The Secret to Good Ca Phe Sua Da

March 26, 2006 at 10:49 AM | Food, Site/Personal, Work | 1 Comment

Percolator InstructionsI’m not sure exactly how big of a secret this really is, since all it would take for somebody to figure it out is to buy their own Vietnamese-style percolator. But, somehow, anybody in my immediate acquaintance who had purchased one of these percolators seemed to think it best not to read the little slip of paper that is included with the purchase of one of these percolators. This piece of paper documents 8 simple steps to making coffee using a percolator. This neglect led to years of frustratingly questioning just “how do they do it”, in referrance to establishments like Pho Hien II, and the suchlike, who obviously had the ca phe sua da bit down to a science.

Well, now that I too, have it down to a science, I intend to share the secret with you. The steps that I missed were D, E, and F… so please take special note of those. Who would’ve known that there was an initial drip-through step and an actual loosening of the screw? Not I. I still don’t believe it when I do it. Also, check out step H. Don’t forget to keep the taste fragrant!

So now, I’m making it like a pro and it’s so gratifying to see it taking a good 20 minutes to drip through. I also recently bought a clear plastic squeeze bottle from Target, because I thought that it would be an excellent container for storing and dispensing the cumbersome sweetened condensed milk in one of the community refrigerators on my floor at work. Why did I choose the clear one? Well, I bought the clear one instead of the red or yellow squeeze bottle because I didn’t want people mistaking my squeeze bottle for ketchup or mustard and potentially end up getting that stuff all over a hot dog. But then, after I finished pouring it into the bottle, it dawned on me that someone might think that it was mayonnaise. Of course, the viscosity of its contents should tip them off… Ah well, you know what, fuck ‘em. I say if people are trying to use somebody else’s squeeze bottle of whatever, they are taking that risk anyways. And what good reason would you have for just using somebody’s squeeze bottle of what may or may not be condiment anyways? I’d like to hear it if they had one. Anyways, the squeeze bottle turned out to be a horrible idea because the milk’s just so thick, it doesn’t want to squeeze out very easily. I actually have to take off the lid and kind of mash the squeeze bottle for about a minute trying to get the necessary amount out. I may just have to go back to using a small tupperware container and spooning it out.

Now I have everything that I need to make a ca phe sua da at work. I actually have two cans of Café Du Monde coffee and chicory at my desk (second can thanks to Eric), a squeeze bottle of sweetened condensed milk in the fridge, and an ice machine. Having like an infinite supply of styrofoam cups at my disposal also helps too.

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  1. I’ve actually starting using a drip filter to make my Cafe Du Monde caffe these days. Here’s how it works:
    I take 2 measuring cups, and I got my conical filter (with filter paper). I put like 3-4 tablespoonfuls and just moisten the cofee so that it compacts. Then I move it over to the other measring cup and fill the #1 cup with hot water and procede to make coffee. Here’s the kicker: once I get done filtering the coffee, I REFILTER it again and again. Labor intensive, but that’s one killer caffe sua da. By the time I get donw with the filtering process, the coffee’s lukewarn, but I usually mix it with milk (you gotta use someting to take off the edge of that ultra-concentrated cofee) and throw everything into the blender. Also a tip: don’t try to filter milk through, cause it won’t work.

    Comment by LL — April 9, 2006 #

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