The Exotic Bean

How to Enjoy Southeast Asian Coffee Without Getting on a Plane

Coffee From Thailand and Other Southeast Asian Countries

favorite local Southeast Asian Coffees

If you’ve been longing to try the flavorful coffee that’s produced in countries like Vietnam, Laos, and other Southeast Asian countries, but that plane ticket would break the bank, never fear. In fact, there are many ways to enjoy these special flavors of international coffee without ever leaving your living room.

Of course, if you’d rather have the coffee – or kopi, as it is traditionally called – made for you, shops like NYC’s Hanoi Soup Shop and DC’s Dua Coffee are popping up in droves, and have these savory delights available for purchase. But if you’re too far from spots like these, we’ve got some at-home methods you can use to sample these exquisite coffee flavors right here at home.

Make Your Coffee in a Sock

You’re not crazy: you did read that right! One of the most common methods of brewing Southeast Asian coffee varieties is in a kopi pot – an apparatus that looks less like a French press and more like a watering can, made of stainless steel and sporting a long, thin spout.

The “sock,” which is essentially like a coffee filter made of cotton, fits inside the cylindrical body of the pot. The cotton allows the coffee to retain maximum freshness while filtering, and gives you a smooth, strong finish.

Try Condensed Milk in Your Coffee

Using fresh milk in coffee is much more common in the West than in Southeast Asia, where condensed milk is the norm. Condensed milk’s ability to last makes it an affordable and sustainable ingredient.

Its sweetness is also a draw, as many will know from trying Thai iced tea and rolled ice cream, so it can be a lovely way of taking a bit of the edge off the bitterness of strong kopi. The thickness of condensed milk also enhances the rich, smooth texture of the coffee once it’s been stirred in.

favorite southeast asian coffee drinks at home

Experiment With Egg in Your Coffee?

As with the “sock,” egg doesn’t seem like the first thing you’d think of when preparing a cup of coffee, but the Vietnamese recipe for cà phê trứng includes an egg cream that adds the perfect lightness to complement your densely flavorful brew.

To brew, you can either use a Vietnamese coffee maker called a phin, or you can employ the pour-over method. Then, you beat the eggs with sugar and condensed milk to form the foam. To ensure the egg fully cooks, warm your serving cup or bowl in hot water, and combine the coffee and cream for a lovely, unique flavor!

Buy the Right Southeast Asia Coffee Beans From The Exotic Bean

Purchasing single origin coffee packaged at the source, rather than batches combined from multiple farms, is crucial to ensuring maximum freshness and flavor in your coffee, no matter how you choose to prepare it.

Southeast Asian coffee varieties owe much of their popularity to the strong, rich bitterness that makes them unique, so making sure you have the best beans available is an essential first step to brewing the best coffee you’ll ever enjoy!

[images via: Fortune, MokaBees]