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Gulp! Higher prices brewing for some Starbucks stores

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

The buzz? Coffee prices are set to increase

Your favorite coffee drink might cost you a bit more in 2012. Starbucks, the Seattle-based coffee chain, is increasing its prices for some drinks in the Northeast and Sunbelt regions of the U.S. by an average of about 1 percent.
Starbucks cups

If you're a java junkie, you may be exclaiming, with arms thrown high, "Why?!" The price hike is due to overall increased costs for things like coffee, milk and fuel. Some Starbucks drinks will increase by as much as 10 cents (a tall latte in New York City), while others will stay the same.

Where cups and costs will be raised

According to The Wall Street Journal, cities that will see an increase include Boston, New York, Washington, Atlanta, Dallas and Albuquerque, New Mexico. This isn't a comprehensive list, but coffee aficionados in California and Florida can let off some steam since they won't be affected by this particular increase.

Be your own barista

It might not be as convenient as having someone else make it for you, but you definitely won't have to wait in any long lines when you make your own coffee at home. Here are a few ways to get your fix at home:

Cappuccino is a shot (or two or three) of espresso mixed with steamed milk and topped with a head of frothy foam from the steamed milk. Most espresso machines have the capability of steaming milk, either with or without foam. Follow your machine's instructions. You are trying to achieve scalded (but never boiled) milk that is mixed generously with foam. For the proper consistency, the milk will have doubled in volume during the steaming process. ?Cafe Latte is a cup of one part coffee to three parts heated or steamed milk (no foam).

Cafe Mocha can easily be made by adding a squirt of chocolate syrup to the basic Cafe Latte recipe, and then topping it with whipped cream.

?Latte Macchiato is a cup of steamed milk accented with a small dash of brewed espresso.

A bold way to start the day

Don't let the rising costs get you down. These coffee recipes are sure to have you buzzing with coffee happiness!

Blended vanilla mocha recipe

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chilled strong coffee
  • 1/4 cup ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
  • Whipped cream

Directions:

  1. Combine coffee, ice cubes, milk, ice cream and chocolate syrup in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a large glass and garnish with whipped cream.

Frosty caramel cappuccino recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons caramel, divided
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee grounds
  • 4 tablespoons whipped cream
  • Ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Add half and half, milk, three tablespoons caramel topping, coffee and ice cubes into blender and blend at high speed for one minute or until ingredients becomes smooth.
  2. Pour into two tall glasses and top with whipped cream, drizzling remaining caramel over top. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin spice latte recipe

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/16 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Espresso or coffee
  • Cream or milk

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil, reduce heat and add sugar. Stir until it is dissolved. Add in remaining ingredients and continue to heat the mixture for a few minutes until everything has had a chance to combine. Try not to let the mixture come to a boil.
  2. Strain the mixture through a coffee filter.
  3. To make a latte, add three tablespoons of the syrup to two shots of espresso and steamed milk. You can also add it to coffee, or if you are really adventurous, make a cocktail out of it.

Prices might be going up at your favorite coffeehouse. If you keep these recipes on hand, you'll be an at-home expert at coffee drinks in no time!

Watch: How to make a caffe latte

Learn the art of luscious lattes, which taste better and cost less than their paper cup counterparts.

More coffeehouse-style drinks to try at home

Gourmet style hot chocolate
Easy iced coffee latte
Mexican hot chocolate

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