If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time wishing you could be one of the cool kids. You know who I’m talking about. They swan into lectures fifteen minutes late with their Costa travel cups in hand, sipping doppio espressos nonchalantly, and look shocked when you say you don’t drink coffee.
Now, I don’t know why you avoid coffee (there’s thousands of perfectly good reasons why people don’t). Personally, I’ve always found the stuff far too bitter to stomach, even on the longest of dissertation-writing nights. But, one fateful day (after a summer of working as a no-coffee-drinking-barista), I decided it was time to take a baby step towards adulthood and give it another go.
Now, if you’re a total badass and you like your coffee black, this article definitely isn’t for you. Maybe you, like the Gilmore girls, would have the stuff in an IV drip if you could. In this article, I will unashamedly taint your java with sugar, cream, chocolate, and even ice cream.
1. Cà phê sữa đá
Also known as cà phê nâu đá in northern Vietnam, this twist on the classic iced coffee uses condensed milk as a sweetener. For extra authenticity, use Vietnamese coffee, or a dark roast. The condensed milk will cut through the bitterness of the coffee, and you will finally get that caffeine high you’ve always dreamed of.
2. Cà phê trứng
This next one sounds a bit strange but hear me out. The not-so-secret ingredient in cà phê trứng is an egg yolk and sweetened condensed milk mix. Apparently the egg is supposed to clarify the coffee, reducing the bitterness and leaving you with a drink that apparently tastes like liquid tiramisu. What’s not to love about that? (If you like the idea of that twist on tiramisu, try this pumpkin tiramisu!)
3. Yuanyang tea
If you can’t bring yourself to give up that cuppa, just add it to coffee! Yuanyang tea (which translates to lovebirds tea, aww) combines the best of both caffeine worlds with good ol’ sugar. Feel free to change the ratio of milk tea to coffee, and add more/less sugar as required.
4. Black tie coffee
If you liked the idea of mixing tea with coffee, or you usually order a chai latte, this next recipe is for you. Thai black tie coffee uses Thai tea mix, which has ingredients such as star anise, cardamom and crushed tamarind added to the tea leaves. To this, you add sugar, a shot of espresso, cream, and sweetened condensed milk to make the perfect spiced concoction.
I’ve saved the best for last. This has it all: coffee, ice-cream, and whipped cream. Some ideas for adding your own twist include: using a scoop of homemade chocolate ice-cream instead of (or as well as) vanilla, or topping with shaved chocolate or caramel sauce (or both, I won’t judge).