Thursday, January 10, 2008
Breakfast #15: Vietnamese Coffee
Coffee is the fuel that powers me. It is such an integral part of me that I can’t see my life without it. I love it with my every cell and molecule. If you drew my blood you would see that it is 50% coffee (the other 50% being bacon…I know, I know, I live on the edge…but it’s the secret to my success I swear it!). And although caffeine is a stimulant, coffee actually soothes and calms me.
I drink coffee at any time of day. I can drink it after dinner and fall right to sleep. But the very best time for me of course is in the morning…when it signals, for me, the beginning of a new day. For years now I have been brewing my own every morning, the ritual of it eventually becoming as meaningful as the coffee itself -- the few minutes of quiet that is absolutely mine, the sound of the coffee gurgling its way out of the maker, the smell of it that envelopes me and tells me to wake up…
…and all the cool paraphernalia that you get to use!
My regular morning ration is a double shot made with my espresso maker (just an old mini Krups…although I really long for this one…sigh), which I take in a tall glass of steamed/frothed milk. I have stealthily observed my neighborhood baristas and I try to replicate their swift maneuvers with my little Krups. I also have a drip coffeemaker for when I have a big group over, and a small French press for when I’m feeling, mmm, French. My next project is getting myself a stovetop espresso maker so I can get all nostalgic about my morning coffees in Spain. Meanwhile, on other coffee fronts, my favorite cup and saucer set was a wedding gift – white porcelain cups with pewter handles and saucers. My latest cup acquisition came from my mum-in-law – tiny ivory demitasse cups from Germany.
This is why I never begrudge the big boys their toys…you see, I have mine too.
And now this charming Vietnamese coffee filter…I am completely smitten! I actually got this a while back. My best friend K brought it back for me from a trip to Vietnam, complete with a bag of Vietnamese coffee. What is the value of a best friend who knows what you like? Priceless!
As is the Vietnamese way, I placed a generous amount of sweetened condensed milk in a glass, spooned some of the Vietnamese coffee grounds into the filter, and poured in some hot water. After waiting for a respectable amount of coffee to drip down into the waiting pool of condensed milk, I took off the filter, stirred, and enjoyed. A little non-Vietnamese thing I do: Don’t stir all the condensed milk, so after you are done with your coffee, you have some sticky, mocha-flavored condensed milk to slurp!
What gets you going in the morning? :)
Postscript: In making my pizza for HHDD, I had to buy some semolina for sprinkling. The smallest bag in the shop was 1 kilo. So 1 kilo minus some sprinkling leaves me with a whole lotta semolina. If you have any recipes using semolina, and I do mean any, please pass them along! You can email me at eighty_breakfasts(AT)yahoo(DOT)com. Thank you!