Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saving Money: Making Your Own Iced Coffee Concentrate

Starbucks® Caramel Naturally Flavored CoffeeI was first introduced to iced coffee at Starbucks several years ago, when the barista informed me that it would be cheaper to replace my iced mocha with an iced coffee + milk + mocha syrup.  Then iced Via came out, and I officially became an addict.  It started in the summer...and before I knew it, I was drinking iced coffee year-round.  Every morning I would measure out half a pack of caramel iced Via (3 teaspoons), then mix it with half cold water and half chocolate milk (sometimes dairy, sometimes soy, sometimes almond) and a couple of ice cubes.  And even though it was cheaper than making a Starbucks run every day, it was still pretty pricey.  Then I discovered the Pioneer Woman's recipe for making your own iced coffee concentrate.  I wondered if I could use Starbucks' caramel coffee* and replicate the iced caramel Via.  Turns out, I could!  So now, for about $7.50, I can make three weeks' worth of my elixir.  The best ratio I've found is 2 cups of water for each ounce of coffee, so 22 cups for an 11-oz package, and I usually let it steep overnight.  I haven't invested in cheesecloth yet (I just use paper towels over a strainer), and I still buy my chocolate milk to mix with it, but I can now start my mornings off both caffeinated and guilt-free!

*For more info, see  I usually buy mine at Target.

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