Tuesday, July 26, 2011

DIY Iced Coffee: Saving you money and contributing to my caffeine fix

OK - so I'm not the only blogger to be fixated on iced coffee lately.  Ahem, Recipe Girl-Marcus Samuelsson-Ree Drummond.  It must be the heat.  Or maybe we're all fed up with paying through the nose to drink such ice-choked goodness.  At least, that's where I'm coming from.  I love iced coffee as an alternative to hot coffee (obviously) or iced tea.  But when you go to Starbucks (although I lurve you ...) and you pay about $3 for a drink that's more ice than actual substance, you know you'd better find a cheaper vice or figure out a way to do it yourself.  My local Trader Joe's helped me out by devoting an entire end cap to French Roast coffee and their easy-peasy recipe on cold brewing iced coffee.  It's pretty simple:

1 lb. coffee (to quote The Pioneer Woman "the stronger, the better")
2 gallons cold water

Combine the two in a hella-large container and let sit for 8 hours. 

These are my hella-large containers.  The Pioneer Woman had way better equipment than I did.  Just sayin'.
After a Herculean amount of patience and strange looks from your husband wondering why you are "wasting" what looks to be perfectly good coffee - this is where the fun (and the mess) begins.  Take another container and use a fine-mesh strainer to separate your future iced coffee liquid from the used grounds (dregs of former glory?).

I told you this was messy ... Instead of using cheesecloth, I used a coffee filter.  And then I got frustrated and just used my fine mesh strainer sans coffee filter.  Coffee grounds will not kill me ...

And that's basically how you make iced coffee.  After all of this, you will have made 2 gallons of iced coffee that gets diluted even further when you add it to an ice-choked glass.  Two gallons of DIY iced coffee vs. what you would pay at Starbucks or even McDonalds ... that equals some pretty substantial savings.

This is what the finished product looks like.

Ignore the crap in the background ... you'd think that if I went to the trouble of staging a photo, I'd actually move junk from the shelves in the background.  Not necessarily so ...

I took a page from The Pioneer Woman's book (as well as fond memories from my time in Malta and the Thai coffee from Newey's in Mantiowoc) and added a big tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk.  Imagine what this would be like with a little Bailey's or Kahlua.  That, my friends, you cannot get at Starbucks.

1 comment:

Everyday Notions said...

I LOVE this - can't wait to try your recipe!!