When warm weather hits, is there anything better than the first iced coffee of the season?
A few years ago, I found myself working a particularly difficult job on Newbury Street in Boston. Beyond its famous shopping scene, Newbury is notable for it’s slew of incredible cafes, including Pavement Coffeehouse, where I practically lived off of bagels and their amazing Vietnamese lattes. Sweet and comforting on Boston mornings, this coffee drink was one that I always looked forward to. If you’re unfamiliar, a Vietnamese coffee is comprised of coarsely-ground coffee (typically flavored with chickory), that has been poured through a metal or mesh filter over sweetened condensed milk. Years later I still dream of those frothy-sweet drinks, though I had mostly written them off as a thing of the past, having eschewed dairy not long after moving away from Boston.
Turns out, though, that dairy-free sweetened condensed milk is a thing, and it’s an absolute game-changer. Today I’m sharing my version of this delicious drink — over ice — along with the recipe for a vegan/dairy-free version of condensed “milk”. Not only is this concoction incredible in your morning coffee, it can be used for any other recipe that calls for condensed milk, most notably pumpkin pie… and magic bars… and… well, can you tell I like to bake? Keep this in your back pocket for days when you need a sweet coffee treat, or when you’re whipping up dessert.
Vegan Vietnamese Iced Coffee with Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk
1 3/4 cups coarsely ground coffee (Try Cafe Du Monde for an authentic version, or just use your regular grounds)
3 1/2 cups cold filtered water
French press coffee maker
There are many different techniques to make cold brew coffee, but in my opinion the simplest way by far is with a French press. Add the coffee grounds to the French press and pour in the water, stirring to combine. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to steep overnight at room temperature. In the morning, remove the covering and fit the press with the plunger. Press the coffee or pour it through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. You now have concentrated cold brew ready to be diluted perfectly with ice and/or the vegan milk below!
Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 can organic full-fat coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar (I used coconut sugar – which is why the final product is brown – but you can also use pure cane)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
On the stovetop, heat the coconut milk and sugar in a small saucepot with the heat set on medium/medium-low. Whisk thoroughly and continuously as the mixture begins to thicken to ensure it doesn’t burn. After about 40 minutes to an hour, the liquid should be reduced to about 1 cup. Once it has reduced down, whisk in the vanilla and remove from the heat. Allow to cool and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Note: After making this I learned that it’s best to use this in iced coffee right away, before refrigerating :)
Vietnamese Iced Latte
Cold brew coffee
Vegan sweetened condensed milk
Mason jar with lid
Fill a Mason jar with ice and add condensed milk to taste. Pour in the coffee and screw on the lid of the jar. Shake it! This can also be served hot.
Check out more vegan recipes from the BLDG 25 blog!