Here in the Pacific Northwest we are known for our extreme coffee consumption. At any time of the day or night, drive down a busy street and you will likely find multiple drive up coffee stands positioned to service the staggering number of customers queued in line for their next quick fix.
And when it comes to heat waves, rather than sweet tea, iced coffee is often our drink of choice. With temperatures soaring over 100 degrees for multiple days recently, my friend Chuck’s house specialty is a refreshing Thai iced coffee.
He suggests sugar muddled in a glass with a spiced coffee base, filled with ice cubes, and finished with half and half to taste.
Of course this took me right back to my coffee days in the Bahamas and Caribbean. Since fresh milk was considered a luxury that required refrigeration, condensed milk was often favored due to its greater shelf life. So popular, it was also served in most cafes and restaurants; after a while its taste just became part of the experience.
Since I’m not a big fan of sugar in my coffee anyway, I opted to stay with tradition and go with my old standby, sweetened condensed milk. If you are a blog follower, then you are likely familiar with other recipes here praising its virtues, like Key Lime Pie and Dulce de Leche. Its light caramelized flavor adds a richness, it rounds out, and enhances the cardamom and cinnamon flavoring brewed into the coffee base – it’s that simple. Just add ice!
Thai Iced Coffee
4 tablespoons coffee, freshly ground
1/3 teaspoon cardamom, ground
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
6 cups water
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup milk
Garnish: Cinnamon or cinnamon sticks
- In basket of a coffee brewer, place ground coffee, cardamom and cinnamon. Brew with water and allow to cool.
- In individual glasses add 1-2 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk and thin with 1-2 tablespoons milk.
- Add ice and pour in cool or chilled coffee; top off with additional milk as desired. Garnish with a sprinkling of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick. Serves 4.