Easy morning drinks to prepare in your dorm room

Turn your dorm into a Starbucks

cold-brew

Cold brew coffee is, as the name suggests, brewed cold rather than hot. This process makes a stronger coffee that doesn’t dilute as easily with ice and is typically sweeter. 

Sadie Goodman | Cavalier Daily

When I began my first year, I couldn’t wait to set up my dorm room and settle into my new life, but I soon realized that one of the things I missed the most about home was the fresh coffee my parents brewed every morning. Keurig cups can’t quite compare to fresh coffee in terms of strength and flavor. To make mornings in dorms a little easier, I have a few great drink hacks for any other caffeine lovers out there.

My first drink suggestion is an easy recipe for cold brew coffee. This drink requires a brewing technique that differs from the typical iced coffee. Cold brew coffee is, as the name suggests, brewed cold rather than hot. This process makes a stronger coffee that doesn’t dilute as easily with ice and is typically sweeter. 

This recipe is especially great for the first few weeks of school when the weather is warm. Cold brew is quite easy to make, and it packs a punch in terms of flavor and caffeine content. The process of soaking the coffee grounds makes for a smooth drink without such a bitter edge. 

I get all my supplies at Wegmans, but any grocery store should have the right materials. 

Ingredients: 

1 cup coarse ground coffee (I love Trager Brothers)

Four cups (32 oz.) filtered water

Cheesecloth or mesh strainer bags

Baking string

A large jar with a lid

One of the key steps in making cold brew is to purchase coarsely ground coffee beans because this ensures you don’t have little pieces of the beans floating in your drink. Wegmans gives the option to grind your own beans. You can also go to a Starbucks or Shenandoah Joe’s and ask for your favorite brew in a coarse grind. 

To get started, bind up the cheesecloth or strainer bag with one cup of the ground coffee. Tie it tightly so you avoid any sediment leaking into your brew. Pour four cups (32 oz.) of water over the bag and let it sit in your fridge for 24 to 48 hours — the longer you steep the stronger the drink. In a day or two, you’ll have deliciously strong cold brew coffee right in your fridge! 

The strainer bags are reusable with a quick rinse, and the coffee grounds can even be mixed with coconut oil and sugar to make a great exfoliating body scrub. 

If you like your coffee with milk, take advantage of what the dining halls have to offer. Instead of buying a whole container of milk that’ll likely go bad before you finish it all, fill a cup with your favorite milk or creamer and store it in your mini fridge. You can also bring a to-go cup of cold brew with you to the dining hall and fix it up with your choice of sugar, milk, creamer or ice. 

If you’re really in a rush, sometimes using a Keurig is the best option. Though Keurig coffee isn’t the best, the ability to dispense hot water is wonderful for making tea, oatmeal or ramen. If you’re craving a hot cup of coffee, I recommend The Original Donut Shop Keurig cups in the medium roast. It’s the least offensive Keurig option I’ve tried. When mixed with a packet of sugar and creamer, it’ll certainly do for your morning fix.

A good green tea or chai tea can also spice up your morning and give you a calmer caffeine boost than coffee if you’re crashing in the afternoon. For tea lovers, a small electric kettle is especially ideal for the dorm room. I love Yogi Tea Green Tea Energy and Chamba Chai powdered chai mix from Costco. The green tea is light, citrusy and refreshing and can be served hot or iced. The Chamba Chai is sweet and creamy, even when just mixed with water. Though you may have to order the Chamba Chai online, the container lasts quite a while, and it tastes amazing. 

It’s easy to get creative and stock up on great options in your dorm. Daily trips to Starbucks can get quite pricey. These ideas can save you time and money and can make mornings a little easier. 

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