I’m moody all the morning
Mourning all the night …
It’s an Ella Fitzgerald kind of morning with a hefty helping of caffeine. What could be easier than Vietnamese coffee?
Simple and decadent (but totally not black coffee, for those who spotted the reference), iced Vietnamese coffee was calling my name. Definitely ridiculously, couldn’t-possibly-be-easier simple, and easily one of the best coffee recipes in my arsenal.
A big believer in not screwing up a good thing, a good iced Vietnamese coffee just doesn’t need to be any more than espresso (love the adorable single-serve slow drip shot) and condensed milk. You can use espresso or even just strongly-brewed regular coffee, but if you have sweetened condensed milk, you really just don’t need anything else! Living in San Francisco, there were awesome kitchen supply stores everywhere, some of which specialized in dirt-cheap tools from in and around Asia, which is how I happened to find this adorable coffee maker in the same style as all of the thai coffee preparations I’ve enjoyed at my favorite restaurants over the years. This one cost maybe $3, but you can (as always) find these on Amazon where they’ll set you back somewhere in the neighborhood of a whopping $6.50.
Basically, to use this brewer, you need ground espresso and hot water. You’ll get the water very hot, but not quite boiling, fill the little press to the line with coffee (about 2 Tbs), pour hot water over, replace the top press, and wait for it to slowly do its thing, pressing it at the end to get all of that awesome flavor out. At that point, you can mix it with sweetened condensed milk for a phenomenally good Vietnamese coffee, or you can pour it over ice (or coffee ice cubes!) for a perfectly chilled thai iced coffee. Feeling like having a little more fun? Grab a cocktail shaker, shake everything together and strain it for a cold drink that doesn’t get too watered down. (Coffee ice cubes? Just pour your leftover brewed coffee into an ice cube tray and let them freeze. Perfect for all caffeine drinks that you don’t want watered down!)
Couldn’t Be Easier Iced Vietnamese Coffee (Plus More Best Coffee Recipes!)
- 2 shots freshly brewed espresso
- 2 Tbs sweetened condensed milk
- Ice cubes or coffee ice cubes
- Pour the expresso over the ice cubes, and gently pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top. That's it! Couldn't be easier!
- For a well-mixed drink, first combine the hot espresso with the condensed milk and mix well. Pour over ice!
Now, if you do want to take it to the next level, here is a recipe from Girl Versus Dough for a frozen Thai iced coffee that looks pretty epic! She adds vanilla, turns the drink into ice cream, and then tops it with whipped cream and toasted coconut. It looks amazing! (The difference between what we call “Vietnamese coffee” and “Thai coffee” here in the US is somewhere between negligible and nonexistent.)
Rather than simply have that easy recipe here and then just the one cool recipe that followed it, the whole reason that I wound up making Vietnamese coffee in the first place was because yesterday was magazine day at my house! After spending eight years as a barista approximately a lifetime ago, I have a serious caffeine jones with the occasional need to make something a little more fun than a nice cup of brewed coffee. Every so often, my need for fun coffee drinks pops up just as I’m cracking open a new magazine with an awesome recipe right near the front cover. Because there was a bit of a recipe-search avalanche that sent me hopping from one idea to another, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the top, most-inspiring, seriously-easy-to-make-at-home best coffee ideas that stood out to me.
Seriously. Gotta love it when a magazine shows up at your door. When a fresh, shiny, and new magazine shows up on a day where you have basically no plans in mind and plenty of time to kill. Sun shining, a big cold mason jar of refreshing parsley tea in your hand (seriously. There’s a lot of parsley in my backyard right now and it’s decided to try to start bolting. I’m using parsley in everything right now!), just a few things to accomplish on the chore list I’m doing my best to avoid… Perfection!
Every so often, a recipe just sort of jumps out of one of those magazines that just screams “TRY ME!!!” This month’s Bon Appetit had that recipe in spades! It’s an overnight recipe, so it wasn’t something that could just be thrown together and enjoyed immediately, but it was definitely simple and absolutely needed to happen! It’s an iced horchata latte. Let that sink in for a minute… An iced horchata latte! Three of my favorite things all rolled into one! Definitely a contender for a best coffee recipe!
Iced coffee, for anyone who know me, is my lifeblood throughout the year, even in MN where the temperatures get so far below freezing that we start to change into T-shirts in the spring when the temperature begins to rise up to the heaven of 32°. Iced lattes are a treat saved for special occasions, but are also absolutely one of my favorites. Horchata, though, is special. It’s always been a beverage I love, but the last kitchen I was running had a truly one-of-a-kind team, which included this awesome guy named Miguel who we pretty much forced against his will once to make horchata for family meal. He did it so well and made it so heart-stoppingly delicious that it actually became a weekly treat! (Frequently against his will, at least until he finally gave in to us and stopped trying to fight it.) He was, and will always be the Horchata King.
For sure, this recipe needs to be left alone overnight and there’s some spice grinding and blending involved, but for a drink like this one, that’s hardly too much to ask!
Just having a good jar of cold-brewed iced coffee on hand is another easy thing to do and awesome thing to have on hand! Rich and strong, it completely eliminates the need to get up and make a pot of coffee or remember to set the coffee the night before! It’s another overnight project, but you can make a big batch and have it ready for about three days before it stops being seriously delicious! There are a ton of ways to do this, but after working in a number of coffee shops over the years, it turns out that simply steeping ground coffee in cold water overnight and then straining out the grounds is a perfectly acceptable and totally easy way to make iced coffee. Want to make it even better? Use your extra coffee to make coffee ice cubes, and you’ll never be faced with watery iced coffee again! I could do the best easy iced coffee recipe for you here, but the Pioneer Woman does her iced coffee just right! I wouldn’t change a detail. (Especially that last part where she uses half-and-half and sugar… I used to have a container of homemade vanilla sugar on hand at all times specifically for my daily iced coffee fix!
Now, should you be feeling totally decadent, here’s a recipe for a Dublin iced coffee with Irish Cream and stout that looks like it might just blow your mind. Definitely on the list of best coffee recipes, and definitely something I’ll be testing in the very near future. If I do try it and have any memory of the occasion, I’ll make sure to let you know how it was!
So, there you go! Some icy and amazing best coffee recipes! Simple, fun, and deliciously caffeinated! Iced coffee, Dublin iced coffee, iced Vietnamese coffee, frozen Thai coffee, and an iced horchata latte. All totally doable at home, all totally refreshing, and all packed to the brim with caffeine to get you moving for the rest of your day!
What about you? Does anybody out there have favorite iced coffee or best coffee recipes that they just can’t live without?