We've been talking a lot about breaking habits and/or creating healthy habits for our lives lately and I have a confession... Before I discovered Crooks and Coffee last year, I was deep into a coffee shop habit. After I took my daughter to PreK every morning, I was finding myself more and more often stopping through Starbucks drive through or going into the local coffee shop before heading home. Not only was I consuming an intense amount of sugar and calories from these drinks, I was also spending way too much money on those extras weekly.
Thankfully, I was browsing around trying to find higher quality coffee and found Dianna and Crooks and Coffee! Now, C+C is basically the only coffee that I keep in our house and lately, I've been working on recreating some of my favorite coffeehouse drinks from home. Not only has this been kind of a fun endeavor to test out, but I also have saved money and my sugar intake, along the way.
One of the very first drinks I needed to reproduce at home, was a simple cold brew. I'm often asked about how I make my cold brew and I've discovered that many people are overthinking the process! I use my cold brew as a base for several other iced coffee drinks I like to make or I also drink it black, because when you use a high quality bean, the flavor shines through.
For starters, you need a high-quality coffee. Most of the time, I use my Crooks and Coffee Columbian Whole Bean Coffee. I like using whole bean because I can prep the beans to a coarse grind. The Columbian is a great base because the rich, smooth flavor is strong and enjoyable by itself or easily mixes with many flavors for add ins. Important to note: I do also use the flavored coffees that come in grounds for my cold brew. The grind that they arrive in will also work well in my cold brew press.
Next, you will want to have a french press or similar container to use. I recently picked up a Bodum Cold Brew Maker (see in above photo) and recommend that press, if you make cold brew often. I have really liked the ease of it and since I regularly have cold brew in the refrigerator, it's nice to have a dedicated pot.
Depending on your preferences, you'll want to grind or add grounds to the bottom of your press. I prefer to use about 9-11 tbsp of beans, ground to a coarse grind, or the equivalent of ground coffee. Fill your container with water and stir the grounds around the water a bit and close the lid. Then you'll simply put the whole thing in the refrigerator for at least 12-24 hours. I usually like to make a batch up in the early afternoon and then I can have it the next day. If you have a Bodum, like I do, thankfully it comes with a nice press lid. You simply flip out the basic lid for the press lid, press down and the grounds will be kept at the bottom of the press. If you use a different container, you'll want to filter out the grounds before you start drinking.
I hope that helps you realize how easily you could have cold brew at the ready all summer long without heading into the coffee shop!
Okay, so the cold brew is ready, but what else can we do to punch it up? So I told you about my coffee shop habit I had to work to break, but one of the hardest parts was trying to find ways to make some of my favorite drinks at home. Since it's getting warmer out, I usually start to get completely invested in iced coffees, iced lattes and anything else chilled. One of my go-to drinks (with just the longest names ever) was the Iced Hazelnut Mocha Coconut Milk Macchiato. Not only did I dislike ordering the longest drink name ever, but one I realized the Grande size alone has 25g of sugar, I knew I should try to make it myself at home.
This is the closest I've been able to get and have really enjoyed tweaking it as my taste varies when I choose to make it. Here's the ingredients you'll want to gather up:
- Your cold brew from Crooks and Coffee grounds
- So Delicious Organic Coconut Milk (I used the original, but you could also cut more sugar and use unsweetened)
- Jordan's Skinny Gourmet Syrups - Hazelnut
- Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Sauce
I was able to pick up the syrup and the chocolate sauce at Home Goods. If you have a Home Goods, definitely check out their small grocery section. I often can find items like this and high-quality teas at very discounted prices. I believe I picked up this syrup for only $3.99!
All you'll do next is put ice in your favorite glass and put as much chocolate as you'd like along the rim and sides of the glass. Keep in mind that the chocolate sauce has the highest sugar content of anything you will be using, so if you're looking to limit your sugar intake, here is where you'll want to do that.
This 21oz #Motherhood glass from BGD has been perfect lately for iced coffees!
Next, in order to get the hazelnut flavor where I want it, I like to pour cold brew into a separate cup and mix in approximately 2 tsp of Hazelnut syrup. You can adjust this to your own tastes also. Add to your iced glass.
Last, fill the rest of your glass with the coconut milk and stir! Don't be afraid to adjust to your own taste, but if made with the same ratios as seen here, you will cut your sugar from 25g with the Starbucks version to approximately 8g, depending on how much milk and chocolate you add.
I'm so thankful for this weather lately so I can make this drink and head outside on the patio to get some work done while the kids play. It's helped me feel like I can still grab that coffeehouse relaxation vibe right from home. What kind of things do you like to do on your coffee break?
Do you struggle with coffee shop habits you want to break? Let us know in the comments what other drinks you'd like to see us make on the blog!
Until next time, enjoy your coffee!
Veronica Armstrong is the blog manager at Crooks and Coffee and a blogger/small shop owner at Caffeinate then Create. She lives in Iowa with her nerdy husband and outgoing five year old daughter. She loves board games, witty coffee mugs and sewing. You can find her on Instagram or Facebook posting everyday Mom life and way too many photos of her coffee.