Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Make Your Own Coffeehouse Style Drinks - Thrifty Thursdays

I love coffeehouse style drinks -- lattes, cappuccinos, even the occasional mocha. But buying these little treats is expensive! Just two coffee house beverages per week at a modest $3.50 will set you back a whopping $364.00 over the course of a year, not counting tax, tips, or extras like biscotti to dip in the drinks. You could buy a decent cappuccino machine for that price and make as many coffee house beverages as you like, complete with professionally frothed milk. You can get a passable machine that does the same for much, much less.

If you enjoy coffee house coffee and drinks you can save yourself a ton of bucks by investing once in a decent espresso machine. This one important purchase will provide years of sipping enjoyment. It's also elegant and impressive to conclude special dinner parties by serving your guests espresso, cappuccino, latte or other coffee house favorites.

Those on a really tight budget can get by with a Moka Pot for under twenty bucks (no frothed milk though) to make their espresso.

Click here to check out the espresso and cappuccino deals at Amazon.com.

Below are some of the most popular espresso based coffee drinks and how to make them:

Espresso
A rich, thick coffee brewed by forcing water through very fine coffee grounds. A perfect cup of espresso will be rich and dark and topped with a thick layer of "crema." Despite the fact that its name implies dairy, crema on espresso has nothing whatsoever to do with actual cream or milk. Crema is the layer of foam that forms at the end of the espresso brewing process and can only be achieved by brewing with a high-pressure brewing method such as an espresso machine or moka pot.

Espresso Macchiato is a cup of espresso dolloped with a spoonful of the foam from steamed milk.

Cappuccino
Cappuccino (pictured top of this post) is a shot (or two or three) of espresso, mixed with steamed milk and topped with the a head of frothy foam from the steamed milk. Most espresso machines have a the capabilities of steaming milk, either with or without foam. Follow your machine's instructions. You are trying to achieve scalded (but never boiled) milk that is mixed generously with foam. For the proper consistency, the milk will have doubled in volume during the steaming process. Although it's not authentic Italian, Americans like to top their espressos with a dash of cinnamon.

Café Latte
A Latte (pictured right) is a cup of one part coffee to 3 parts heated or steamed milk (no foam).

Cafe Mocha
Add a squirt of chocolate syrup to the basic Cafe Latte recipe, then top with whipped cream, and you've got a delicious Cafe Mocha.

Latte Macchiato
is a cup of steamed milk accented with a small dash of brewed espresso.

Favorite Coffee Drink Recipes
These recipes can help you get creative with your coffee at home and visit the local coffee house a lot less.

  • Caffe Shakerato con Ciocolotto (pictured right) -- This popular Italian coffee bar drink takes shape when espresso and chocolate syrup are shaken with cracked ice and a bit of sugar.
  • Mayan Iced Coffee -- A refreshing summertime coffee drink that's also diabetic friendly.
  • Iced Black Coffee with Lemon Peel -- Here's a unique refreshing twist on iced coffee -- serve it black with a twist of lemon peel and sweeten to your liking (or not). The drink is popular during the summer in Coastal Spain.
Coffee Accouterments and Accessories
Thrifty Thursdays is a blog event created by my fried Amanda Formaro from Amanda's Cookin' blog. I've agreed to participate, so look for a frugal themed post here each Thursday. In addition to reading my posts, be sure to visit Amanda's blog for a round-up of all the thrifty home and cooking tips and recipes that came in this week from folks around the blogosphere.

5 comments:

Kelvin said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Joannah

http://myscones.com

Cheri Sicard said...

Thank you so much Joannah. We're most happy to have you here.

Carrie said...

Very helpful!! I have a friend that loves coffee. I will forward her this link.

Tami said...

I am so happy that I've never become addicted to the expensive coffee drinks! I can't wait to try some of these at home. Great tips!

Judy said...

Thanks, Cheri, for the tutorial. Very informative.

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