Blending on a Budget

Walk into Starbucks. Stand in front of the counter with mixed decisions. Stare endlessly at the menu with too many options to choose from.

After a few minutes, you are too afraid the barista will get annoyed by your “I’m still thinking” response, and resort to a Frappuccino because you know you secretly wanted it from the start, but thought maybe today was the day you could make a change.

Blended coffee beverages are a personal favorite year-round, and as a former barista, it is evident that others agree.

Though blended coffee drinks are delicious, some may come at a hefty price.

With just a few simple ingredients and a blender, students on a budget can save time, calories and money with this easy blended coffee recipe.


1 and ½ cups cold coffee (or 2 shots of espresso)

1 and ½ cups vanilla almond milk

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

3 tablespoons syrup

2 cups ice cubes

To serve: Whipped cream, chocolate/caramel drizzle

First, start by putting ice into a blender and add your favorite brewed coffee. My personal selection is Caribou Coffee’s dark Mahogany roast for its rich woodsy flavor with a touch of vanilla.

If you have access to an espresso machine, two shots of espresso are recommended in place of the coffee to add a bolder flavor, but it all depends on personal preference.

It is important to make sure the coffee or espresso is cooled before going into the blender, or the ice will melt and make it difficult to create the slushy, creamy substance you will be looking for.

Next, toss in vanilla almond milk, sugar and syrup flavoring. Blend until smooth. Vanilla almond milk is recommended because it adds a little extra natural flavoring and helps thicken the drink.

Syrup suggestions range from caramel, vanilla, hazelnut or chocolate. It is crucial not to add more than the recommended syrup measurement or the drink may become overpowered with sweetness because of the almond milk.

If you are unsure which syrup flavors to look for, stop into a nearby coffee shop and look the flavors over. Most coffee shops are willing to sell bottles of syrups, which will be a good addition to your cupboard if you drink plenty of coffee beverages.

When all is done, top it off with whipped cream and chocolate or caramel drizzle. Enjoy.


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