This $10 Vietnamese Coffee Filter Is Part of My Now-Perfect Coffee Routine
Before I moved to New York, I had a deep passion for sweet coffee. My usual order was a dessert-inspired latte with extra whipped cream or a cup of cold coffee that was essentially simple syrup and milk with some instant coffee drizzled in. And before you come at me, I’m fully aware that it wasn’t coffee.
After living in New York for four years, I’ve come to appreciate all of the great coffee shops and their exhaustive menus. From the brightest cortado to electrifying cold brew to just really good sweetened condensed milk into clear, thick glass mugs and topping them with little steel filters. She then drizzled in a bit of water, waited a few seconds, and then poured in the rest. The result was a beautiful shade of brown that looked like liquid caramel. I ordered a cup, and it was a revelation. The coffee was boldly flavored, but the gooey condensed milk diluted the dark taste and resulted in a rich drink that was like dessert. I was a convert.
Back in New York, I was able to find similar coffee in Vietnamese restaurants for about $5, but my habit started getting expensive. A quick search on Amazon led me to a well-reviewed (4.6 stars!) Vietnamese coffee filter set that cost only $10, so I ordered the medium size along with the recommended Trung Nguyen Vietnamese Coffee blend and the Longevity Sweetened Condensed Milk (you can also use a regular can) to make the experience as authentic as possible.
Buy: Vietnamese Coffee Filter Set, $10 (normally $13) at Amazon
The neatly packaged coffee filter comes with a very helpful set of instructions (with pictures!), and they even sweetly emailed a PDF. For my first cup I made cold brew. First I evenly distributed four tablespoons of ground coffee into the filter’s base. Next I added the second metal filter, being careful not to let the grounds plug up the holes. Then I poured a generous layer of condensed milk into a clear glass mug, topped it with the filter, and poured in about two tablespoons of boiling water.
After waiting a few seconds to allow the grounds to expand, I pressed on the filter to compress the coffee and slow the dripping process. This is key, since it ensures you get the maximum flavor out of your beans. I then poured the rest of the water into the filter, and once the cup was filled I gave it a quick stir, added ice, and enjoyed my delicious caffeine kick.
I’ve since used this filter a number of times to brew both hot and cold coffee. Once, I even put on a whole show for four very amazed guests (okay, they were done watching after the second cup). What I also love about the stainless steel filter — besides the finished product, of course — is that it saves me money, is easy to use and clean (just throw it in the dishwasher), and is small enough to be tucked away in a cabinet once I’m done. All in all? I’ve finally found my one true cup.