I was a barista for 7 years, and would gladly return to the profession if the chance arose. As any former barista will tell you, you become very particular about your coffee after having free reign over a commercial espresso machine! What really bothers me is splurging for an expensive drink and it not being up to par. Because of this, I make most of my coffee at home (well, that and I’m cheap). My husband got me an amazing espresso machine as a wedding gift 5 years ago, so it’s not a challenge, but even without it great iced drinks are well within your reach, even with something as simple as a French press.
You will need
5 Tbsp plus 1 tsp strongly brewed organic pre-ground coffee ($7.99 per 12 oz, $7.99/12oz = $.67 x 2oz =
$1.33 per pot. $1.33 per 3 ½ cups, $1.33/56 Tbsp = $.02 x 5.33Tbsp = $.13)
½ cup organic milk ($6.35 per gallon, $6.35/16 cups = $.39 x .5cup = .19)
3 Tbsp homemade chocolate syrup ($1.58 per 16fl.oz, $1.58/32Tbsp = $.05 x 3Tbsp = $.15)
(NOTE: I have a 4 cup French press. If you’re using a drip coffee maker or any other apparatus, follow the manufacturer’s directions, but add a little more grounds than usual. You can use whatever coffee you have in the cabinet, but I would recommend a darker roast such as espresso or French roast for this.)
|Coffee cubes on the way!|
|The next morning, cubes are ready for the blender.|
Put 8 heaping Tbsp of coffee grounds in the French press. Pour boiling water to the top of the metal band. Put the top on and let it sit for 3 minutes before pushing down the plunger. Allow the coffee to cool a bit, then pour into an ice cube tray. Freeze until solid.
Put a few coffee cubes in a glass (I used three). Fill the glass the rest of the way with regular ice (I used 4 pieces of ice from the ice maker). Fill milk almost to the top of the ice, about a ½ cup (less if you like the mocha thicker). Throw everything in the glass into a blender, and add chocolate to taste. I add 3 Tbsp, but add more if you like it crazy sweet like most of the coffee shop blender mochas. This made a 12 fl.oz frozen mocha.
|I eyeballed the milk, then measured what I had poured.|
|Don't take your drink out of the blender till it's spinning smoothly and there's a nice whirlpool effect in the middle or it won't be smooth and you'll be crunching on your "drink".|
|Ahh, summertime perfection!|
At this point you could also add whipped cream and a drizzle of syrup if you feel like getting fancy. That would add $.27 to the price (for 2 Tbsp organic whipping cream and 1 tsp homemade chocolate syrup).
Yes, I’m aware of how many parenthesis there are in this post! Since this is an item that everyone likes a little differently, and something I’ve been making by feel since I was 17, it was difficult to put precise measurements on the ingredients. I did actually measure everything out, so if you make it the same way I did, you will taste what I taste. Give my way a go, and tweak from there to get your perfect drink!
If you would rather a frozen caramel or vanilla or whatever, just substitute that flavor for the chocolate. Quality syrups can often be found at Target or the grocery store, or at World Market. I prefer Da Vinci brand, myself.
Why coffee ice cubes? Well, they can be made in advance without wasting the rest of the pot, and they can be used for other things, too. I went to a shop in Michigan where if you ordered an iced coffee they gave you a cup full to the brim with coffee ice cubes, then told you to pour hot coffee over it. I was initially skeptical, but that stuff was delicious and fresh tasting and never got watered down.
$.47 per 12 fl.oz mocha, or $.04/fl.oz
$3.75 per 12 fl.oz, $3.65 if you remember your own cup at the Target Starbucks (where I was picking up my free birthday drink!), or $.31/fl.oz, $.30/fl.oz with your cup.
Unless the real treat for you is visiting the coffee shop (and I understand that completely!), Try It, it’s only 13% of the cost of a shop drink, not including tip.