Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips

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Pieday Friday recipe – Coffee shop Christmas menu hacks

You know that Christmas is approaching when the coffee shops start serving their Christmas drinks. The usual selection of coffee and tea suddenly flips over to the festive menu sometime in early November. One day you’re buying your usual latte and the next day there’s a turkey and cranberry toasty on the sandwich counter and gold stars are being sprinkled on top of every drink. Yes, the coffee shop Christmas drinks are here to stay (until January, at least) so I thought I’d see whether I could hack some of the famous recipes from Costa, Starbucks and Neros for you. In previous years I’ve blogged my favourite flavoured hot chocolate recipes for Christmas, but it’s all about the coffee this year. Here are three festive coffee recipes that you can enjoy at home that might help you to save a little extra cash over Christmas.

Gingerbread latte

All of the coffee chains create a gingerbread latte in some form or other at this time of year – even McDonalds have a spice cookie latte on the menu. Here’s what you’ll need to recreate it at home: Coffee (I used flavoured coffee capsules of Gourmesso for each drink in this blog post, saving a little extra money on the usual Nespresso capsule prices – see, always thinking thriftily!) hot milk, gingerbread syrup or a couple of cubes of crystallized ginger, gold star sprinkles (find them with the baking aisle in the supermarket with the hundreds-and-thousands), ground cinnamon and a mini gingerbread man. You could make your own, or skip this step like I did and buy a ready-made box of festive gingerbread biscuits from the supermarket.Image by up a shot of coffee into a festive-jumper patterned mug (mine is from The Caravan Trail). Stir in a shot of gingerbread syrup. If you don’t have syrup, pour a little boiling water over the crystallized ginger to melt it a little before stirring it into the coffee. Top up the coffee with hot milk to create a creamy latte. If you have a milk frother to hand (my little whisk was £3 from the supermarket and it makes fantastic foam!) whisk up a thick milk foam to top the latte. Sprinkle on some gold stars and sit a little gingerbread man on top – I think it looks like rudolph is drinking my latte in this photo!

Honeycomb latte

A new festive coffee in our local coffee chain, we tried this drink for the first time last week. The main flavour of this drink is cinder toffee, so essentially a Crunchie bar will do the trick! Here’s what you’ll need: Coffee, caramel syrup, hot milk, whipped cream, a Crunchie or chocolate-coated cinder toffee nuggets.Image by a shot of coffee into a latte glass and stir in a splash of caramel syrup. If you don’t have coffee syrup like this, you could use some toffee ice-cream syrup or even melt a chunk of Crunchie bar into the coffee. Fill the cup with hot milk before finishing with a swirl of whipped cream. Crush up the Crunchie bar or cinder toffee into small nuggets and sprinkle over the top.

Toffee nut latte

Sure, you can find tons of pumpkin spice latte recipes online (I could dedicate a whole pinterest board to it!) but this year the big American coffee chain has a festive nut toffee latte on the menu this year. Even though I’m not a fan of nuts, I know that many of you will love this recipe so who am I to skip it? To recreate this recipe at home you will need: Coffee, caramel syrup, hazelnut syrup, hot milk, whipped cream and peanut brittle. Hopefully this will give you a similar taste, although I can’t be sure as I’ve never tried the original coffee shop version.Image by

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Tea for Two – at Starbucks??

I couldn’t quite believe the recent news that coffee-giant Starbucks is planning to open its first tea-only store in the autumn. The tea shop will open near the company’s headquarters in Seattle and will feature the US tea Tazo brand that Starbucks acquired over 12 years ago.


According to reports in The Seattle Times the new Starbucks will sell a variety of hot teas, iced teas and tea lattes and they insist that their store will be more like a wine-tasting environment, encouraging customers to experiment with different tea blends and flavours.  Starbucks are also hoping that the new customers will also make the most of the store’s USP; a blending station where customers can create their own Tazo tea blends.

This got me thinking about my favourite beverage (yes, for the record, it IS tea) and here’s my top 3 tasty teas that I’d recommend everyone to try!

1. I love Lancashire tea. Much like Yorkshire tea but much less famous, this tea is my favourite choice for a standard cuppa. As a long-term Lancashire resident, I can’t bring myself to drink Yorkshire tea, so even now I live in the south I have remained loyal and I go the extra mile to hunt out my tea of choice (it keeps popping up in Family Bargains and Poundland, so I’m happy with those prices!). I’m also collecting the tokens on the packet to earn myself a retro map of Lancashire, what I’ll do with it I have no idea, but I’ve got enough packets stashed in my cupboards to complete the set of tokens, so I can’t wait to get my freebie!Mr Scruffs quest for the perfect brew

2. My preferred drink for an afternoon pick-me-up (not coffee, bleurgh!) is Mr Scruff’s Make Us a BrewLook Lively tea. It’s a funky green colour and I add a splash of milk to mine so it looks kind of odd but it tastes lovely and it reminds me of drinking tea with my hubby as a student at Teacup in Manchester. Available from its organic and yummy, and my friend even bought me Mr Scruff badges for Christmas cos she knew how much I love it!

3. Tastiest of all is Lipton Morocco Infusion tea which is packed full of spices with cinnamon and mint and I drink mine with a little honey for a smooth warming drink – great for soothing your throat when you have a tickly cough. In fact, this is the only fruit/herbal tea that I really like, as I find most of them to be too wishy-washy for me, but this one is punchy and delicious!

Give these teas a try, I’m sure you’ll enjoy them 🙂

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