I’m an addict and I don’t care.
It’s not that I can’t go anywhere without having my daily, tasty coffee. It is just that I don’t want to. Headaches aren’t an issue, nor do I get all that grumpy without a morning hit of caffeine, however my morning coffees provide a brief moment of calm bliss. Sanctuary lies in a cappuccino with a perfect, velvety foam, Vietnamese coffees (hot or cold – ca phe sau da or ca phe sua nong), or a simple espresso (maybe topped with a dollop of whipped cream.)
They each have the textures, taste, and calming fortitude to embed a bit of sanity in my soul. A day without one of them is akin to wandering through a crowd and never seeing a smile.
Now that we are on the road and in the mountains, the espresso fixes are a more complicated affair. However the Vietnamese coffee (particularly ca phe sua nong – Vietnamese Hot Coffee w/ milk) are as simple as ever. Pack a filter, grab sweetened condensed milk, grind some coffee, and bring a cup and one now has all they need to prepare delicious soul sanity. Don’t forget the stove to heat up the water as well.
Since the Vietnamese coffee filters are so small, they work beautifully for backcountry camping as well as the more common car camping accommodations. The minimal extra volume and weight are well worth their space in the pack. The sweetened condensed milk doesn’t need refrigeration, although it does help to repack the sweetened condensed milk from it’s original can into in a small Nalgene or other well sealing container. The coffee, a nice robust coffee (I tend to go for a Yirgacheffe roasted to a nice caramel brown from a couple of our great roasters down in So Cal.), blended coarsely then thrown into a zip lock is all that is required.
With my Vietnamese Ca Phe Sua Nong set-up (Vietnamese Hot Coffee w/ milk), morning camp has never been so nice. The clean, crisp morning air, cold hands ritualistically preparing my morning luxury, then wrapping hands, heart, and soul around that morning cup of Vietnamese coffee, steam wrapping itself around my like the mists of Avalon. I’m happy.
Now, back to enjoying the great outdoors. We’re taking the pups on a big, lots of creek crossing, hike today!
More Vietnamese Hot Coffee or Vietnamese Iced Coffee info:
Yield: 1 Serving
Although I'm writing this recipe from my recent camping perspective, this recipe can easily be duplicated in the home kitchen. Also, normally when you're camping, you usually don't have access to ice. But if you do have ice, toss some cubes in the cup and you have a Vietnamese Iced Coffee.