Strong dark coffee that is brewed in individual percolators that rest over cups of sweetened condensed milk. It is incredibly rich. It can be drunk as is or poured over ice. Very good after a nice big bowl of Pho.

See also; Arabic coffee
How to make Vietnamese Coffee

I, like probably many other E2 noders, enjoy coffee, and tend to consume it in moderate-to-large quantities. This said, I had never tasted Vietnamese coffee until recently.

Once I did, however, I was hooked. This weekend, I went out and bought the stuff to do it myself. Here's how.

Ingredients and equipment - You will need...
  • vietnamese coffee press
    If you don't have one already, get yourself the coffee press. You can usually find them pretty easily at Asian markets that have a slight Southeast Asian or Vietnamese slant, and a press will cost you all of about $4.00. Not a difficult price to pay, for a little taste of heaven...
  • Ground coffee, perferably with chicory
    This, too, can probably be bought at the same market. When I bought my press, I had picked up some chicory coffee in the store pretty matter-of-factly, but was planning on using my old Folgers for the vietnamese coffee. The woman behind the counter, asked me if I had coffee for the press, but her face brightened upon seeing me put the chicory on the counter, saying it was excellent when used in this capacity.
  • condensed milk
    Just about anything will do...

  • Boil some water in a pot.
  • While the water is boiling, take off the top, and unscrew the filter from your coffee press.
  • Carefully put a spoonful or two of coffee into the bottom of the press. Don't put too much in - this coffee is strong already, and besides, you need to be able to screw the filter back on. There should be a line near the bottom of the press. Don't fill it beyond that. Screw the filter fairly tightly onto the spindle, but don't overtighten.
  • In your mug or glass, pour in a bit of condensed milk. You should use enough to line the bottom of the mug. It is, of course, quite sweet, so you may use slightly more, to taste. Place the press on top of your mug.
  • When your water is boiling, pour just a small amount - enough to fill about a quarter of the press - into the press itself. This is done to "soften" the coffee grounds.
  • Wait about 20-30 seconds, and then unscrew the filter a bit; "two turns" is usually enough. Pour in enough water to fill the press, and put the lid on.
The coffee will take a while to percolate - all good things take time! You can check periodically by opening the lid, but don't make a habit of it, as it will cool the water rather rapidly.

When the press is finished, you can conveniently place the filter in the upside down lid, for no muss, no fuss. Stir the coffee up, being sure to mix it with the condensed milk at the bottom. It's a great thing to see this dark coffee become a creamy brown as you stir...

At this point, some people pour it over ice; Others, myself included, do not. It's personal preference, really.

Sip and enjoy!

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