Save money and enjoy delicious coffee drinks at home this summer! You’ll love this Salted Caramel Mocha Iced Coffee Concentrate — made with either cold brew coffee, or save time by using instant coffee.
A Healthy Version of Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha
Starbucks is a small obsession of mine. Maybe not such a small obsession. Everyone knows it’s my weakness.
And coffee 💙 swoon.
I love my iced coffees, and I’ve been known to spend quite a lot of money at Starbucks. After I started making coffee concentrates, like this Salted Caramel Mocha, my trips to Starbucks became less frequent because making treats like this at home costs pennies compared to dollars.
I often make this with Cold Brew, but if I don’t want to wait a day for that to be ready, instant coffee works also.
Cold Brew is amazing because:
- It stays fresh in the refrigerator for a week.
- Cold brew is extra smooth and rich.
Instant Coffee is also awesome because:
- It’s so easy to have on hand, and stays fresh tasting about 3 days.
- Instant has a lot less caffeine than cold brew or drip coffee.
How to Make Mocha Iced Coffee Concentrate
I like to make a large batch of this coffee concentrate to have in the refrigerator for a week. When I am ready, all I need to do is add some almond milk or coconut milk and I’ve got a frosty, lightly sweet, rich and chocolatey coffee.
Easier than running to the coffee shop, I swear.
Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha has nothing on this.
To make this beverage a healthy indulgence, I make it with:
- raw cacao powder
- Medjool dates
- butter extract (optional)
- sea salt (you’ve got to do it! It’s not caramel without it).
How to Make Caramel Iced Coffee
Prior to beginning to make your coffee concentrate:
- Soak the dates in hot water. Fresh dates might not need this step, but if your dates have started to dry out, this will help them blend easier.
- You need cold brew for this recipe, so be sure you have that made a day ahead. You can use strong instant coffee, French press coffee, or Starbucks Via packs to make this also. See notes in recipe card. If you have never made cold brew before, check out my post on how to make cold brew, including lots of tips & tricks for making the perfect batch!
Step 1: Toss the coffee along with the rest of the ingredients into the blender, and process until the beverage is completely smooth.
Step 2: Strain the coffee concentrate through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. You can also put in into a French press and use the filter to press the date pulp down.
It’s okay to drink the coffee directly out of the blender, but I find it tastes a little “thick” from the date and cocoa sediments. I like to strain the concentrate through a nut milk bag (cheesecloth would work).
Step 3: Pour the coffee concentrate over ice. It’s strong, so choose your favorite milk to blend it with. Experiment with ratios. I use about half concentrate and half almond milk, or 1/2 concentrate with 1/4 coconut milk and 1/4 water.
Use this Coffee Concentrate to Blend your Perfect Iced Coffee
What milk do you enjoy in your coffee? There is a plus to each of the different options!
⭐️ Regular Milk: Fine if you can tolerate it because it adds protein!
⭐️Almond Milk: My “milk” of choice – low in calories, and still very creamy!
⭐️Coconut Milk: For the best results, buy Thai coconut milk sold in paper cartons, rather than cans. The canning process makes the coconut milk less sweet, and it will also clump in your coffee ( you can blend it to make it smooth, but it’s not recommended). You can purchase it this way at Asian import stores or on Amazon.
⭐️NutPods Coconut/Almond Coffee Creamer: I ADORE this — a pricier option, but lower calories and just as rich as coconut milk. Costco recently starting carrying it and it brings the price down considerably.
Depending on which option you choose, you could save quite a bit on your coffee habit!
The cost of enough concentrate for 2 “grande” iced coffees:
- Coffee: $0.10
- Dates: $0.54
- Vanilla: $0.60
- Cocoa powder: $0.12
- Coconut Milk: $0.30
$1.66 for TWO 16-oz drinks, or just $0.83 per coffee.
Other Homemade Coffee Drinks
- Vegan Vanilla Iced Coffee, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Vanilla Almond Latte, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Java Chip Mocha Green Smoothie, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Pumpkin Spice Latte Smoothie, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Cold Brew Coffee Ratios, by Sunkissed Kitchen
I’d love to connect with you on social media! Find me on Facebook or Instagram where I post daily healthy eating and lifestyle inspiration.
Salted Caramel Mocha Coffee Concentrate
- 4 cups cold brew coffee or 1/4 cup instant coffee + 4 cups water
- 2-4 medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder or sub natural cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon butter extract optional
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- If making this with cold brew, first soak the dates in hot water for a minute or two. Drain, and then add to a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Process until very smooth.
- If making with instant coffee, add the instant coffee to a large container, and then add 4 cups of hot water. Add the dates and allow to soak for a couple of minutes, before adding to a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Process until smooth.
- To make the smoothest coffee, strain the date and cocoa sediment out by straining the coffee concentrate through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth.
- When ready to enjoy, add the coffee concentrate to a glass with ice, and then top with your favorite milk. I like about 2/3 coffee concentrate to 1/3 almond milk. Adjust to taste.
Jess @ whatjessicabakednext says
This iced coffee looks amazing!
Thanks Jess! It’s a great change up from my normal black coffee. If you’ve never tried coconut milk in coffee- that’s what I used in these photos, it’s a great addition. It’s naturally sweet, and leaves a subtle coconut flavor.
Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods says
That Starbucks gets me all the time. They are every where! They recently added one into our grocery store. I can hardly walk in the door without wanting a coffee. Very smart to make your own version at home and save some money 😀
This looks delicious and so refreshing!
It’s so convenient, and Starbucks has put a lot of money into researching how to make the coffee shop a place people want to be. The staff at all the Starbucks around where I live know me, so sometimes I come and sit at their tables outside, they say hi to me, and don’t mind that I don’t order.
Medha @ Whisk & Shout says
Love this pocket-friendly alternative! I love knowing what’s in what I eat, so this is awesome 🙂
Yes, I must know what’s in my food, because I am allergic to so many things. But learning what’s in things has made me even more picky about what I will and will not eat!
Your photographs are amazing. I am not a big coffee drinker but that looks really good.
You would like this! I know you.
Great recipe! And, omg, I need to know where those glasses are from! xx
Haha, the glasses are probably from too far away from you– I’m living in Kuala Lumpur, and I bought them at a restaurant supply store near where I live.
This recipe is one of the ones I make more than anything else on my blog 🙂 It’s a great treat, and I prefer the sweetness of dates to any other form of sugar.
This is great! You saved me a loooot of money with this 😉
I love these coffees– I’m glad you like it!
I’m confused as to what you’re supposed to do with all the brewed coffee. You say to make 1 1/2 cups, but you use 1/4c. in the concentrate.
Thanks for clarifying.
Hello Lynda! Thank you for pointing out that error. I always start with 1/4 cup because the dates blend better that way, and then I add the rest and mix it quickly before I strain. I just updated the recipe 🙂 I hope you enjoy!