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Vietnamese Coffee: The LONG pause that refreshes

By Guest
Posts: 1

Posted on: September 09, 2009 at 4:47PM

Thanks to the French, Vietnam has excellent tastebuds for tastes much like New Orleans chicory type(i.e., Cafe du Monde). The most tranquil moments in the lives of the Vietnamese are spent preparing, looking at and drinking a cup of coffee. There is a very revered ritual around enjoying coffee: 1. The black pants and white ao dai-clad waitress brings a cup with about 1/4 of it filled with condensed milk, a covered metal contraption, a tiny teapot and a glass of ice. 2. The metal thing is a coffee dripper. It works like a "plunger coffeepot". The coffee is in the bottom of the thing - about 2 large tablespoons (this is STRONG). 3. The metal aparatus is placed on top of the coffee cup. 4. Hot water is poured into the "thing" until it reaches the top of a metal pole in the middle of it. 5. A metal disc is then screwed on top of the poleand it is lowered to push the coffee grounds down to the bottom of the "dripper". 7. There is a final part of the "perculator"...the top. This is placed above the coffee and water to keep it hot. 8. Now comes the mellow part. Sit for about 10-30 minutes and every once in a while check to see if the dripping of thick black coffee is still going on. If it stops, you should open up the metal thing and screw the plunger down further. Then go back to sitting. 9. When you have done step #9 several times and realize there is nothing left to squeeze into the cup, remove the metal object and place it on the TOP of it (it suddenly becomes a saucer!). 10. With a spoon, stir the coffee and condensed milk until it is a thick cafe au lai color. 11. Take the glass of ice. Cover the top with your fingers spread apart. Tip the glass upside down and let the "melt water" to fall out onto the ground. (Did I say you should do this outside on a makeshift table and precarious stool?) 12. Then scoop the caffee (ca phe in Vietnamese) wwith milk (xua in Vietnamese) into the ice (da in Vietnamese) and slowly stir it. 13. Smell this occasionally. 14. Finally, begin slowly sipping the delightful beverage. Do not rush...the ice cubes should melt slowly and the resulting cold water will thin out the thick coffee-condensed milk mixture. 15. At this point the owner of the cafe will be giving you "the evil eye" for spending too much time at his table. Drink up the rest of your coffee and bid goodbye to everyone around you. 16. Pay an extraordinarily little money for the coffee and the great, peaceful morning, afternoon or evening. BEWARE: You don't want a refill and you shouldn't drink this close to bedtime. It is STRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! report a problem

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