Monday, May 3, 2010

Coffee Shop Cash Cow - Exposed

I almost had the coffee drinking thing eliminated. Almost.

The past winter I went totally tea, herbal, hot and fresh. And then the 3:00am runs took their toll, I found myself a repeat customer at the coffee bar.

Thankfully, sunny, 80 degree days thwart my coffee craving...until I remembered the crack of a coffee shop's menu...Iced Coffee.
A quick hop to the locally owned, downtown coffee shop proved they have a decent white chocolate iced coffee drink. But I had a few problems with it.

1. a medium size was $4.85 before tipping the barista
2. the coffee base was refrigerated in an old milk jug.
3. being the food service industry hardened individual I am, I'll guarantee the base was leftover coffee
4. a squirt of white chocolate flavored syrup and cream were the only other ingredients (besides left over coffee)
5. did I mention I paid $4.85 (before tip, and tip your barista, folks) for a 12 oz drink?
6. ...a 12 oz drink that was at least 8 oz ice (I.e., water) with 3 oz leftover coffee, a fl. oz of heavy cream and a splash of simple syrup.

What a cash cow! Food cost < 3% (A point of reference...successful mid-level to white tablecloth restaurants have a goal food cost of 30% and 20%, respectively. Fast foods run about a 50% food cost. IJS)

Soooooo...can one make a decent Iced Coffee at home. Ubetcha! Here's how....and bonus points to me for making it lower calorie with less sugar.

First of all brew however many pots your coffee maker needs to make a half gallon of STRONG coffee. I brewed my double strength. It took about a buck.20 worth of coffee. For authenticity poor in a used gallon milk jug. While it's hot add about 1/3 cup of sugar (or to taste) and mix to dissolve.

Cool in an ice bath. Store in the fridge.

For my taste preference I've found 3 parts coffee to one part dairy is perfect. I use 2% milk. You'll need about 3 cups total of milk for this amount of coffee...about $0.60 worth of milk. But don't add the milk until you're ready to mix and drink.

I also like a drop or two of high quality vanilla such as Watkins.

Fill a glass, or tumbler about 3/4 full with ice, pour in the chilled coffee to about an inch from the top. Splash in the dairy and add your flavoring of choice. Mix and sip. Thank me later.

Let's recap: Purchased iced coffee = $4.85 for about 6 fl.oz of product = or $0.80/fl.oz. Homemade = $1.90 for about 85 fl.oz. of product = or $0.03/fl.oz

You decide. This has been a public service announcement.

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