Getting coffee shop taste without the expense

Thrifty Flavored Coffee and Creamer Recipes

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Overpriced Flavored Coffees!

My husband and I love the overpriced flavored coffee creamers on the market today and were wondering if any of your readers know of a homemade version I can make to save money.

Add Flavors Before Brewing

Flavored coffee has flavoring added after roasting. Vanilla extract (or other flavoring) can be added to the grounds before brewing.

I do recommend using good, fresh-roasted coffee. A pound of good coffee is not much more expensive than the cheap stuff, and frankly, an excellent cup of coffee goes a long way toward making my day better. Cheap coffee is just a caffeine delivery system.

Check Ice Cream Cooler

A tablespoon's worth of ice cream (melted) will do the trick nicely. Try vanillia, chocolate, mocha, butter pecan or maple walnut (strained to remove the nuts).

Just a Drop or Two of Extracts

A good option for flavored coffees is to flavor your own with the small bottles of flavorings you can purchase at upscale grocery stores. These little bottles are pricey, but since they are real extracts, not just artificial flavors, you only need a few drops to flavor a cup. I have found flavors from vanilla to orange, cherry, mocha, almond, etc. Again, these are extracts, not just flavorings.

Make Your Own Creamers

Why not experiment with the Lorien Oils used for making hard tack candy? They are around a dollar and usually in pharmacies.

Or purchase flavoring (almond, pepperment, etc.) where you buy vanilla. I purchused a 12-ounce bottle of Irish Creme syrup at a local grocers for about $3.50. It's lasted me nearly a year, and it's half full.

Looking at the ingrediants, it's sugar, water, flavoring, a preservative, and carmel coloring. I would boil water and sugar to make the syrup, then add the flavored oil (to taste) and a few drops of food color to denote the flavor you've created.

Also, it's easy to add cinnamon to the coffee grounds before perking it. You could also add vanilla to the coffee after it perked. Flavored iced tea is great made this way!
Kelly H. in Ohio

Insider Tip

I used to work at a coffee shop before I met my husband and I had become very used to great flavored coffees for free or almost free. But now that we are married and I stay home with our four-month-old, we can't afford them very often. I have figured out that my husband's favorite (Vanilla Cappuchino) is easily made using vanilla extract. I use 1 shot espresso, 1 cup milk (heated), 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon vanilla. For coffees, I use the opposite proportions of the coffee and creamer. (1 cup of coffee and 1 oz. creamer) You can also find many other extracts in the baking aisle.

For any of the other extracts I suggest purchasing an inexpensive medicine dropper and starting with five drops in a glass. The amount you use will depend on your tastes and the strength of the oil. Do not assumme they are all the same strength. Some have a little more aroma and flavoring ability than others do. I ended up pouring a few overdone cups down the sink myself. Hope you find a few new favorites this way.
Mandy D.

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Some Web Resources

What timing! I was looking for this kind of thing this weekend to make flavored coffees as a gift for my B-I-L. Most of the coffee recipes I found involved flavoring instant coffee.

There are several coffee recipes in the "Non-Alcoholic Drinks" section of Flora's Hideout at
Dawn M.

Dry Mix

I was "hooked" on the expensive flavored coffee creamers, and my brother-in-law experimented and came up with a much, much less expensive solution. We bought the store-brand of instant coffee and experimented on the taste using the store-brand dry non-dairy coffee creamers (French Vanilla is my favorite).

Use approximately 8 ounces of hot water, one spoonful of instant coffee and approximately 5 to 5 1/2 spoonfuls of the coffee creamer. I prefer the store-brands, rather than the name-brand (i.e., Folgers, Carnation, etc.), because not only do they taste better, they are also less expensive! I have been drinking my "coffee" this way for over a year now, and have saved an awful lot of money!
Bonnie P.

Reviewed July 2017

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