The way I see it, you’re either a coffee drinker or you’re not: you unequivocally love it or you avoid it completely. And wouldn’t you agree that what kind of coffee drinker you are says a lot about who you are as a person? I love the coffee die-hards at EatingWell Magazine where I work as a Web writer and producer—joined at the hand with their trusty old mug. They’ll drink their coffee any old way so long as it’s constant and caffeinated. On the flip side, there are the coffee purists who scoff at cream and sugar (let alone mocha frappuccino with extra whipped cream and caramel sauce!).
Then there are folks like my dad who love the ritual of making the coffee just as much as the ritual of drinking it. My dad actually scours the Web for single-origin green beans that he can roast himself at home. I like to think I get my coffee sensibilities from him. I don’t drink a ton of coffee, but when I do, I want it to taste exceptional. I prefer to brew my coffee at home—that way it always tastes good and I save a bunch of money by making my own (not to mention saving all those disposable cups from a doomed existence in the landfill).
To brew the best coffee, I choose the freshest beans, store them at room temperature in an airtight container (both oxygen and light are harmful to coffee's flavor) and grind the beans just before brewing. There's something quite special about the smell of fresh-ground coffee first thing in the morning.
Related: How to Brew a Greener Cup of Coffee
Beyond the regular cup of joe, even fancy frothy frozen mochaccinos can easily be made at home with a little ingenuity. This easy homemade mochaccino uses low-fat milk, cocoa powder, coffee and just a little bit of maple syrup, so it has just 127 calories—a fraction of the calories of a traditional version. (A small mocha frappuccino at Starbucks is 270 calories!) Coffee ice cubes, made by freezing coffee in an ice cube tray, make this drink frosty and give it a big, strong coffee flavor.
EatingWell Frozen Mochaccino
Makes: 2 servings, about 1 1/3 cups each
Active time: 10 minutes | Total: 4 hours 10 minutes (including 4 hours freezing time) | Equipment: Ice cube tray
Cost per recipe: less than $1.50
1 cup double-strength brewed coffee or espresso (see Tip)
1 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-process), plus more for sprinkling
2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 ice cubes, if needed
1. Freeze coffee in an ice cube tray until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
2. Combine the frozen coffee cubes, milk, cocoa, maple syrup to taste and vanilla in a blender. Pulse until smooth, adding plain ice cubes if you want it thicker or a little water
if you want it thinner. Divide between 2 glasses, dust with a little cocoa powder, if desired, and serve immediately.
Per serving: 127 calories; 2 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 6 mg cholesterol; 24 g carbohydrate; 12 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 2 g fiber; 73 mg sodium; 444 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Magnesium (35% daily value), Calcium (17% dv).
Tip: Double-strength coffee or espresso gives you the best coffee flavor when making blended or iced coffee drinks. If the coffee isn’t strong enough, the drink will taste watered-down. To brew double-strength coffee, use twice the amount of grounds as you normally would for a regular cup of coffee. Espresso is strong enough brewed regularly.
Recipe by Joyce Hendley for EatingWell.
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