Love Bottled Coffee Drinks But Want to Save Money? This Guide is for You!
Bottled coffee can be a delicious little pick-me-up when you're having a busy day. However, at $4, $5, and even $6 a bottle, this kind of treat doesn't come cheap! Wouldn't it be cool to bottle your own lattes or creamy coffee beverages and enjoy them on the go? With a little know-how, you can!
In this guide, we are going to go over how to make homemade + copycat bottled coffees that taste great and save you money.
A note from the author: I make my own bottled coffees using these methods! I love having the ability to grab a coffee from the fridge before heading to work or hitting the gym. I used to buy the pre-made ones, until I realized that if I were making these coffees myself, I could control their calorie count, ingredients, and flavors. If you can get this method down, you can truly treat yourself whenever you want, even if you're on a budget!
Get Some Glass Bottles with Lids
To really make this work for you, we recommend getting a few glass bottles with tight lids. You can either save the glass bottles from other bottled coffees that you've previously purchased or go on Amazon.com and buy a set. (But seriously, if you save up the glass bottles you already are buying for a few weeks you can create your own "set" for free while also recycling!) Once you have bottles and lids, you can craft a whole pitcher of sweetened latte-style coffee all at one time, and pour it in these bottles to drink throughout your week.
Pro Tip: If you get coffees that have those little metal lids, wash the lids and dry them by hand to prevent rust. It takes about 5 seconds to do, and can make the lids literally last for years.
How to Make the Easiest Copycat Bottled Coffee ( Basic Overview)
The goal here is to make a nice, easy latte in a pitcher. You can make one bottle at a time, but making a whole pitcher (6 bottled servings) to pour into individual glass bottles to take with you on the go is a massive time-saver and winds up being super convenient. It only takes about 10 minutes, not including refrigeration time.
Ingredients (Per Pitcher) for Filling 6 12-oz Bottled Coffees:
- 6 cups of strong-brewed coffee (flavored or gourmet coffee is great for this.)
- 6 cups of milk (dairy or non-dairy - it's your call. A mix between whole milk and almond or coconut milk is actually pretty good as well!)
- 1 cup of sweetener (You can use sugar, honey, sweetened condensed milk, or maple syrup. Sweetened condensed milk is my favorite.)
- A tsp or pinch of sea salt (This helps add savory notes and stability.)
- 6 teaspoons of vanilla extract (Or your preferred flavorings. Personally, I use pre-flavored coffee grounds and vanilla to make things super flavorful. Mocha sauce, cocoa powder, and almond extract can also accentuate this recipe.)
- A little ice to cool your brewed coffee and prevent astringent flavors.
- Start by brewing a pot of very strong coffee. Use about a full cup of coffee grounds.
- In a pot, heat the milk until hot, but not boiling. DO NOT BOIL! Medium heat will do the trick, if it starts to boil, take it off the heat right away. The point of heating the milk is to help your sweeteners integrate better and create a smooth flavor.
- Combine salt, your preferred sweetener, and vanilla extract with the hot milk.
- Pour your strong coffee into a pitcher, over a cup or two of ice, and let it cool a little before you add the sweet hot milk mixture. Then slowly add the sweet milk slurry mix and stir it all together well.
- Portion the finished coffee mix from the pitcher by pouring about 1.5-2 cups into each bottle. Make sure the bottles all have tight-fitting lids. Screw the lids on and chill your drinks.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour, and store your bottles in the fridge as well until you are ready to pop one open.
- Shake each bottle well before enjoying it! You can pour these over ice as well and add homemade cold foam and a dash of cinnamon or chocolate shavings for an at-home iced latte treat.
• These bottles last about 10 days from the day you make them.
(Each batch or bottle should last about 9-10 days in the fridge, but is best in the first 5 days or so.)
• This recipe can be extended and tweaked to make up to 8 12-oz bottles of coffee. Although, 6 is probably best if you like stronger coffee notes. Practice and experiment till you get it perfect for your tastes!
What are the Actual Cost Savings of This Method?
Let's say 1 bottle of store-bought coffee is $4, so buying 4 of them in a week is $16. Now, multiply that by 52 weeks in a year and that's over $800! In contrast, this recipe costs you about $1 per bottle to make, if not less. Depending on the cost of your ingredients, you can make these for less than 50 cents per bottled coffee. As such, a year of making your own bottled coffee only costs around $150 - even if you use gourmet flavored coffee grounds! So, if you regularly drink bottled coffee, you could save over $600 a year by switching to brewing your own!
Elaborating on The Copy Cat Element
To copycat the flavor of those famous mini-fridge Starbucks coffees sold at Wal-Mart, you can use maple syrup as a sweetener, a little less milk, and add heavy whipping cream to your milk mix on the stove instead. About a 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream should do, with the same amount of milk reduced. It will take some tweaking to get the flavors exact.
You can also use reduced-fat milk, coffee, rice powder (in place of maltodextrin as a thickener), and sugar with the flavorings you prefer as a copycat method. But personally, I like my own recipes better than the versions offered by the big coffee chains.
Mocha - Use Hershey's Syrup to make a mocha, with a little vanilla extract and reduce your use of sweetener by 1/3.
Caramel Frap - Use caramel sauce in your milk mixture, and I also recommend brewing this salted caramel flavored coffee as part of your base.
Experimenting with Coffee Flavors
Want some ideas for getting your bottled coffee to taste amazing? Here are some options to think about!
- Use flavored coffees from OneGreatCoffee.Com for an amazing flavor experience in every sip.
- Add cinnamon (which has many health benefits) or nutmeg to your coffee
- Make mochas with cocoa powder or Hershey's Syrup, yum!
Speed Things Up by Preparing a Homemade Creamer
You can make DIY bottled coffees using a homemade sweetened cream base as well. We have a recipe for Homemade Coffee Creamer in our blogs section! Using this as a base in each bottle, all you need to do is add some fresh coffee, (about 1 strong cup or 3 espresso shots per bottle), a splash of milk, then refrigerate to cool that coffee down, and you're done!
Other Cold Brew Bottled Coffee Options
Do you prefer the smoothness of cold brew bottled coffee? If so, you can follow our tried and true cold brew coffee recipe for making DIY bottled coffees. With this variation, just make cold brew coffee and portion it in each bottle, leaving space for simple syrup and whole milk! Easy-peasy.
What is a 'copycat' bottled coffee?
A copycat bottled coffee is basically a homemade version of those popular bottled coffee drinks often sold in mini coolers at grocery stores or in the milky beverage section at a gas station. Usually, the Starbucks brand. Copycat recipes let you recreate these beverages at home, saving you money, and allowing you to unlock customized improvements and tweak the recipe just right. Good copycat recipes often come close to the real flavor of the store-bought version.
Why make your own copycat bottled coffee instead of buying them?
There are several reasons why making your own copycat bottled coffee is a great idea:
- You can save money by making your own coffee drinks instead of buying them from a store.
- Use the ingredients you want, for healthier versions and custom coffee beverages.
- Fine-tune the sweetness of your homemade bottled coffees to suit your unique taste preferences.
- It's fun to experiment with new coffee flavors or combos. Especially if you use flavored coffees or organic brews like the ones sold at OneGreatCoffee.Com!
All in all, making your own bottled coffee at home can save you money as opposed to buying that expensive, pre-made, preservative-filled stuff in a mini cooler at the grocery store or a gas station. With these simple steps and some creativity, you can enjoy custom-bottled coffee drinks without overspending. If you need awesome coffee to use in these drinks, get started by clicking here!