Frosted coffee drinks can run $4 at coffee houses, and that’s without extra flavors, added espresso shots and milk substitutions. To save money, be your own barista and try these recipes.
Frosted coffee drinks can run $4 at coffee houses, and that’s without extra flavors, added espresso shots and milk substitutions. Drink one each day and your tab can exceed $1,000 a year.
To save money, be your own barista.
Besides coffee, you’ll need flavorings, such as syrups, cocoa, flavored creamers and spices. Some recipes call for milk or cream; others are made with ice cubes or ice cream in a blender. Be sure to factor in time for chilling.
For iced drinks, the coffee can be prepared either hot or cold, according to Travis Arndorfer, co-author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Coffee & Tea."
“You can brew it hot, and pour it over ice cubes or put it in the fridge. With the ice cubes, you run into trouble with dilution,” said Arndorfer, a Milwaukee-based copywriter.
“With a cold-brew method, you make a concentrate and you can keep it about a week in the refrigerator,” he said. To cold-brew: Coarsely grind a pound of your favorite coffee, then add to it about 72 ounces (a little more than a half gallon) of fresh water. Let it sit for about 12 hours or overnight. When it’s brewed, pour it through a strainer to filter out the grounds, then refrigerate.
“Your proportions will vary, depending on taste,” said Arndorfer. “Cold-brewing is less acidic and has a more rounded flavor.”
He said cold-brewing is preferable for drinks that contain milk, “because it has a deeper, resonant tone that cuts through milk a little better.”
There are home cold-brewing systems (such as the Toddy) in stores, but Arndorfer said special equipment is not needed to make cold-brewed coffee.
According to the National Coffee Association, 86 percent of coffee drinkers prepare their coffee at home. Some tips:
-- Consider using skim milk and sugar-free creamers to cut calories.
-- Use a cocktail shaker to make drinks extra frothy.
-- Try double-strength coffee. To make hot, simply double the amount of coffee required by your coffeemaker. The usual coffeemaker ratio is 1 tablespoon ground coffee per cup, so use 2 tablespoons per cup.
- -Make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed when using a blender. When making large amounts — more than 5 cups – divide the ingredients in half and blend separately. Then combine the mixture in a large pitcher.
-- Make coffee ice cubes to guard against watered down drinks. Simply fill ice cube trays with coffee and freeze. Put the cubes in a freezer bag until ready for use.
-- Use attractive glassware. Drinks will seem special if presented in fancy glasses instead of plastic cups. For a frosted finish, store the glasses in the freezer before using.
-- Don’t forget the garnish. Add whipped cream, a squiggle of caramel or chocolate syrup, a pinch of nutmeg, some colored sprinkles, a scoop of ice cream or a cinnamon stick. Make sure the garnish reflects the flavor of the drink.
“Most iced coffee drinks are pretty simple,” said Arndorfer. One of his favorites is the Affagato Gianduja, a traditional Italian drink made with vanilla gelato or ice cream and espresso. It can double as a dessert.
“It sounds good,” he said, “but it tastes better.”
Blended Coffee Frost
Adapted from Nestle
1 cup 1 percent milk
2 tablespoons Italian crème or French vanilla flavored coffee creamer
2 tablespoons brown sugar
5 teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 cups ice cubes
Whipped topping (optional)
Ground cinnamon (optional)
Place milk, creamer, sugar and coffee granules in blender; cover. Blend until coffee is dissolved. Add ice; blend until smooth. Pour into glasses; top with whipped topping. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Note: For chocolate flavor, replace the brown sugar with the same amount of chocolate syrup.
Makes 2 servings, 1 1/2 cups each
From “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Coffee & Tea” by Travis Arndorfer and Kristine Hansen
1 scoop cream- or vanilla-flavored gelato
1/3 cup Nutella spread (adjust for taste)
1 shot espresso
Valrhona unsweetened dark-chocolate powder
Chill the glasses or cups in which the drink will be served. (Smaller-sized martini glasses or 3-ounce demitasses work well.)
Mix 3 parts gelato to 1 part Nutella spread. The mixture will melt, but it should not be liquid. You only need to mix so Nutella is streaked in gelato.
Put a spoonful of the mixture into the chilled glass or cup. Make espresso, and pour shot over mixture. Top with dark-chocolate powder and serve. Swirl ingredients around to incorporate.
Makes 1 drink.
Black and White
From “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Coffee & Tea”
1/2 ounce coconut syrup
1 (1-ounce) shot espresso
8 ice cubes
1 ounce vanilla extract
1 ounce coconut milk
Pour coconut syrup into a martini glass. Add espresso shot and two ice cubes to a shaker, and shake. Strain espresso from ice and pour it over syrup. Shake together vanilla extract, coconut milk and remaining six ice cubes. Gently pour vanilla mixture over espresso.
Makes 1 drink.
Ice Cream Parlor Mocha Sodas
From the National Coffee Association
½ cup hot water
8 teaspoons coffee, finely ground to a powder
2 cups milk
4 scoops chocolate ice cream
1 quart club soda
Sweetened whipped cream or prepared whipped topping
Place hot water in a medium-sized pitcher. Add coffee and stir until dissolved. Stir in milk.
Place 1 scoop of ice cream in each of four ice cream soda glasses. Pour coffee/milk mixture equally into each glass. Fill glasses almost to brim with club soda. Top with sweetened whipped cream or prepared whipped topping.
Kathryn Rem can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.