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Sunday, November 28, 2004

‘Joe’ from ‘Nam’

I recently got an e-mail from my friend Sarah (a fellow Israeli journaler) who had just returned from a visit to the 'old country'.  It seems she had returned to the holy land bearing a gift for me.

No, really... I’m not talking about some gag gift or purloined soap from the airplane... a real, honest-to-goodness present. 

For me!

As if this wasn’t enough to give me a chronic case of the ‘warm fuzzies’ (I mean, really... I’m a daddy for kripes sake... I give the presents around chez treppenwitz!), this lovely young lady informed me that the gift wasn’t really from her... she was simply acting as the messenger for one of my readers who had taken note of my , um, ‘passing interest’ in coffee.

Coffee? OK, now she had my undivided attention!

It took a week of emailing back and forth for us to finally get our schedules in synch, but this past Friday afternoon I actually made it into Jerusalem and hooked up with Sarah.

Now, as most of you know, I consider myself somewhat of a coffee snob. This isn’t to say that I know the flavor and aroma characteristics of every bean from around the world or anything.  But being fairly well travelled, I was pretty sure that I was nominally familiar with every possible way to prepare coffee.

Or not.

This thoughtful gift turned out to be a special contraption for brewing Vietnamese Coffee!

Yes, you heard me.  Vietnamese. Coffee.

Go ahead and scoff, I’d never heard of it either.

Lucky for me (and now you) the generous reader who sent me the thoughtful gift has also created a 100% non-commercial website called ‘www.howtobrewcoffee.com’. There you can find out how to make nearly every type of coffee under the sun (notice I said NEARLY… since I’m not so sure of myself anymore)… including Vietnamese Coffee.

After giving my new toy a quick wash and rinse Saturday night, I went to his website to find out how to use the thing. Very clear directions with pictures and diagrams are the rule over at howtobrewcoffee.com (crucial for ADD cases like myself), and within a few minutes I was enjoying a new (and very potent) variation on the much-loved hot caffeine infusion.

Did I mention that I kinda sorta [heart] this guy?

As if I didn’t already consider him a personal hero, it turns out he lives in Boston!

A New Englander and a coffee hound??? Be still my caffeinated heart! Next time I get back to the states I will simply have to look this guy up.

For the time being, there’s no danger of this cute little device crowding out my faithful French Press Pot for the task of brewing my morning ‘cuppa’. The Vietnamese process doesn’t allow the large-scale coffee output on which the successful start of my day depends.

But for an after-dinner treat or a small demitasse ‘pick-me-up’ during the afternoon? Just plop one of those cone shaped hats on my head and dress me in some loose black pajamas ‘cause I’m goin’ Vietnamese! [open invitation to anyone who wants to use their PhotoShop skills to make this scary mental image a reality]

Think you’re a coffee snob? Go on over and learn a thing or three from a true coffee master.


Posted by David Bogner on November 28, 2004 | Permalink


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Mmmmmm! It WAS goooooood (to the last drop)! It was actually so yummy, I was surprised that David shared a bit with me, and less surprised when he demanded his cup back after my teasing taste! :-)

Even though a gift for David – I add my gratitude to the pot!

Posted by: zahava | Nov 28, 2004 1:27:48 PM

Glad you like it, of course look me up when you come over to this side! I have some other tutorial sites, but this is my favorite.... Enjoy,... and remember ... coffee is always better when shared with a loving wife!

Posted by: Craig | Nov 28, 2004 5:34:40 PM

Vietnamese coffee with sweetened condensed milk on the bottom. Mmmmm. Dreamy.

Posted by: harry | Nov 28, 2004 10:13:43 PM

off topic: You've lost 9 lbs! That's great. Keep it up. Slowly is the way to do it. (I know you don't necessarily want/need us to comment about it, but I'm a doctor!)

I have almost nothing to say on-topic. I drink coffee strictly for the stimulant, and ingest it as a warm liquid only because that is somewhat more pleasant than chewing the instant coffee crystals. In a pinch, I would to the latter without hesitation. (Talk to me on a Shabbat when my wife has forgotten to turn on the hot water pot!)

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Nov 28, 2004 10:46:16 PM

Yikes. "I would DO the latter..."

Must. Remember. To. Preview.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Nov 28, 2004 10:48:00 PM

Zahava... I am sooo tempted to bring this little device into the office. But then I wouldn't be able to make Vietnamese coffee for you, honey! Who's your best husband???

Craig... I wasn't sure if I could use your name since it wasn't featured on your site (except for the copyright info). Glad you cleared that up! As to looking you up... count on it.

Harry... I have confession to make: If I were brewing it for my wife I would follow the recipe. But since I was drinking it, I used heavy cream and splenda. Still pretty damned good!

Doctor Bean... Thanks for noticing. It is coming off more slowly than I would like, but I already feel wonderful. My energy level is also way up which should lead to more activity... which should lead to increased weight loss (and so on, and so on...).

As to the whole coffee thing... Obviously I enjoy the caffeine buzz, but I feel about coffee the way I do about whiskey; The good stuff is wonderful, but the bad stuff isn't even worth drinking (no matter that the end result is basically the same).

Posted by: David | Nov 28, 2004 11:22:08 PM

I have never heard of Vietnamese Coffee before. I don't recall seeing it in my Coffee guide book--I will have to check tonight. I also learned something else on the coffee site and a link from it. Home Roasting. Read the home roasting tutorial in a popcorn popper. This sounds really exciting. In western Canada my favourite coffee shop was called Roastmasters and they roasted organic coffee in-store. I have never tasted anything as good since I moved out east--even at starbucks. I am going to be on the look out for a popcorn popper!

Posted by: david | Nov 29, 2004 5:30:50 PM

david... If you click on the words Vietnamese coffee, I have a link to a very detailed description (pictures even!). As to home roasting, I have not tried it myself but am very tempted. I have heard that the results can be fantastic... but that you need to do it in a really well ventilated area because of the smoke.

On an unrelated note... I hope you will let me know when your itinerary is firmed up for Joshua's trip. I would love to meet this special boy (and his parents). I can be reached at treppenwtiz @ gmail . com (just remove the spaces).

Posted by: David | Nov 29, 2004 5:48:12 PM

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