I have a bit of an iced coffee problem these days (see exhibit A, above). Luckily for my wallet, I prefer McDonald's iced coffee - - it is much cheaper (and tastes better) than Starbucks, in my humble opinion. Still, every time I buy one, I feel kind of guilty. I have made iced coffee with my Keurig in the past, but the K-cups specifically for iced coffee are too expensive, and hot coffee + ice cubes = very watery iced coffee.
Yesterday, I rememberd that Pioneer Woman did a post last year about making your own iced coffee, so I decided to look through her archives. Off to the store I went for supplies, and got down to business.
Pioneer Woman's recipe uses two gallons of water and a pound of coffee, but I didn't have a container big enough to mix that much in, so I halved the recipe and made just one gallon of concentrate. I recycled one of our gallon water jugs which worked out perfectly. I poured half the bag of ground coffee into the jug, and then filled the rest of the jug with spring waterThen, I let it sit at room temperature for about 8 hours.
When it was done steeping, I strained the coffee concentrate from the grounds, per Pioneer Woman's instructions. Then, it went into the fridge to chill overnight.
I decided to try Vietnamese iced coffee (using sweetened condensed milk as a sweetener). First, I filled my reusable cup with ice. then I filled it half-way with coffee concentrate. Next, I added 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk, and a good splash of half and half. I went to stir it and of course, all of the ice cubes had fused together! So, I grabbed a cocktail shaker, poured everything in it, and gave it a good shaking. Everything got mixed, and it was actually nice and frothy when I poured it back into my cup. I think I will use this method from here on out!
The verdict? It is really, really good iced coffee. I wasn't sure that I would like it, but I actually love it. I'm so excited! Total cost? $8.67 for the coffee and the sweetened condensed milk (I always have half and half on hand so I didn't count that). I used approximately 1 cup of concentrate, and there are 16 cups in a gallon, so I should get about 16 iced coffees per batch. That works out to about 54 cents per coffee, as opposed to $2.11 at McDonalds. Yay!
As far as using sweetened condensed milk instead of sugar to sweeten the coffee? I really liked that, too. I had never heard of doing that before but I am glad I gave it a try.