For my fellow international classmates and readers, coming across “American” products can be difficult, unless you’re bringing them with you from the states. I’m not sure about you, but I LOVE Starbucks products. I know that’s cliche, but it’s my guilty pleasure! Back home, I love going to Starbucks and hanging out with friends on a sunny afternoon, or on cold winter nights. I love grabbing a cappuccino with my best friend and running errands around town. It’s also a great meet-up spot when I come home for break to catch up with friends. I love the ambiance of coffee shops, whether I’m with friends/family or by myself. Coming to the island for school, we are limited on coffee options. Although I don’t drink coffee straight, I love experimenting and making mochas, lattes, and cappuccinos. I came prepared and stocked up on flavored syrups and caffeinated Starbucks beverage powders.
Whether you’re living abroad or in the US, buying ingredients and making your own drink is a great way to save money on a beverage every day. You cut down on calories too, by making your beverages at home. I used to love the whipped cream at Starbucks, until I realized it was almost 100 calories more added to the drink! Not that I’m one to count my calories, but over time that will have an effect on your health. You can customize your beverage and experiment however you want by making it at home. Buying from the shop once in awhile is great, but the costs really do build up over time. Think of all the money you can save by making your drinks at home!
Check out the Starbucks online store for their drink syrups. I usually buy these when they are on sale; I can get a container of flavored syrup for about $9.99 on sale. Using 2 pumps per drink in the morning, these big containers of syrup usually last me about 2-4 months give or take, depending on how many drinks I consume. My favorite syrup flavors are vanilla, peppermint, hazelnut, and toffee nut. You don’t even need to buy Starbucks products to enjoy flavored beverages – I’ve seen other brands of syrups that are just as good. One of my other favorites are the Torani products. Here are some of my favorite homemade drinks that I prepare with syrups:
- Cafe mocha ingredients: steamed milk, espresso, chocolate syrup, and flavored syrup of your choice
- Flavored latte ingredients: steamed milk, double espresso, and flavored syrup
- Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte: steamed milk, espresso, and Starbucks pumpkin spice sauce (or any pumpkin spice sauce you can find!)
- Starbucks white chocolate mocha: steamed milk, espresso, and Starbucks white chocolate sauce
When I’m in a rush for time, I love the instant packets of lattes/mochas that you can get from the Starbucks store, or almost any grocery store. You don’t even need to get Starbucks brand if there is another brand you prefer, or if you find one that is inexpensive. I love the instant mocha packets and the pumpkin spice packets from Starbucks, and these vanilla cappuccino packets from Folgers.
Starbucks refreshers are another one of my favorites. These are great for a hot, sunny afternoon when you need a light boost of energy. They are light and refreshing. I love to add ‘fizz’ to them when I get them (adding carbonation). These products use green coffee bean extract as their source of caffeine. I like buying these in the packets from either Target or the Starbucks store, depending on where I can find a good sale. They also sell them in cans with the carbonation added. I love to get mine from Target or SAMs Club/Costco.
What are some of your favorite coffee products that you swear by? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!