10 Shots Over Ice - At Home?
October 20, 2010 7:59 AM   Subscribe

Please help me replicate my daily Starbucks beverage at home: venti cup filled with ice with 10 shots.

Yes, I really do take 10 shots over ice - twice daily. If Starbucks was located right next door to my house, probably wouldn't be an issue - but driving to the other side of town twice each day can get cumbersome at times.

So: how can I best replicate my special drink at home? I assume (?) that I would use Starbucks espresso-roast beans - but what hardware would give me the closest approximation to Starbucks? Any other tips, tricks, or hints from the coffee-loving experts here at AskMeFi?
posted by davidmsc to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You could try an Aeropress although you'd only get 4 shots from one go. Alternately, a Moka pot on the stove. Both of these will give you a concentrated coffee, although not technically espresso.
posted by cabingirl at 8:02 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've been really happy with my Starbucks Barista espresso machine. Especially if you're just using it for the shots and not to steam the milk.

However, you could go with a much cheaper option (which is probably smarter) and get one of those stovetop espresso makers. Basically you're just making super strong coffee and pouring it over ice, yes? This is the type of thing I mean. Disclaimer: I've never used one of these.

You could also experiment with a french press at home, using Starbucks Espresso Roast and only 10 oz of water.

My ideas seem to go in order of most complex to least.
posted by purpletangerine at 8:04 AM on October 20, 2010

A Toddy would probably meet your needs in terms of large amounts of concentrate that starts out cold, so you don't have to chill it. You'll want to use a coarse grind.
posted by emilyd22222 at 8:04 AM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]

A Moka pot needs to cool down a bit between shots. However, Bodum makes a 12-oz stovetop espresso machine that Starbucks sells on their site.

You haven't mentioned your budget. You can blow thousands on an espresso machine.
posted by mkb at 8:04 AM on October 20, 2010

Cabin girl beat me to it.
posted by purpletangerine at 8:04 AM on October 20, 2010

Starbucks uses a multi-thousand dollar machine to brew espresso. Hence the point of an espresso bar to make it for you.

Are you in the market for a cardiologist, by the way?
posted by goethean at 8:06 AM on October 20, 2010 [6 favorites]

I was going to ask- are you looking for flavor, or for caffeination? I love the aeropress for both, though not exactly espresso, but not quite coffee- somewhere in between.
posted by TheBones at 8:06 AM on October 20, 2010

Nthing the aeropress. I have a gaggia espresso maker, but have not used it (except for steaming milk) since I got the aeropress. A full one ('4 shots') is much stronger/more flavorful than 4 shots from Starbucks -- so much so that I prefer my coffee at home to anything I could get there.

Also, espresso experts will tell you that an expensive burr grinder used with a cheap espresso maker will get you better shots than a cheap grinder and expensive espresso machine. So if you're looking to spend many $$$, invest in the aeropress and a good grinder.
posted by MeiraV at 8:11 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

If what you're going for is the caffeine content, use a lighter roast-- the longer you roast the more caffeine you destroy. Then, grind it for Turkish or finer, and use several extra tablespoons full. Boil it like Turkish coffee, then pour into your press, let steep for a few minutes, and plunge. Or to hell with it, just go Turkish the whole way and drink some of the grinds as well.
posted by holterbarbour at 8:13 AM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

So a venti cup is 20 oz (venti is italian for 20), so thats what size cup you'll need.

Does your freezer have an automatic ice cube thingy? Ice in restaurants is much smaller than ice cubes you make at home, and the greater surface area-to-volume ratio of the smaller cubes mean they melt much quicker and kick out more water into your drink than your standard icecube tray blocks.

As for the coffee itself, I'd recommend using a French press over an espresso machine. It'll be much quicker than brewing 5 or 10 cycles on a home machine, and very close in quality. Just put a crapload of ground coffee into your french press, and figure out how much liquid 10 shots of espresso is, and use that. Make sure to use a more coarse grind of coffee than you would with a machine though, or you'll get grounds in the bottom of your cup.

If you must get machine-made espresso, you can go on ebay and get yourself an espresso machine (the actual brand of machines Starbucks uses is proprietary, as the company who makes them was bought by starbucks), but read a bit and you'll find one with few bells and whistles that can make good espresso and not be too expensive.
posted by Jon_Evil at 8:13 AM on October 20, 2010

Actually cold-brewing might be a good idea for you. You can do it in quantity, it makes something which is coffee concentrated perhaps 2-3 times from normal, not quite esperesso strength perhaps but pretty strong. Since you're just drinking it cold there's no reason to make hot coffee and then ice it down. It keeps pretty well, it has lower acidity than hot-brewed coffee. I used to make it at home and take pitchers to work. I'd add cream and ice to a cup, pour in coffee concentrate. It's pretty good.

