Starbucks! Oh how I miss thee!

wpid-pomelo_20150822085629_save.jpgLiving in the country has both good and bad perks. For instance, I love the slower pace, less traffic, and the fact that there’s literally nature everywhere. In the morning, I can perch on my balcony among my potted garden, sipping my iced coffee while enjoying the humming birds, ducks, and sounds of nature. In the evening, a cool shower breeze usually offers a much needed reprieve from a hot, humid Georgia day. It’s the perfect spot for me to sit and think or to sit and do no nothing except enjoy the sweet serenity this quiet town has to offer. When you live in a town with about 15,000 other folks, traffic is almost non existent, the stores are seldom packed, there’s never any waiting at a restaurant, and the people are oozing with Southern charm and hospitality. I live in an apartment complex and we’re all “family”. We’re polite, friendly, talk about our days, the weather, our families, health, and just about anything else you can think of. It certainly isn’t anything like living in an area where people are so hurried and busy that they barely make eye contact, let alone say hello.  I’ll take Southern hospitality any day.

The down side? Good paying jobs aren’t found in small towns. Local restaurants serve some incredible mouth watering foods but there’s little variety. And…there are no Starbucks Coffee shops within a 45 minute drive! While I am a complete coffee snob, I can no longer rationalize the cost of the Heavenly brew nor the expense in driving that distance for a coffee fix. Yes. It is an addiction and I’m not proud in admitting that I am a recovering Starbucks junkie. My pockets and bank account scream at me every time I go out of town and give in to the coffee deliciousness. I have no control. I love Starbucks coffee!

I know what you’re thinking – she loves those whipped, high calorie, frozen, sickly sweet, dessert drinks.  And actually, you’re wrong. No whipped cream. 2% milk. Not overly sweet. Hot or iced. But I will admit that I do enjoy a Macchiato, Cinnamon Dolce, and Pumpkin Spice on occasion. Same rules apply here, too.

After moving from a place where there were multiple Starbucks within a decent driving distance to being cut off, cold turkey, I began looking for ways to sustain my need for a good cup of Joe. Trust me. This was no easy task. The ex always bought chocolate or caramel flavored coffee (yuck) and flavored creamers. And no matter how I doctored the crap, it always tasted as such – CRAP. My morning ritual has become polluted by poor tasting coffee and I was miserable. Didn’t know a cup of brewed goodness could affect you this way, hu? So. In this little town we have: McDonald’s (ok in a pinch), Burger King (um – NO!), Taco Bell (risky), Daylight Donuts (haven’t tried), a little local guitar/coffee shop (love the ambience and the coffee), and Chick-Fil-A (SCORE!). The latter, is the most convenient and tasty but that doesn’t even come close to my personal favorite. SB or go home!

I’ve bought those bottled and canned SB “drinks” before but they just aren’t the same. Too pricey and they don’t taste all that great. Not a fan. Not at all. And then…one day, while grocery shopping I spied upon a something I’d never seen before. A 48 oz bottle of SB Iced Coffee! Who knew?! (Probably the rest of the world just not this little town.) I was a little hesitant at first. I read the bottle over and over again. Put it down. Walked away. Came back. And repeated the same steps about 4 different times. And finally opted to try it. My rationale was simply this: 48 oz cost the same as a Venti latte. I could spare the $5.00 for a taste test. And much to my surprise, it was actually very good. The ingredients weren’t written in a foreign language, either. Water, coffee, sugar, natural flavors, ascorbic acid (to protect flavor – so it says), and that was it! So simple that it gave me the idea to make my own! I hate iced coffee that’s all watered down and that’s what I was doing. Brewing my coffee and pouring it over ice. Yuck. And I had never considered making my coffee and refrigerating it. Duh!

So here it is: Starbucks at home. I now buy my favorite SB blend (I ran out for this pic), brew it, bottle it, add a touch of whatever flavor I’m in the mood for, shake, and chill. When I’m ready for my fix, I pour it into my cup, top with 2% milk, and I’m good to go!

Problem solved! Oh – and I kept the original 48 oz container because it was the perfect size for storing my own personal blend.

~ SE

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