Friday, August 27, 2010

Frugal Friday - Making Your Own Flavored Coffee

I love my coffee !  Hmmm...that's one thing I haven't written about on These are a Few of My Favorite Things!  Anyway, I love, love, love my coffee.  I buy my own beans and grind my coffee.  We even have a line item in the budget for my coffee - I'm not sure if that's pitiful or just realistic! :)

I'm not a huge fancy coffee person - typically I just like regular old Joe, not the big fru-fru drinks from Starbucks or Caribou.  Though, the Caramel Machiatto is a really nice treat from time to time!  I think if I had one every day it would loose the 'special-ness' of it all.  I save it for coffee with a friend or a date night out with John. 

I especially love flavored coffee but it can be pricey - more than the 'regular' kind anyway, at least in the brands I favor.  I do buy it occasionally, but found that I could by regular Colombian less expensively.  But I didn't want to give up my flavored coffee completely!  So, a couple of years ago I started experimenting.  And found ways to make my own flavored coffee at home. I have a cheap, drip coffee maker, but I would imagine you can do this with a french press or percolator too.  Here's what I found:

Vanilla, Almond, or Amaretto Flavored Coffee: Add a drop of two of the flavoring (the real thing preferably) to your coffee grounds before brewing.  I've tried adding it to the already brewed coffee, and I don't like it as well, though I supposed that would work too, depending on your taste.

Cinnamon or Chocolate Flavored Coffee: Sprinkle a light dusting of cinnamon or cocoa powder (type is your choice, though I prefer unsweetened, dark chocolate powder) to the bottom of the filter before adding grounds.  A little goes a long way here, so don't put in a ton.  I add it before the grounds because it tends to float to the top if I add it on top of the grounds and then clogs the machine and makes a mess.  It also doesn't provide as much flavor in the brewed coffee if I add it on top of the grounds.

Even though I don't particularly like the fru-fru drinks, a co-worker pointed me in the direction of a yummy concoction after I gave him a tub of really high-end cocoa mix for Christmas last year.  This is great on a cold winter night:  (The name is mine - he didn't have a name for it!)

Paul's Vanilla Cocoa Treat:   One or Two teaspoons of vanilla ice cream in a coffee mug, fill to about 1 inch of top with coffee, stir in 1-2 teaspoons of high quality cocoa mix (or you can make your own mix). Stir until ice cream is melted. Add coffee to fill rest of mug if any space remains.  Top with mini marshmallows and/or mini chocolate chips. 

I guess you could top that with whipped cream too, but I never have any so we don't use that.  Anyway, it's yummy!  I have only made this with real ice cream, I'm not sure how it would work with frozen yogurt or soft serve or something like that.

Even though these aren't the fancy treats from the coffee shop, they satisfy my taste for a 'treat' in terms of coffee.

Do you make coffee treats at home?  I'd love to hear how!

For more Frugal Friday, check out Life As Mom!

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