Iced Cinnamon Dolce Obsession

My relationship with coffee drinks has been a bit off and on over the years. I think I started actually drinking coffee in my late night Denny’s phase immediately after high school. It was a habit I perceived to be hip and adult, but I can’t remember if I actually even enjoyed it. There was always a ton of milk and creamer involved. A couple of years later I had graduated to lattes. When I moved to Seattle a co-worker took me to my first Starbucks where I had a caramel macchiato. It was good and different, but I was far from hooked. It was Melissa who has always been obsessed with iced coffee that got me into the idea of drinking coffee cold. That broadened my horizons a bit, coffee became a viable mid-day warm weather drink. Still it was never all that regular of a thing for me. A few months ago I was in a hospital for 10+ hours photographing a birth, and the dad to be that day turned me on to Starbuck’s Cinnamon Dolce Latte. It was a drink I didn’t really need to alter to enjoy, and up until then I had always considered Starbucks drinks to either be too bitter and burnt tasting, or way too sweet (and this is from someone who likes coffee to be like dessert). The Cinnamon Dolce Latte was perfect, it was one of the few coffee drinks I didn’t feel like I needed to add anything to. On our last big road trip from San Diego to Portland and back I started ordering CDLs nearly daily. Melissa in an attempt to stunt our ever growing debt to Starbucks bought the CDL syrup online and attempted to make the CDL just like I got it in the stores using our Keurig. The Keurig doesn’t have a pod for espresso though, so even the stronger pods didn’t get all that close to be exact. I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to these things/

One day at Target we saw a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf pod machine similar to the Keurig that did espresso called the Americano. I had been considering looking for a cheap espresso machine, but they really aren’t all that cheap. This thing was about the same price as a Keurig, and did both espresso and coffee. We ended up giving the Keurig to Melissa’s mom and keeping this thing. The results are pretty good. Since I’m not drinking the espresso straight up, it doesn’t need to be perfect, just stronger than coffee. This machine will brew 2 ounces of it, which is good enough for a medium iced CDL.

The problem has been finding this specific espresso pod in the stores. Today we wasted over an hour going to Bed Bath & Beyond as well as Target in a vain search for this particular flavor. I ended up ordering it online. This forces me to actually go in the store in order to get my daily dose. I probably save $3.50 on each drink by doing it at home. Starbucks actually has a new pod machine that I was seriously considering to get the drink even more exact, but the Verismo only does 1 ounce per pod. So I’d have to use 2 instead of just 1, and they are more expensive than the CBTL system. Hopefully these pods don’t continue to be difficult to find.

So my current home recipe for a CDL is as follows:

  • 3 pumps Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte Syrup
  • 1 pump Sugar-free Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte Syrup
  • 2 ounces CBTL Italian Espresso
  • 6 ounces of non-fat milk
  • ice
  • a personal concoction of cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on the top (Starbucks doesn’t sell the sprinkles)
  • I eliminate the whip cream

This is the equivalent of the grande size in the stores, and tastes nearly identical to me. In the store I typically order a venti which is 3 ounces of espresso and 6 pumps of syrup. If only my machine did 3 ounce espresso servings.

Mel - I feel like I’m going to die without that drink.

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