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June 12, 2010

I'll have an Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte, Please!


I am one of those people that enjoy coffee for the taste and the caffeine is just an added bonus.  In fact, many mornings at work I get decaf - even when everyone is dragging in 8:00am looking at me like I'm utterly crazy.  In truth, I'm more awakened by the extreme temperatures of something hot or cold in the morning than I am by the caffeine.  I will admit though, I don't like the flavor of plain black coffee, I have to have a little skim milk in there, and sometimes some sort of sweetener depending on the actual coffee.

I'm lucky enough to work in an office with amazing espresso machines - during the winter months I tend to make myself a half-caff skinny vanilla latte.  For those of you that don't speak "barista" that would be one shot of decaf espresso, one shot of caffeinated espresso, skim milk and sugar-free vanilla syrup.  In the summer months I anticipate an iced version of this same drink many mornings - an ICED half-caff skinny vanilla latte.  What's the difference?  Well, I make it with cold milk and ice, rather than frothy steamed milk - that's it!

However, I've come to enjoy these drinks at home on the weekends using leftover coffee from the morning. (We only have caffeinated coffee at home, so no half-caff on the weekends)   It's quite easy actually.

Iced Latte or Coffee - For One
Ingredients:
1/3 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled, or 3 ounces of espresso if you have it
1 cup milk
Handful of ice cubes*
Optional - Flavored Syrup, desired amount to suit your tastes**


Directions:
Fill a glass with ice, then coffee/espresso, milk and syrup or flavorings of your choice.

Stir well and enjoy cold.

Notes:
* You can also make ice cubes out of brewed coffee to get even more coffee flavor once the cubes start to melt.

* * You can buy flavored syrups at most grocery stores, or make your own at home.  I've only made vanilla at home using this recipe:

Vanilla Syrup
Ingredients:1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean pod

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Once the mixture boils, reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Take off heat and cool.  Once cooled, pour in to a  glass container with a seal-proof lid.

Can be stored in the fridge for a few months.  Remove vanilla bean before using.

(To make other flavors I'm sure you could replace the vanilla bean with some flavoring extract of your choice)

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