Sunday, July 27, 2014

Iced Coffee

My favorite way to get caffeine in me during the summer is iced coffee:

Yummmm. But I don't always want to pay Starbuck's or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf prices. Not to mention, all that plastic--the cup, the lid, the straw. Egads.

Here are three ways to get iced coffee that are cheaper, easier on the environment, and only as far away as your kitchen:

1. Blue Bottle, the premier coffee roasters/purveyor, now offers iced coffee--sweetened and laced with milk--in convenient cartons. There's no multi-syllable scary chemicals in the ingredients. Just coffee, milk, chicory, and cane sugar. All you do is add ice cubes:

2. "Secret Squirrel," a cold-coffee concentrate, is great if you prefer your iced coffee straight up. It's available in several different-sized glass bottles. I first noticed Secret Squirrel at my local farmers' market. Then it popped up at my local Whole Foods Market:

The brown bottles, by the way, are called "growlers," and the company takes them back to wash and re-use, so they are easy on the environment.

3. Medaglia d'Oro Instant Espresso Coffee is the cheapest way I know to make wonderfully flavorful iced coffee at home. The granules deliver a powerful punch of flavor--one rounded teaspoon is all it takes to make a big, icy glass. I like adding a little of my favorite pure vanilla extract and some sugar or sweetener for a special treat:


Happily, the espresso powder is sold everywhere, including Walmart and online through Amazon. Blue Bottle and Secret Squirrel are local brands, not available everywhere. But poke around your local farmers' market, or the refrigerator case of a local grocery store. You will probably find some version of these cold-coffee products in your neighborhood, too.

Just stay away from those chemical-laden "flavored coffees" and "coffee creamers." They are scary!



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