Vietnamese Coffee

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 by

Vietnamese Coffee

If you’ve never had Vietnamese coffee, you have to try it. It’s shockingly good. I like my coffee black or with a little cream, but never sweetened so I can’t explain why I like this intensely sweet drink, but I love it, especially over ice. The sweeter the better. Coffee in Vietnam is typically Robusta, which has a reputation for being slightly bitter. Dark roast levels are common, as they minimize this bitterness. A big spoonful of sweetened condensed milk helps too. For this recipe we used our Super Dark Espresso, which contains some Robusta as most espresso blends do. We also used a traditional 6 ounce Vietnamese coffee filter called a phin. These stainless steel filters are inexpensive and easy to find online in several sizes. You can substitute brewed espresso or strong French Press coffee if you prefer.

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 2 tablespoons (or more to taste) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons ground coffee. A French press (coarse) grind works best
  • Hot water


Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a heat safe glass or mug. Start with a little if  you’re not sure how much sweetness you’ll like and stir more in if you prefer after brewing. Remove the interior screen from the filter (you may need to unscrew this manually). Add coffee to the filter and replace the inside screen, tightening the screw fully, the unscrewing it one full turn to give the coffee room to expand. Rest the filter on top of your mug or glass and add a splash of near-boiling water. Let this sit for half a minute, then fill the filter chamber with water. Cover the top of the filter (there’s a cap provided) and allow the coffee to drip through. Once the water has drained through, remove the filter, stir, and enjoy hot or pour over ice.

This entire process takes about five minutes. If the water drains through too quickly, your grind may be too course and you’ll have a watery cup of coffee. Too fine a grind will clog the filter. If you grind your own beans, play with the grind level until you find what brews and tastes best with your filter.

Vietnamese Coffee Pops Recipe

Friday, June 19th, 2015 by


Coffee Pops


Combining rich coffee with sweetened condensed milk, Vietnamese iced coffee can quickly become a habit in the summer.  The traditional recipe uses a Vietnamese press, which brews a single serving of strong coffee into a glass containing sweetened condensed milk. Pour the mixture over ice and you’ve got something magical.

I’ve always thought this would be a fantastic ice cream flavor, but heat makes me lazy, and all that stirring sounds like hard labor. Popsicles to the rescue. Sweetened condensed milk is blended throughout the top and bottom layers of this recipe, so you get a nice mix of the coffee and sweet cream flavor at the top, finishing off with a little vanilla at the bottom.

What you’ll need

Popsicle molds for 12 pops

2 cups of cold dark coffee (we used our French Roast coffee, brewed in a French press and cooled)

1- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups heavy cream

Non-stick cooking spray (optional)


  • Whisk the cold coffee and 2/3 cup of sweetened condensed milk together in a bowl and pour the mixture into your molds until each is about 3/4 full.*
  • Freeze for 2 hours or until the mixture is slushy, but frozen enough to hold a popsicle stick. The harder first layer is, the better the separation will be. A slightly softer layer will create a swirl effect, which is just as delicious.
  • In the meantime, mix together 6 tablespoons of the sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and 1-1/2 cups of the heavy cream.
  • Fill the remaining space in the molds with the cream mixture (you may have a little left over, depending on the size of the mold).
  • Freeze until very solid. Sweetened condensed milk takes a while to harden. Let it sit overnight or longer.

* A word about popsicle molds: 

Having a stick come out in your hand while the rest of your frozen treat remains stuck in the mold is a frustration no one should have to suffer ever. I recommend silicone molds, but managed to have success with the  old-fashioned plastic kind by spraying a little non-stick cooking spray inside before adding the coffee/milk mixture.

If that idea grosses you out, you can also dip the frozen pops in a bowl of warm water for 30 seconds or longer before pulling the sticks gently. I recommend doing that anyway, spray or no spray. While they are an awkward shape to eat, Dixie cup pops might be the simplest method of all. Simply peel the paper off, no tugging (or heartbreak) required.



5 ways to Enjoy Your Coffee Cold

Monday, July 21st, 2014 by

Last week’s post explained how to adjust our hot steeping instructions to make loose leaf iced tea, and it’s only fair to give coffee its due. Even if you already brew and drink it by the bucketful, there’s probably something on this list you haven’t tried.

1. Over Ice

…and in a glass. It sounds obvious, but there are many ways to skin a cat. The lazy version: pour hot coffee brewed the usual way over ice. If you’ve ever ordered iced coffee and it wasn’t on the menu, this is probably why you were disappointed. Hot brewing typically produces a livelier, more acidic cup than trendy cold brew, and it’s perfectly fine for iced coffee, but the key is to brew it strong. Double the grinds per cup of water, and if you’re using a drip machine, don’t let it sit on a burner for long after brewing. Allow it to cool and/or pour over frozen coffee ice cubes for a more concentrated flavor.

Cold brewing is hardly more complicated, but it does require time. Check out our post for a step by step tutorial. The results are mellow and slightly sweet, closely approaching the delicious smell of freshly ground coffee (or coffee roasting, if you’re lucky enough to experience that). Cold brews yield a concentrate that tends to store better than hot and still taste delicious a week or more in the fridge. Dilute the concentrate 1:1 with water or milk (or try almond milk, coconut water, or anything else you can think) and pour over ice.


2. Vietnamese

Combining strong coffee with sweetened condensed milk, Vietnamese iced coffee is addictively delicious. You can easily make it with espresso or with cold brewed coffee, whichever you prefer. Simply pour 2oz of sweetened condensed milk over ice, top with coffee, and stir.

3. Blended

A banana almond smoothie like this one would be a motivating start to your day with a shot of cold brew. Drink it for breakfast or before a workout, and get your swole on – minus the shaking and anger induced by some bro supplements.  Or go in a different direction altogether, and throw in some ice cream and chocolate syrup. Top with whipped cream and enjoy on the couch.

4. Shaken

A simple twist on iced coffee, the frothy shakerato is easy to make and looks impressive served in a fancy cocktail glass. Check out our video here. Combine a shot of hot espresso, 4 teaspoons of simple syrup, and 6 ice cubes to a cocktail shaker and SHAKE for a good half a minute (a mason jar also works in a pinch). Serve immediately.  Top with whipped cream if you like. For variations on this theme, try shaking with milk for more of a latte style drink, flavored syrup, or liqueur.


5. Boozy

Speaking of liqueurs, coffee makes a great mixer. That’s no secret, but most popular adult coffee drinks are hot. Why these same drinks aren’t served iced in the summer is a mystery to me. Try using cold espresso or cold brewed coffee concentrate with your poison of choice: Frangelico, Bailey’s, Kahlua, tequila, whiskey, etc.