Friday, June 15, 2012

Starbucks, I'm Cutting the Cord!

My love of Starbucks dates back to when the chain first started gaining popularity in my sleepy Michigan hometown.  My doctor's office was one of the first to have the coffee shop in its entryway and this turned out to be one the best investments they ever made - at least, that's what my mom says.  Because a Frappechino, my friends, was the only thing that kept her little "girly-pearly" quiet through a prick, a poke, a check-up...anything doctor related.  And so the addiction began.

Over the years Starbucks has become synonymous with "treat" in my vocabulary.  I use the only sparingly - a meeting with friends, a hot day in Michigan, and after moving the Virginia and leaving my comfy, regular life of home, the treat quota has far been exceeding it's financial allotment from my wallet.  I've tried to compensate by only waiting till the craving is unbearable and switching over to iced tea.  Recently, though, I discovered the joys of a new beverage: iced coffee with soymilk and Steevia (I bring my own packets and ask them to put them in).

Drinking this cool beauty I am blissfully happy - but alas the fun is over MAYBE 30 minutes later - if I can last that long, and I'm left with my gift card stub showing I am $2.33 poorer and only received 6 oz or so of coffee with milk.  $2.33.  That's how much a half gallon of soymilk costs.  So I got to thinking... is it possible I can make my very own iced coffee?  Sounds so simple, but actually, there are a few things to remember:

1) Use a smooth blend, something nutty and with caramel undertones

2) Brew your coffee the night before and put it in the fridge- this way it won't melt when the ice hits

3) Proportions are everything - find a mix of coffee: milk: sugar that works for you

So here's my easy peasy recipe for homemade iced coffee.  Now save those Starbucks giftcards for the things you CAN'T make at home - like Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Lattes.

- 4 cups brewed coffee, chilled (I make enough for a couple days but not too far in advance because fresh coffee tastes better than 3-day-old coffee.  Obvi. The kind of beans I used for this was the Archer Farms Caramel Target blend.  A lot of the Target blends look yummy, so I'll prolly be switching this up soon.

- Packets of Stevia, all natural sweetener

- Vanilla almond milk or soymilk

When you're ready to drink, stir together 6 oz coffee, 2 oz milk, and 1/2 packet Stevia.  That's my preference so you can adjust however you like.  I only let myself have one or two of these a week because I'm paranoid about over-doing it on coffee and becoming one of those addicted dental student.

And do me a favor: use a straw and save your perly whites the displeasure of turning murky brown.

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