Chances are, you probably purchase coffee beverages several times a week. You may even buy a cup of joe or a specialty beverage every day – and you’re definitely not alone! One study showed that over 50% of Americans 18 years and older drink coffee every day. That’s over 150 million daily drinkers! What’s even more astounding is that 30 million American adults drink specialty coffee beverages daily; which include mochas, lattes, espressos, iced coffee beverages, etc.
Let’s do some quick math here. At the time of this writing, a 16oz cup of medium roast coffee at Starbucks is $2.25. If you get a cup of coffee every single day, that’s $821.25 a year in coffee alone! Even if you only get plain coffee 3 times a week, that’s still roughly $350 a year. As for those specialty drinks, you’re looking at nearly double that cost, coming in at $1,514.75 annually.
That’s a good chunk of change when you add it all up! Don’t worry, I’ve got some creative ways to doctor up your at-home coffee that will taste great and save you money. Not only that, but a lot of these ideas are healthier since you get to control what goes into each drink. Let’s take a look at these ideas!
DIY Simple Syrups
If you frequent coffee shops, then you’ll probably recognize these Torani syrup bottles. There are different brands, but Torani and Monin are very popular. They used in most coffee shops, aside from big chains like Starbucks. You can purchase these bottles at most grocery stores, but it’s so easy to make your own, and so much cheaper!
Simple syrup, as you probably know, consists of equal parts sugar and water, heated over a saucepan. Now, you can leave it at that – sugar and water – for a classic sweetener, but you can also try out a bunch of different recipes. For vanilla, just add 1 vanilla bean, split down the middle and left open. For cinnamon, add 1 cinnamon stick. For different fruit flavors, bring equal parts water, sugar, and diced fruit to a boil, and let simmer for 30 minutes. When done, strain and store in an air-tight container.
You can use these syrups in hot coffee, but they really go well with iced beverages. Of course, they also can be used in cocktails and other beverages.
Coffee Ice Cubes
This little hack is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Brew an extra-strong pot of coffee, let it cool slightly, then pour it into an ice cube tray. Once the cubes are frozen, you can store them in a ziplock bag in the freezer and have them ready to go!
Some people enjoy these coffee cubes in a glass of milk with some simple syrup, but the best way (in my opinion) to serve coffee cubes is in a blended drink. Toss a few of these concentrated coffee ice cubes into a blender with some milk and honey or simple syrup, and you have yourself a frosty, blended beverage for less than it costs for a pot of coffee!
Now, if you’re someone who loves warm lattes, you might have a harder time achieving that silky, foamed milk perfection at home without dropping some serious cash on an espresso machine, but there’s still hope! While it may seem magical, the frothy layer in lattes and cappuccinos is merely a product of heat and aerated milk (or dairy alternative). This can be achieved by using an inexpensive, hand-held frother. Seriously, so cheap – with models starting at under $3 on Amazon.
Simply pour your milk into a glass and microwave until it reaches your desired temperature. Then, tilt the glass, turn on the frother, and dip it up and down to aerate the milk. You may not be winning any latte art competitions, but you’ll be surprised at how well this works to achieve that same texture you love about your store-bought lattes.
Cinnamon & Nutmeg Grounds
Perhaps the easiest way to add a little extra flavor to your home-brewed coffee is to add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg to your coffee grounds before brewing. You can use this technique for any brewing method – coffee maker, pour-over, French press, Chemex, etc.
I first discovered this coffee hack in college, and let’s just say, it was a total game-changer for me. You’ll be amazed at what a little dash of spice can add to your morning cup! Another thing I like to add to my coffee grounds in the fall and winter months is mulling spices. You can find these in the spice aisle at the grocery store. Trust me, it’s worth it!SKM: below-content placeholder