Thursday, February 3, 2011


I am not a casual coffee drinker. My dad started me on coffee when I was in the 6th grade (love you, daddy!), and I've never been the same since. By no means did I start drinking it every day then, but it slowly grew to be a constant in my life. I was one of those do-not-talk-to-me-till-i-have-my-coffee kinds of people. Absolutely obsessed. I was advised for a few years to stop drinking coffee, but did I listen to them? Of course not! What did I do instead? I got a job at Starbucks! Smart, right? So I worked at Starbucks and subsequently took in even more coffee than I could have ever thought possible for 2 1/2 years (before I started working at the bank).

But, in January of 2010, after some poking and prodding, I was diagnosed with bleeding stomach ulcers. And yes, they were about as much fun as they sound! So I took my last sip of coffee and went cold turkey for 6 months. That was the worst thing I think I've ever been through. I felt like a drug addict who had been put in rehab, but instead I was still surround by the stuff!

Desperately I searched for something to curb the cravings and the splitting headaches. So again I turned to Starbucks, and I found something that came almost close enough to doing the job.

BEHOLD! The Earl Grey Tea Latte (also known as a London Fog):

I made and drank these when I was still a barista, but never fully appreciated them until I had to. And now I'm in love! Earl grey tea is bold, and to many it is an acquired taste (Code says it tastes like pine sol), but I love it! It is earthy and strong (which is what I love about coffee). Earl grey is black tea, blended with Italian bergamot, infused with lavender and a hint of citrus. Mix that with some vanilla syrup and steamed milk, and Voila! You have an Earl Grey Tea Latte! 

So to curb the twitches and foggy brain and splitting headaches, I started drinking these almost every day. But lets face it.. Sbux IS expensive to drink every day, and definitely does not fit into my budg, so after some trial and error, I made my DIY at-home version, which I drink every single morning. Now I am a dont-talk-to-me-till-ive-had-my-tea person. Which isn't quite as fierce..

DIY Earl Grey Tea Latte

First, obv, you start with the tea! I boil half a mug of water in the microwave for 3 min, and then immediately throw the tea bag in and steep for 5 min, usually while I go fix my hair in the morn.

I started using TAZO tea, which is what Sbux uses, $6.95 for 16 shachets. However (don't smite me) I've switched to Bigelow tea, which you pick up in any groc store, and it tastes even better!
Bigelow Earl Grey Tea: $2.49 for 20 bags
OR $.13 a bag (awesome!)

Then you add 2 tbsp of Vanilla syrup. You can get Archer Farms Vanilla syrup from Target, but it is more expensive in the long run. It is better to buy the syrup from Sbux, or order it from their website.
Starbucks Vanilla Syrup: $10.95 for 1 liter
OR $.16 per tbsp

And, MILK! Sbux does a 1:1 ratio of milk to water, but I do 1:2... because I like it better! Which usually comes out to about 3 tbsp of milk.

 Whole Foods Organic Milk: $3.79 for a 1/2 gallon
OR $.03 a tbsp!

Lastly, the BEST thing about running to Sbux (for me at least) is the convenience! But I heat up my water and steep the tea in a mug, then pour it into my To-Go Tumbler. My fave is:

Not only are they made from 20% recycled material, but I LOVE the lids on these types of tumblers. No leaks, no handles, and they just look so darn cute! Plus, they're Eco-friendly since you're not wasting a paper cup and paper sleeve every single time!
Grande Tumbler: $10.95
Lets divide this over 20 uses (since there are 20 tea bags in 1 box of tea): $.55 a day.

So! Who's still keeping track?! 

Starbucks (I still love you):: $3.81 a day.

At Home:: $1.09 a day! Are you serious!? 

Guys.. That ADDS UP! 
After 20 days of drinking Sbux vs. At Home::

S: $76.20, yikes!

AH: $10.69!! 
This isn't including the tumbler. If you have to go out and buy one, that makes the total $21.64! 

Savings:: $65.51, you've got to be kidding me!

It is so easy to run by Sbux on the way to work, and don't get me wrong.. I love those little paper cups too. But is it worth $65.51 extra dollars in less than a month!?

I don't think so!

Try it!! Have another Sbux fave you want me to DIY? Let me know!

Linds C.

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