Are you like one of the 157 million Americans who start the day with a java perk-up? Are you one of many who get their fix at Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks or some other drive through and leave the preparation to someone else? Depending on the size, flavoring, “latta” and “cino” you choose you could spend over $4.00 per perk-up. Furthermore, many people don’t realize that the added flavoring, sweetener and cream ratchet up the calories to as much as 1050 calories if you choose a Large Frozen Caramel Coffee Coolatta with cream or 520 calories if you choose a Venti Double Chocolaty Chip Frappaccino blended with cream. Is it possible to get that java jag in a less expensive and less caloric way and yet still not compromise the flavor and experience?
I am a bit of a coffee snob, albeit not a true connoisseur since I do enjoy a little sweetener and light cream in my cup of joe. However, this does not detract from my “udder” experience of coffee bliss and I do prefer my coffee over any I’ve had at Starbucks or some other barista while travelling. I believe the freshness of the grind and the right blend of beans for my taste buds, combined with my personalized touch for sweetener and dairy creates a most fulfilling java joy. I bought a Cuisinart 12 cup coffee grinder machine that allows me to put my preferred combination of whole beans in the machine and grinds them freshly for each pot of coffee. The model that I prefer is one Cuisinart makes that has the coffee shoot separate from the water reservoir so that I can make multiple pots without steaming up the coffee shoot area. My machine has lasted for over 4 years, is easy to clean, has a timer and allows you to adjust the strength of the brew.
Creating your personalized java joy experience starts with having the right ingredients and accouterments. Some people like a medium roast, others prefer a peak or dark roast. The longer the roast, the more oily and and less acidic the coffee. Darker (longer) roast coffee will have a more bitter, even slightly burnt flavor to it. The darker the roast, the harder it is to distinguish it’s place or origin and the process of roasting becomes the focus. I prefer a medium roast bean mixed with about a third of a flavored bean for just a hint of added flavor enhancement. My preference is French vanilla but sometimes I like Irish cream or one of the jazzier flavors. I mix my two blends ahead of time and keep them in a large container. I spend about $14 on a pound of flavored coffee that I get at a local coffee roaster and most of the time I get my unflavored coffee from Trader Joes or Home Goods where I can buy a pound of Hawaiian coffee for about $8.00. My mixture of two pounds of coffee beans will last me over 3 weeks. I make a 12 cup pot of coffee daily for my husband and myself which amounts to 10 cents for an 8 oz cup of java.
I do like a little bit of sweetener in my coffee but I use Truvia, a non-artificial sweetener made from the Stevia plant. I also like about 1 teaspoon of half and half in my coffee but I use a low fat version in order to reduce the saturated fat and calories. Last year I discovered a cheap way to top my coffee with froth using a frother I found on Amazon (and also in many specialty kitchen supply shops). It just needs some vigorous pumps from my hand and it turns a few tablespoons of skim milk into a thick topper I can swirl in my drink to further enhance my java joy. Sometimes I might even grate some fresh nutmeg or sprinkle some cocoa powder on top of that lovely froth.
Your Java Vs My Java
With the Truvia, half and half, and skim milk, my 16 oz cup of Java costs me about 24 cents at most. It has about ten calories all coming from the one teaspoon of cream and two tablespoons of skim milk. If you are going out to buy your cup of Joe, I bet you are spending between $2-4 each time and getting many more calories in your serving unless you are drinking it black. If you are one of the “latta” or “cinno” lovers you are getting at least 500 calories in your 16 ounces of java. Over the course of the week that is a 3500 calories or one pound of fat. Think about the calories you could save and enjoyment you could get from creating your own barista experience. Why not “havajavalikenootha” by creating your java own experience today and save money and calories at the same time?