Wednesday, October 23, 2013

DIY Iced Coffee: Wallet Friendly Wednesday

Last Sunday, I showed you my recipe for homemade caramel sauce, and promised to show you me recipe for iced coffee that goes along with it! 

This right here is my weakness. This, for several years, was my morning wakeup call. And while, like any junkie, I scoped out the places with the best deals, this single can of Java Monster typically runs about $2.89  a pop. That's almost $20 a week. So I resolved to create the perfect recipe that I could make at home for far cheaper. It's not the same things, by any means, but I like it well enough that I don't really miss the Java Monster. I did buy one for express purpose of photographing it for you, but I did drink it, I won't lie. It was great. But my iced coffee works just as well, and far cheaper! So I'll share my recipe with you, in case you are an iced coffee junkie on a budget as well. Even if you're not, it makes a great occasional treat. I'm drinking some right now! 

You will need:
Coffee- whichever grounds you prefer. I use the Walmart brand Dark Roast, as I like dark roasts, and it's a Great Value
An empty container- I mix up a gallon at a time, and use empty milk jugs
Milk- I prefer whole for the creamy mouthfeel
A separate empty container, for brewing the coffee- I use a half gallon pitcher
Liquid measuring cup and dry measuring cup
A small strainer
Your homemade Caramel Sauce
A cup!

When coffee is to be drunk cold, cold brewing is the preferred process, as hot brewing adds a bitterness that is not welcome in iced coffee. So rather than simply brewing coffee in your coffee pot and adding ice, you're going to cold brew it (if you're following my method, that it!) It results in a far smoother end result. 
Start by taking your half gallon pitcher and adding 3/4 to 1 cup of coffee grounds.

Coffee, cup, pitcher. 

Fill the pitcher with water. You'll want to stir it a bit to wet all the grounds.

Place pitcher in the fridge. This part requires a bit of patience, as it takes at least 12 hours for a full strength brew. I typically let mine sit for 24. I put in in as I'm making dinner one evening, and make the finished beverage as I'm making dinner the next.

Once your coffe is brewed, it's time to get down to making the good stuff! 

Start by filtering out your coffee. I use a small handheld strainer, but you can use whatever you have handy. Your half gallon pitcher will yield 6-7 cups of cold-brewed coffee. My recipe calls for 5 cups in the finished drink. I either freeze the extra as coffee ice cubes or just strain and bottle it for future use.

Once your coffee is strained out, pour it into your empty milk jug. Then it's time to add milk. I add 9 cups of whole milk. I prefer a creamier drink with a coffee taste, rather than coffee with a splash of milk :) 

Milk and coffee? Check! Finally, you'll want to add your flavoring/sweetener. I use 1/2 cup of my homemade caramel sauce. I prefer to add the caramel before the milk, so that I have plenty of room to shake it up and mix it, but I forgot to do so here. It's still shakeable and mixable, it's just heavier.

And here is the finished product: Iced coffee! I go through my gallon in about a week, so it will definitely keep that long. The recipe is easily customizable for both amount made and sweetness/creaminess preferences, so feel free to play around! To recap, the overall "recipe" is:

5 cups cold brewed coffee
9 cups whole milk
1/2 cup caramel sauce

Pour into the cup of your choice and enjoy! Let me know if you try it out, let me know what your morning vices are! Either way, I'd love to hear from you :)

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