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Vietnamese Coffee

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I'm looking for a coffee shop that serves a good hot, sweet cup of this brew (the kind made with condensed milk). DC, VA, MD are all good. College Perk in College Park is the one I've found so far.

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  1. You can usually find this at most Pho or Vietnamese restaurants. However it is really easy to do at home!! First, you will need to make the trek out to Eden Center. The Eden Center supermarket has a household goods section where you can find the metal, single serving filters that sit on top of your cup. It consists of three parts: the basket with the rim that sits on the cup, a little screw-on tamper, and a lid to keep the water hot. They should be about two or three bucks and last forever. Next go to any reputable coffee shop and get a fine grind of any dark roast coffee. My dad uses French Roast - who am I to argue? You can even use a french roast with chicory like they have at Cafe Du Monde. Next, pick up a can (or in my case a squeeze bottle) of sweetened condensed milk. I am currently loving the La Lechera in a plastic squeeze bottle because it's so much easier to use than a can. Now, put about about 3/4 of an inch of the milk in a glass (if iced) or a mug (if drinking hot) Put a (heaping?) tablespoon of coffee into the basket, tamp lightly and only slightly screw the tamper into the middle of the basket. Fill the filter with boiling water, wait for the first drops to drip onto the milk and keep adding boiling water as necessary. Replace the lid. The speed at which the coffee drips through the filter will determine how strong your coffee will be. A faster stream will be weaker, a slow drip-drip will be stygian. Adjust the amount of coffee, the tamping, and the grind to taste. Remember if it drips too slow, the coffee won't be hot enough to dissolve the milk when you stir it...

    6 Replies
    1. re: anhdeluxe

      I love condensed milk, but hate having to open the can and store the leftover. Where can I find this La Lechera plastic bottle condensed milk? I'm not close to an Asian grocer. Can I get it anywhere else?

      1. re: chocopaws

        I cut the top off the can and put the condensed milk in a screw-top jar. It lasts for months in the refrigerator.

        1. re: chocopaws

          I just got lucky and found it at Shopper's Food Warehouse in VA. I think you might have some luck going to grocery stores in Hispanic neighborhoods because sweetened condensed milk is also used for dulce de leche (which I recommend making by carefully boiling an unopened can of the stuff!) It's so good. My parents would pour the leftover milk from the can into a drinking glass and cover the top tightly with saran wrap and stick it in the fridge, but I know they'll go nuts when I show them the bottled version.

          1. re: chocopaws

            Transfering it to a plastic container ought to solve the problem.

          2. re: anhdeluxe

            You can also buy Vietnamese dark roast coffee for the Vietnamese french press at the supermarkets in Eden Center.

            1. re: tokay

              A lot of Vietnamese restaurants and coffee shops use Cafe du Monde coffee. It's available in a lot of grocery stores in the area as well as (natch!) Asian markets.

          3. You can find La Lechera in squeeze bottles at Shoppers in the international groceries section.