Ca phe sua da (Vietnamese Iced Coffee)

March 1, 2011

These words may seem foreign now, but after trying a Vietnamese Iced Coffee they will seem like old friends.

Vietnam, colonized by the French in the 18th & 19th century, ranks today as a major exporter of coffee. Roasting coffee beans gives them distinct flavors, but two different types of beans exist, arabica and robusta, that begin with flavor of their own. Vietnamese coffee uses both of these types in their blends whereas a lot of the popular coffees now are using only arabica.

Here in the states a popular brand used for Vietnamese coffee comes out of New Orleans which contains chicory, a plant that has many uses, besides being used as a coffee substitute.

Iced coffee has become more prevalent in the United States recently, yet its creation has been credited to the Viennese in the 17th century.

As a hot and humid country, Vietnam,  also has a prevalence of Iced Coffee. However in the past a lack of fresh milk or cream lead patrons in the cafes to use a canned sweetened and condensed milk, thus the ca phe sua da was born.

A shining metal contraption sits atop a glass filled with a finger’s worth of the sweet milk. As you sit, the coffee drips into the glass creating a layered effect. Once the dripping has stopped, after a gentle stir,  pour the milk/coffee combo into a second glass containing ice. Meanwhile throughout this stirring and manipulating glassware the little coffee maker will sit on its lid to prevent leaking any remaining coffee onto the table top.

Chocked full of caffeine this beverage is not recommended for those who prefer sleep soon after dinner!

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