I bought a think to make it, but you totally don't need one. You need to just add coffee grounds to water, wait overnight or so at room temp, filter out the grounds and voila.
posted by RustyBrooks at 8:14 AM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

My first thought: "Dude, wouldn't a cocaine habit be cheaper and about as effective?" ;-)

My second thought: two Aeropresses. They are cheap. You are supporting a cool business (they MAKE the AEROBIE, dang it). And two Aeropresses full of coffee, made simultaneously, is ROUGHLY enough to satisfy your coffee needs.
posted by julthumbscrew at 8:19 AM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

To clarify, the Toddy is a cold brewer.
posted by emilyd22222 at 8:24 AM on October 20, 2010

I don't think cold brew is the best solution here. It doesn't have the bite that a good espresso shot has. If you are really used to drinking that much espresso, cold brew is going to taste like water.
posted by cabingirl at 8:28 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

I assume (?) that I would use Starbucks espresso-roast beans

How about you use a jar of instant Bustelo? I'm not being sarcastic here: serving it over ice means that you're changing the flavour profile straight away, and I'm not certain what you'd miss.
posted by holgate at 9:36 AM on October 20, 2010

Good espresso shouldn't have a bite. The bite comes from uncleaned machines.

I'd start with an Aeropress. If that doesn't taste right, then you can go the great burr grinder and decent espresso maker route, but making 5 double shots in a row is going to be a bit of a drag.
posted by QIbHom at 9:39 AM on October 20, 2010

Say, is that Aeropress made of glass or is that lexan? Because if you are a Bisphenl A avoiding person the Aeropress may have issues if that is lexan but if it is glass then you are good to go.

The cold brew gives an extremely smooth cup without the caffeine jolt of the expresso. Now, I am going to throw in making Vietnamese coffee which is inky, potent and excellent over ice. You may want to scale back on the 20 ounces but that coffee was made to give some vigor to the languorous.
posted by jadepearl at 9:39 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Do you have some sort of relationship with the baristas where some of those shots are on the house? Cause with a $15.10 (2 x ($1.95 double espresso + 8 shots at $0.70 ea.)) daily habit, you can recoup the costs of a nice $2k espresso machine in 6 months.

Intelligentsia's Black Cat Espresso Beans are amazing.
posted by hwyengr at 9:56 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Cold brewing coffee will make it taste different, probably in a good way (from the linked article: "about 90% of the flavor elements and the normal caffeine content come through this way, while only about 15% of the oils and acids will").

The 90% caffine content is interesting, as another page from I Need Coffee has a comment from someone at Toddy, stating "Our claim is cold brewed coffee has approximately 33 percent less caffeine than coffee brewed (using regular caffeinated beans) by conventional hot water methods."

In short: if you want the caffine, cold brewing won't bring that out the caffeine in the way espresso makes a concentrated, caffeinated drink.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:45 AM on October 20, 2010

If you are interested in toddy/cold brewing, you can give it a shot in a French Press first. I've done that and it works but is obviously grittier than a proper toddy brew. There is also a recipe for toddy done in 7-11 cups but let's not be animals.
posted by chairface at 11:35 AM on October 20, 2010

If you want pure caffeine-infused sludge, I'd go with the Vietnamese style coffee.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:38 AM on October 20, 2010

According to the aeropress website, as of Aug 2009 the aeropress is no longer made of BPA-containing materials; and even prior to that, they state the lab was unable to find any BPA in their coffee . . . ymmv, but I thought someone might want to know.
posted by MeiraV at 2:12 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

[folks, question is not anonymous, you may MeMail your health concerns to the OP and leave this space for answering his question.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:09 PM on October 20, 2010

I was a Starbucks quad on ice girl every day until I started brewing up espresso in my cheapo moka pot and pouring it over ice in a travel mug. I haven't been back to Starbucks since. I get good french roast coffee ground very very finely, and it works perfectly.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:58 PM on October 20, 2010

Wow - some great options to consider - thanks everyone! Will investigate ALL of the options provided and return with "best answer" soonest.

And yes, I do get along rather well with the SBX crew at my local shop - no freebies, but I often don't pay full fare (whew!).
posted by davidmsc at 10:42 AM on October 21, 2010

MeiraV: "According to the aeropress website, as of Aug 2009 the aeropress is no longer made of BPA-containing materials; and even prior to that, they state the lab was unable to find any BPA in their coffee . . . ymmv, but I thought someone might want to know."

I wanted to know. I make daily use of my AeroPress. Thanks, MeiraV!
posted by Songdog at 6:59 AM on October 22, 2010

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