3.05.2012

Save By Making Your Own

I've been wracking my brain trying to remember if I have already posted this or not. Yes, I could go back to the archives, but I don't want to take anymore time away from posting. So, if this is a repeat idea, please accept my sincerest apologies.

Over the past several years, I have read many, many articles on saving money. One of the most challenging areas of overspending for a large majority of people seems to be that of purchasing expensive coffee house specialty drinks. I too enjoy coffee, in many forms. Even though overspending on specialty coffee drinks is not a temptation for me personally, I do get a craving for one every now and then. My challenge is that I live too far from town to just bop on down to the coffee shop and purchase one.

Being an avid DIYer at heart perfectly sets me up to experiment with various combinations of ingredients. Being the type of someone who never gives up allows me to continue my experiments until the result tastes EXACTLY the way I want it to. As a result, I now prefer my own iced coffee and specialty type coffee drinks over those available from coffee shops. 

If you, or someone you know, is an avid coffee drinker who wants/needs to save some moolah but is unable/unwilling to forgo their liquid pleasure, maybe a day of coffee experimentation is in order. Anyone can make an excellent coffee drinks at home for less, MUCH less.

To get us started, here is a recipe for the "Perfect Iced Coffee". The recipe comes to us from The Pioneer Woman's Recipes on her website. Been there? Go! It's fun, real fun. Anyway...always remember that almost every recipe can be adjusted and adapted to fit your own taste and situation. This is no exception.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground coffee (good, rich roast)
8 quarts cold water
half-and-half (healthy splash per serving)
sweetened condensed milk (2-3 Tablespoons per serving)
Note: can use skim milk, 2%, whole, sugar, artificial sweeteners, syrups...adapt to your liking!
Preparation Instructions:
(adapted from Imbibe magazine)
In a large container, mix ground coffee with water. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature eight hours or overnight.
Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set over a pitcher or other container. Pour coffee/water mixture through the strainer, allowing all liquid to run through. Discard grounds.
Place coffee liquid in the fridge and allow to cool. Use as needed.
To make iced coffee, pack a glass full of ice cubes.(A quart mason jar works very well.) Fill glass 2/3 full with coffee liquid. Add health splash of half and half. Add 2-3 T. sweetened condensed milk (can use plain sugar instead) and stir to combine. Taste and adjust half and half and/or sweetened condensed milk as needed.

Doesn't that sound so good? I can almost smell the coffee brewing already. Oh wait! That's my own coffee! Better go see if it is ready. 

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