I had Vietnamese coffee at lunch a couple Sundays ago. "Big deal," you might say. Well, it is a big deal, for me. You see, living in Taiwan, I've been deprived of conveniently accessible truly gourmet coffee for over three years now, and it's time for me to fight for my rights to again be obsessed with all things coffee bean along with any of it's aromatic byproducts.
Lunch was not the first time I had ever tasted Vietnamese coffee. I can still think back now when my friend Scott got back from his trip through Southeast Asia, and one of the things he'd unpacked from his travels was a small tin contraption made up of several parts. I hadn't understood it at the time, but this filter would eventually TURN MY WORLD UPSIDE DOWN!
"Thirsty For" demonstrates how to do it!
Alright, so I'm being sarcastic, but seriously, after three years of drinking packets of powdered 3-in-1 "coffee" dissolved in hot water that left a bitter, metallic after taste on my tongue, I was completely bowled over at my first taste of Vietnamese coffee after a long time.
I couldn't stop myself. I went out to the nearest Southeast Asian goods store and bought the whole setup.
It's a pretty simple ordeal, this brewing a cup of my latest obsession. Let me walk you through step-by-step of my daily morning ritual.
How to Brew Vietnamese Coffee
STEP 4: Insert filter press and screw or push down tightly. Place filter chamber onto glass/mug.
STEP 5: Add a dash of hot water, and let it set for a few seconds to allow the grains to expand.
STEP 6: Pour hot water into filter, filling the chamber to the top.
STEP 7: Sit back and enjoy as the dark, thick liquid seeps through the filter and drips down onto the sweet, creamy milk. Let all the water filter through before stirring.
(OPTIONAL) STEP 8: On especially hot and humid days, you can pour your freshly brewed coffee into a glass of crushed ice.
Buying the whole setup can be very simple and straightforward. If you go to a traditional Asian market selling Asian goods, the filter and coffee can be found somewhere in the Vietnamese section.
A Cup of Drifter Inspiration
Travel is so much more than seeing a destination, the food and drink of a place makes as much of an imprint on my travel memory.
A taste of crispy nori on a bed of hot rice takes me home to Hawai'i, a bite of coconut cream and lemongrass reminds me of Thailand, and a scent of bagoong paste being sauteed transports me back to the Philippines.
The same rule of mental teleportation through taste buds applies with Vietnamese coffee.
Not only does a hot cup of this Vietnamese caffeine goodness get my day off to a good start, it also continuously inspires me to think about the wonders of Southeast Asia that surround me, and the things that await me as I slowly travel my way across it's landscape.
I'm JR. I come from a long line of adventurers, some were nomadic explorers of the sea and others wandering cultivators of the earth. Ultimately, this legacy of drifters has deeply affected my view of travel. Read more...