If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, a few months ago you probably noticed my update about enjoying a vanilla iced coffee that I made at home. Iced coffee is an addiction for me during the spring and summer months, and I found myself getting one either at Starbucks or a local coffee shop at least once a week. Not good for the bank.
In an effort to save some money while still being able to enjoy my infatuation for this cool summer beverage, I set out to create a do-it-yourself recipe at home. Although the first couple of glasses I tried were tasty, the second couple were not so great. What was I doing wrong? Wasn’t simply brewing a stronger pot of coffee and pouring it over the rocks of ice the way to do it? No, this evidently wasn’t the best way.
I finally sought the help from my friend who works at a coffee shop. She gave me a rough run down of how they make it at work (without giving away any secret recipes) and then I took her pieces of advice and went from there. Thanks to her, I now have what I think is the best do-it-yourself iced coffee recipe that will not suck up all of your paycheck and savings. The key? Soaking the coffee grounds in water for a period of time.
My friend told me they soak their coffee grounds (used for iced coffee) for 24 hours. At home, we obviously will soak a smaller batch than a coffee shop who sells a large volume of iced coffee each day, so it won’t take you 24 hours. Instead, you can get away with soaking your beans for as less as 6 to 8 hours, or up to overnight.
After the grounds are properly soaked, layer some paper towels in a fine mesh strainer and pour the soaked coffee grounds through to remove any grittiness (cheesecloth or coffee filters work here, too).
Fill your cup with a bunch of ice, add your favorite flavorings (vanilla syrup, caramel syrup, sugar, milk, half and half, etc.) followed by a pouring of the strained coffee. Mix it all together and, voila!, you have iced coffee you can be feel good about since you got it cheap!
The best part of this recipe is that you do not have to brew a new pot of coffee every day. The recipe below makes about 8 servings, which lasts me more than a week. It keeps in the fridge so it’s ready to be poured into a large glass of ice right away in the morning. You can double, triple or quadruple the recipe as you like (depending on how big of a container you have).
Here’s another money saving tip. If you’re looking for the right cup to serve this in, look no further than Bed, Bath and Beyond. They carry a line of cups with lids and straws for only $3.99 each. That definitely beats the price of Target’s at $9.99 and Starbucks at $15+. While I’m sharing these frugal ideas, I must admit that I do still splurge once in a while and treat myself to a cup of Starbucks every now and then. I’m a gold member after all and need to keep my status for my free birthday drink this month…right?
Yield: 8 servings
Recipe Note: While the method can’t be beat, the measurements of the ingredients below are suited to my particular preference. Use this recipe as a base and then adjust to your own tastes.
1 cup good ground coffee
8 cups cold water
2 – 3 Tablespoons skim milk*
2 – 3 Tablespoons vanilla sugar*
*Or your preferred coffee flavorings, such as vanilla syrup, milk, creamer, sugar, half and half, etc.
Place the ground coffee beans in a large container that includes a lid and holds at least 8 cups of liquid. Add the water and stir to mix, so that all grounds are wet. Cover and let soak for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
When the coffee grounds are ready, set a mesh strainer, lined with paper towels, over a large bowl and strain the coffee liquid to remove the grit. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to press all the liquid through, discard the grounds.
To assemble a drink, fill a large glass with ice cubes. Add the milk and sugar, then pour in about 3/4 cups coffee. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust flavorings as desired.
Store the leftover coffee in a covered container in the fridge for later use. Repeat above assembly instructions every morning, or whenever you need that cool, refreshing caffeine kick!
Source: Pennies Original