All I needed was five minutes. Just five minutes of peace and solitude.
I was running around all day, ticking off each item on my to-do list, and by late afternoon, all I could think of was sitting down by myself. Have you ever had those days? Those hairy days when you rise at dawn and go non-stop? That was me, and to make matters worse, I was feeling the effects of not indulging in my afternoon coffee.
So when I found my five minutes, I seized it.
I looked in the depths of my cupboard and found it. A can, filled with bliss. My love affair with condensed milk started at a young age, and I resisted every temptation to lick the lid as I opened it to reveal the creamy sweetness within. I was making myself a Vietnamese Iced Cofeee.
With just a few minutes to spare, and without the traditional metal filter (phin) used in steeping the dark rich coffee grounds, I let my coffee maker do the work. Traditionalists will surely gasp, but I have a few short cuts that work. I cheat by letting my smart coffee maker grind the beans and steep at its highest setting for maximum richness. And I take a little extra precaution. Reaching into the freezer, I pulled out a tray of coffee ice cubes.
I have learned that rather than filling my cup with regular ice cubes (as seen above), my iced coffee becomes even more full flavored when I pour in a cascade of chestnut hued coffee ice cubes. As they melt, swirls of deep coffee flavor add to my drink, making it more robust. I may be cheating a bit, but if it means a cool glass of bliss in five minutes, then it works for me.
Vietnamese Iced Coffee
There are so many resources out there on how to make authentic Vietnamese Iced Coffee. To learn how to make Vietnamese Iced Coffee easily using a traditional metal filter and resources for coffee, refer to these Vietnamese Iced Coffee Tips by Andrea Nguyen and these instructions Bon Appetit.
2 tablespoons dark French roast coffee, ground (use the richest you can find - see Notes below)
6 oz boiling water
2-3 tablespoons condensed milk (I use low-fat for less guilt)
1 cup coffee ice cubes*
If you have the option to control your coffee maker's steeping methods, select the strongest, darkest brew. Otherwise, steep your coffee in hot boiling water for about 4 minutes, then pour the filtered coffee into a glass.
Stir in the condensed milk, then fill the glass with coffee ice cubes. Enjoy!
* I like to make my coffee ice cubes by pouring any extra brewed coffee into ice cube trays. Having a stash in the freezer means iced coffee all summer long.