It’s the end of August, and it’s frickin hot out. Although, I’m not sure if I can be one to complain considering the majority of the contiguous United States has had temperatures in the high nineties and above, with humidity to match, for the entire summer. At least we have regular rainfall and trade winds to keep the heat down a bit.
Either way, I’m sure we can at least all agree that a cool and refreshing beverage is in order. Iced coffee anyone? Got five bucks for an iced latte at Starbucks?
Your alternatives are, of course, the super sugary bottled products found in grocers and convenience stores that barely taste like coffee. You know, the kind that are literally 300 or more calories a serving and has who knows what kind of ingredients in it.
Well, being the frugal (cheap) and health conscious (chubby) person that I am, I decided it would be a good time to make my own with the coffee and other ingredients that I already own (and paid for). I can cut back the calories easily by only using just enough sugar to add some sweetness and by using whole milk instead of half and half.
So prepare yourself for the best vanilla iced coffee you’ve ever had in your life!
For this recipe, you’ll need a large French press (mine makes about two cups at a time), a means of boiling water, and a sauce pan for making the sweetened vanilla infused milk. Feel free to substitute half and half for the whole milk, if that is your desire, bearing in mind that this will greatly increase the calories. I do discourage using anything less than whole milk, however, as you will miss out on the creaminess, and the iced coffee will have a watery mouthfeel.
Using a French press will make a stronger and better infused coffee, which tastes better than drip coffee and is perfect for making iced coffee. Some say that French pressed coffee is more bitter. To that, I say all coffee is bitter. If it’s not, you’re doing it wrong. That’s why many add sugar and milk.
Many recipes out there tell you to double brew coffee and then pour it over ice, believing that the ice will melt enough to give you good tasting iced coffee. This almost never works in my experience, and I always end up with a lukewarm glass of too acidic coffee, which I have to add more ice to, which then gets watered down anyways. Make this in the morning, and with a little patience you’ll have the best tasting iced coffee you can make at home by the afternoon.
Oh, and this delicious iced coffee comes out to about 138 calories per 16 ounce serving with under 4 grams of fat. Compare that to a 9.5 ounce bottled Starbuck’s Vanilla Frappuccino at 200 calories.