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Spend Less Than $1 on Your Iced Coffee Drinks Advises Consumer Reports

Tim Boyer's picture
Iced Coffee

Summer time is time for iced coffee drinks to give us the kick we need without working up a hot beverage sweat. But are you paying $4 to $5 for that cup of iced coffee heaven? You shouldn’t be, advise researchers from Consumer Reports. According to their research, cold supermarket mocha coffee drinks for as low as $1 per serving offer both taste and calorie choices that are attractive and easy on the wallet.

In the August 2014 issue of Consumer Reports, the buzz is out about iced coffee drinks and how they compare in cost, calories, and taste. The surprise finding is that to fulfill your cold caffeine cravings, you can significantly stretch your dollars by choosing to buy the same name-brand coffees offered at the supermarket that you would otherwise pay more for at a convenience drive-thru.

The chemistry and economics of an iced coffee drink is simple: you are paying for what is essentially a cup of milk or cream, 6-8 teaspoons of added sugar of which most comes from the chocolate syrup, a shot or two of espresso and ice. If you were to buy milk and chocolate syrup at the local supermarket, and either make your own espresso or French Press an easy brew, your actual cost comes to pennies per serving. But that’s too much work.

The simple and cost-saving solution is to buy your iced coffee drinks pre-made and available at your local grocery that you can pour on the go or freeze away to thaw while at work in time for that afternoon pick-me-up.

The following is a list of the top 5 iced coffees available at the supermarket that Consumer Reports rates as “Very Good” with a comment on calorie count and taste:

Starbucks Discoveries Caffé Mocha—8 ounces, 120 calories, “…tastes like it could have been made from scratch.”

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Starbucks Frappuccino Mocha—9.5ounces, 180 calories, “Has a distinct coffee brewed flavor with the slightly sweet taste of cooked milk and a hint of cocoa.”

Illy Issimo Mochaccino—9.5 ounces, 110 calories, “Nice blend of coffee and milk…not overly sweet.”

International Delight Iced Coffee Sweet & Creamy Mocha—8 ounces, 150 calories, “You get a strong mocha flavor and hints of caramel, but the coffee notes are in the background.”

Starbucks Frappuccino Mocha Light—9.5 ounces, 100 calories, likened to a, “Frappuccino Mocha, but thinner. The artificial sweetener aftertaste was a bit of a turnoff.”

For a complete listing of iced coffee drinks that includes those rated as “Good” by Consumer Reports, check out the August 2014 issue for more iced coffee choices that will save you money.

And if weight is an issue, here are 3 coffee choices that won't add inches to your waist recommended by Dr. Oz.

Image Source: Courtesy of PhotoBucket

Reference: Consumer Reports Aug. 2014 issue



I don't think you can make any coffee drink for pennies per serving, unless perhaps it holds the collected tears of the child slaves who picked it. Certainly no fair trade label is ever that cheap.