Does Your Iced Coffee Have Hidden Sugar?

New York City requires chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus, and when I was in Starbucks this week I noticed that their tall (12 oz) iced coffee is listed at 60 calories.  A tall brewed coffee has 10, and I was curious where those 50 extra calories came from.  According to Starbucks’ website, their regular iced coffee is “slightly sweetened,” to the tune of 15g of sugar.  As an alternative, one can order an iced Americano, which is not pre-sweetened, though it will cost you a bit more.  (Interestingly, both Dunkin Donuts and Seattle’s Best do not sweeten their regular brewed iced coffee, although SB does serve something called a “Frozen Birthday Cake Latte.”)

If you prefer to DIY, you can brew your own super-fabulous cold-brew iced coffee, and it couldn’t be easier.  I use a French press, but you can also use a jar and several layers of cheese cloth.  There is a batch of this in my refrigerator pretty much all summer long:

45g high quality coffee, fresh ground if possible

30 oz. cold water aerated water 

Put your ground coffee into the French press (or bundle in cheesecloth), pour in the water, and stir with a wooden spoon until all the coffee is submerged.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, press (or remove the cheese cloth).  If you’re using a French press, I like to pour the coffee off of the grounds and into another container if I’m not going to be using all of it right away.  

Cold brew coffee has much less acid than it’s hot counterpart, the cold process allows the more delicate notes of a good bean to come through.  For an added energy boost, skip the iced latte and instead soften a tablespoon of butter (pastured, please!), a little coconut oil, and blend it on high with a cup of iced coffee. You can add a little half and half or heavy cream if you want a creamier blend, and few dashes of cinnamon or cardamom is always a nice touch.  Throw in a few ice cubes if you want to capture that iced-blended coffee experience, and enjoy all those medium chain triglycerides.  I’ve been drinking a cup of butter coffee before my runs and I definitely feel like I’m getting a nice energy boost without the crash.  



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