Stop going broke at Starbucks.


So, this is completely unrelated to anything I’ve posted thus far, but for those of you blowing your budget at Starbucks, I thought you might be interested in my ways to cut back, without cutting out. Easy: DIY.

BACK STORY: (feel free to skip all this blabbering and scroll right down to the recipe!) I am a caffeine addict. I was up to two diet Sunkists per day (41 g of caffeine – more than a Pepsi!). After reading how fattening diet sodas are, I switched to regular. Weird, no change in weight – haha. Well, after years of denial of the health risks of all this sugar, artificial colors and flavorings etc, I knew I had to quit. So I switched to San Pellegrinos. But those don’t have caffeine and were really sugar-y, still.

So, time to take the plunge and try …. coffee…?? ugh – yuck. To be this age without ever having a sip of coffee might be strange, but reading about the health benefits was a compelling enough reason for me to try.

On a family trip out West with my sis (another coffee newbie), I challenged both of us to each down at least one cup of coffee on this trip. (Since we spent a week staying at hotels, where coffee is plentiful). Well, cutting to the chase, I DID IT. I managed to choke down a coffee, and with a lot of experimentation, I now crave it! (She does not, however!)

My coffee of choice these days is the Caffe Mocha at Starbucks. At $4.38 a pop, I only allowed myself to have them on weekends. But, UGH. Time to start finding a way to make at home.

Don’t try all those cafe mocha recipes you find online. I tried them, and watched many a youtube video, and I rate them all a big FAIL!

Don’t buy a french press. Watery coffee, no froth, just yuck.

Don’t buy a Mr. Coffee Cafe Latte maker. It conveniently makes the froth and coffee together, which is just not right. Blech.

Do buy the Ninja Coffee Bar! (I also looked at the Nespresso Vertuoline, but was not up for pods). I love it because: no pods. Also, I can make a travel mug (Starbucks Grande). A second later my husband can make a mug (or a full carafe) of his choice of coffee.

So, here’s how I successfully made a Starbucks Caffe Mocha at home:

+ 2-4 scoops of the espresso roast from Starbucks. (You can also buy at Target). I grind a bunch of beans up ahead of time and put in an old jelly jar so I don’t have to grind everyday.

+ 1 heaping tablespoon of mocha in bottom of travel mug, placed in the Ninja Coffee Bar. NOTE: Do not add any water to the powder, despite what the instructions tell you. Just put the powder, by itself, in the bottom of your travel mug. Trust me!

While the espresso is brewing (just press the “Specialty Brew” button and in about a minute or so you’re set) microwave the milk (I used skim, 1/2 cup) for 70 seconds in the included frother and froth away. (I cannot believe this thing works). Grab your travel mug, stir the espresso/mocha mixture (<—– super important step!), then pour in your froth.

VOILA! I cannot believe that after lots of experimentation with ratios, I nailed it. Try it and lemme know what you think. And if you’d like to see how much money and how many calories I’m saving this way, click here.

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