If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know I go out for Vietnamese food pretty often. (And by pretty often, I actually mean on a more-or-less weekly basis.)
It helps that there’s a perfect Vietnamese dish for basically any kind of weather. Hot and muggy? Time to go get a big bowl of vermicelli and fresh vegetables topped with grilled beef. Cold and snowy? Time to huddle over a steaming hot bowl of pho. Rainy and miserable? Make that a steaming hot bowl of satay-style pho. Just an ordinary not-too-hot-not-too-cold-just-perfect day? Lemongrass pork chops on rice topped with a fried egg and drizzled with lots of sriracha, thanks.
And always, always, always, no matter what the weather or time of day… an iced Vietnamese coffee, a beverage that I love because it is a lesson in patience and a delicious treat all in one.
Vietnamese coffee is all about the ritual. First you watch patiently while the coffee oh-so-slowly drips from a small stainless steel doohickey (more properly called a “phin”), which is set atop a tall glass which has already been partially filled with gooey sweet condensed milk. Then, once the coffee is done brewing, you set the lid of the phin upside down on the table to act as a coaster, and set the filter down on it. Finally, you stir the coffee and condensed milk together, fill the glass with ice, stir again, add a straw, and then blissfully sip your way to caffeination.
It helps that I can get my fix pretty much anytime I want, seeing as I happen to live within walking distance of more pho and banh mi joints than you can shake a stick at. (Total coincidence, I swear.)
Still, sometimes a girl wants what she wants right freakin’ now, no matter how close the nearest Vietnamese place might be… which is where cold brew coffee concentrate comes in.
Granted, it does take a little advance preparation, but once it’s done you’ve got enough cold brew concentrate to last you a couple of weeks (or maybe a couple of days, if you go through the stuff like I do). Add a little condensed milk and ice, and you’re good to go.
For this latest installment for the Lavazza Passionistas, I decided to make over my favourite summertime coffee treat using a fancy-shmancy coffee shop technique.
It all starts with extra-strong batch of cold brew concentrate using this month’s selection, Lavazza’s Gran Selezione dark roast coffee, a premium arabica blend with an intense, almost chocolatey flavour that stands up well to the creaminess of the condensed milk, even when diluted with ice. Then, it’s just a matter of blitzing it together with the rest of the usual suspects in a high-powered blender, resulting in a thick, creamy, totally caffeinated milkshake.
Believe it or not, these might actually be even better than the original. Something tells me I’m about to go through a whole lot of cold brew over the next couple of months.
Disclaimer: I am being compensated for my participation in the Lavazza Passionista blogger program. All opinions, as always, are entirely my own.
- 2 cups ground Lavazza Gran Selezione coffee (or any other dark roast)
- 6 cups cold water
- ¼ cup cold brewed coffee concentrate
- 3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup ice cubes
- In a large pitcher or non-reactive container, stir together the coffee grounds and cold water. Cover and place in the refrigerator to steep for anywhere from 12-16 hours (depending on how strong you want it).
- Using a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth, strain the coffee into a large bowl. Discard the grounds. Line a funnel with a coffee filter, and set it over a large mason jar or any other container with a tight-fitting lid. Pour the coffee through the prepared filter to remove any remaining grounds, and refrigerate until ready to use. (The concentrate will keep for up to 3 weeks, though I doubt it'll last that long if you drink as much coffee as I do.)
- Using a high-powered blender, blend the coffee concentrate, condensed milk and ice cubes together until smooth and thick, about 30 seconds.