use cheaper coffee, the cost will be a fraction of that even!

Hope you do this soon!

UPCOMING BLOG TEASER: jello shots for holiday parties made out of... candy???

Til Next Time...

Lizzy <3


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