Orange Spice Iced Coffee

Starbucks has a new beverage this summer – the Orange Spice Iced Coffee – which I’m completely addicted to. At $3-something a pop, though, it’s hard for me to justify what is essentially coffee grounds, water and flavoring. I get it, though. Going to coffee shops can be more of a social thing, and in that instance I’ll happily chalk up the money. For every day consumption, though, I’d prefer to just make something at home and save myself the money. I am so my father’s daughter. ;-)

So I decided to experiment a bit to see if I could nail down something comparable. While mine’s not perfect and I might likely discover new/better ways of improving it along the way, for now this is a decent replica and it satisfies my need for a cold beverage to get me going in the morning.

Orange Spice Iced Coffee

The first thing to note is the amount of coffee grounds I used for brewing. I’m pretty sure Starbucks (or any other major coffee brand) has a specific coffee that is to be used for cold brew. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m too lazy to have multiple bags of coffee in my cupboard. I’m far from a coffee snob, so I highly doubt I’d be able to taste the difference between cold-brew coffee beans and regular coffee beans. Who knows, though. So for this experiment I just grabbed what was in my cupboard which just so happened to be Starbucks Breakfast Blend. It’s a bit milder, so I was sure to brew a strong pot of coffee.

I filled my pot up with water to the 4-cup line. Since coffee pots are not designed to make “true” 8-oz. cups of coffee, this is actually only about 20 oz. of water. After brewing, it yields a bit over 2-8 oz. cups of coffee and so you might have a tad extra to pour on top. In order to make my coffee stronger, I used 4 heaping scoopfuls of coffee grounds for the 4 “cups” of coffee. My scoop is a standard 1/2 oz. coffee scoop. After brewing, cool the coffee to room temp and then place in the fridge until it’s chilled.

Coffee Grounds

The next step is to make the spiced syrup. I initially made a simple syrup out of sugar, water, cinnamon, allspice and whole cloves (see recipe below in Cook’s Notes). It was really tasty, but I’m really trying to cut out refined sugar (which hasn’t been a success due to all this baking I’ve been doing!). I decided to just make a quick syrup out of agave, cinnamon, allspice, orange oil and orange zest. You could easily double or triple this recipe and keep the leftovers in your fridge to be used when needed. My recipe yields just enough for 2 glasses according to my taste, so you’ll want to experiment with the sweetness. You might find that you want more or less syrup and so you’ll need to adjust the syrup recipe accordingly.

Spiced Syrup

Once your coffee is cold, you simply fill a 16 oz. tumbler up with ice, fill with 8 oz. of cold, brewed coffee, add the syrup to taste and a couple orange segments (mostly for aesthetics) and voila – you have orange spice iced coffee! I made a batch yesterday and had some leftovers in the fridge for today. I decided to throw in a splash of almond milk and it was really tasty.

One final note, you might start noticing that I enjoy using citrus oil to enhance recipes. For this recipe I used Boyajian Pure Orange Oil, and note that I did not use a lot! A little goes a LONG way with this stuff, so be careful when pouring. Sur La Table (there’s that name again!) sells a 3-pack assortment of flavored oils that’s pretty handy. I will warn you that since a little goes a long way, don’t be surprised if the oil expires before you can use it all. :-( Just be sure to check the packaging to ensure your oil doesn’t expire 3 months from the purchase date or essentially you’re just throwing money in the trash. I love, love these oils, though. I first discovered them when I was working in the bakeshop at The Mansion and I hope they never stop making this stuff. Their peppermint oil is AWESOME, too!

Orange Oil

Orange Spice Iced Coffee
Yields: 2-16 oz. glasses

4 heaping scoops ground coffee
4 “cups” water (read above for required amount)
4 orange slices
2 Tablespoons spiced syrup (recipe below)

Spiced Syrup:
2 Tablespoons agave
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
A pinch allspice (I literally used 1/16 tsp if you really need a measurement)
1/8 teaspoon orange oil
1/8 teaspoon orange zest

1. Brew the coffee, cool to room temp and place in fridge until chilled.

2. In a small bowl, stir together agave, cinnamon, allspice, orange oil and orange zest.

3. Fill glass with ice, top with 8 oz. cold, brewed coffee, flavor with spiced syrup and garnish with 2 orange slices. Enjoy!

Cook’s Notes

1. If you want to make a regular simple syrup, combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, 3-4 whole cloves, 1/4 teaspoon orange oil and 1/4 teaspoon orange zest in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Strain mixture to remove cloves; use as needed. (This makes more syrup, but in my opinion it doesn’t sweeten as much as the agave syrup. You’ll likely need more than just 1 Tablespoon per glass.)

2. Starbucks advertises their 16 oz. drink as having 90 calories. Each serving of my recipe (when added with ice equals 16 oz.) is 64 calories. If you eat your orange slices, it’s closer to 80 calories. Juuust throwin’ that out there. ;-)