Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The return of the iced latte

So you may remember that I posted here about my newfound love of the homemade iced latte. Well. Sadly, our relationship turned out to be short-lived because the first week that I started enjoying one on my way to work every day, my child quit napping for his sitter. And I was all, "what the junk is going on here?" Until I realized I was pumping at work about an hour after finishing my little caffeinated pick-me-up and giving that milk to the sitter for the next day. To which I say, "duh, you moron." I did not consume a drop, not one single drop of caffeine while I was pregnant or while nursing, until my sleep deprivation drove me to the morning latte. Now, had I been consuming a moderate amount of caffeine all along, Sweets would have adjusted to it and it wouldn't have been a problem (or so I read). But the sudden addition of it to my daily diet wreaked havoc on his poor little system :( So after realizing that I was hyper-stimulating my kid, I quit my new addiction. Oddly enough, it was at this time that he started sleeping through the night. Thanks for throwing me a bone there, little buddy.

I've had several work functions to attend as we gear up to start the new school year on Friday and man has it been tough to get us up and out the door so early. And then, during one particularly bleary-eyed drive to school, it dawned on me. Sweetie Pea is weaned (more on that in a different post). The iced latte can be my morning BFF again! I happened to read a post about perfect iced coffee on an amazing food blog, and have just started making it this way, and let me tell you, it is so good I could cry. (You really should read that post I linked to because even if iced coffee isn't your thing, Ree is hysterical, and before you're done reading, I guarantee you'll be craving a frosty glass of java.) Anyway, here are the new keys to my success:
No more instant espresso. I've graduated to the real thing. Makes a huge difference in flavor, especially in combination with the cold brew method. Just smelling it wakes me up. Hmm, now I want a glass. Not good, considering it's 10:30 at night.
My coffee flavor of choice has long been caramel. The flavored creamer I was using was ok, but the overall effect it gave my latte was of fake milk with a splash of coffee. The actual coffee house syrup makes a world of difference. It is so nutty and deliciously buttery....mmmm.....
And THIS....this is the crowning touch. A little backstory on this contraption. I have a pretty serious obsession with crushed ice. I can't explain it. But I seriously LOVE it and sadly, we do not have an ice machine on the door of our fridge. When I was in the hospital having Sweets, they had the world's best crushed ice. Seriously, after actually having a baby the best part about having a baby was the crushed ice ;-) I drank so much delicious crushed ice water at that hospital. And I talked about their ice forever. Heck, I still talk about it. So last Christmas, this heavy box arrives on my doorstep. It's a present from my BFF and cousin, Sweets' Auntie M. And do you know what it was? A vintage ice crusher. If there's anything I love as much as crushed ice (besides my family and friends, of course), it's vintage stuff. It came with a note that said M wanted me to be able to enjoy my beloved crushed ice without having to have another baby to do so. This thing is a beast of a tool - its metal jaws make short work of turning cubes into tiny cold pieces of deliciousness that make my morning latte as perfect as any coffee house creation.

All this discussion of iced coffee has me jonesing for a glass pretty badly, but since that's not an option til morning, I'm off to find something to satisfy the craving....ice cream sammie (or two), perhaps?


  1. So, do you make the espresso using the same ratio of water to grounds? I love lattes but refuse to pay $5 at Starbucks for one (though, I do occasionally become weak and do it!). And your vintage ice crusher is adorable!!

  2. I had an 11 oz bag of espresso and I cold brewed it with 1.5 gallons of water. It's now in a pitcher in my fridge for easy morning dispensing :) So, so, SO GOOD! Starbucks is delicious, but such a rip off! Although, I have my moments of weakness too ;)

  3. Hooooooo-raaaaaaaaaay vintage ice crushing beast!