Coffee fiend that I am, the first time I saw this concoction in an episode of Bobby Chinn’s TV show on the Travel & Living Channel, I knew I was going to try it at home. It’s iced coffee, Vietnamese style very strong brewed coffee (think espresso) mixed with sweetened condensed milk and stirred with ice.
You’d be amazed how something so simple, and with very basic ingredients, can taste so good. In coffee shops, I often watch modern-day baristas spicing up their coffees and topping them with out-of-this-world creamy decorations… but me? I go for the taste. And the texture. Never mind the eye candy.
There is a special dripper for making Vietnamese iced coffee but so long as you can brew coffee with your usual coffee maker, there’s no reason why you can’t make this. Start by brewing coffee. Strong coffee. If you use a tablespoonful of ground coffee beans per cup of water, use four times as much. You only need about half a cup of strong coffee so use two tablespoonfuls of coffee for half a cup of water.
Pour half a cup of sweetened condensed milk into a tall glass. For best results, chill the milk ahead of time. Pour the hot coffee over the milk. Stir the milk and coffee, scraping the bottom of the glass. When the dark and brown liquids are mixed through, you get a creamy brown mixture. Pour half of the mixed coffee into an individual glass and add enough ice to fill almost to the brim.
And it’s ready to serve. You may want to wait a few minutes to let the ice melt a little so that you get very cold coffee. Swirl the glass once in a while (if you don’t drink up the iced coffee in a few gulps) so that water (melted ice) is not concentrated on top.