Traditionally, coffee in Thailand is made using a cloth filter that resembles a wind sock. Known as kafae thung or kafae boran, literally “bag coffee” or “old-fashioned coffee” in Thai, this method of brewing, coupled with dark-roasted robusta beans, leads to coffee with a distinctly burnt flavor and aroma, lots of caffeine, and a very light body. When it comes to iced coffee – pretty much the standard in Thailand’s heat—all this intensity is often mellowed with a splash or more of evaporated milk; sweetened condensed milk and/or sugar may also be added if, like most Thais, you prefer your coffee sweet.
- 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tbsp. coarsely-ground, very dark roasted robusta coffee
- Granulated sugar or sweetened condensed milk (optional)
- Evaporated milk
- In a small pot, bring a few cups of water to a boil. Moisten the filter then add the coffee grinds to it. Pour 1½ cups boiling water into a heatproof glass measuring cup. Submerge the filter in the water, alternatively steeping and agitating the grinds, for 1 minute.
- While the grinds are steeping, fill 2 tall glasses with chipped ice.
- Raise the filter from the hot liquid and position it over a second glass measuring cup. Pour the brewed coffee through the filter, lowering the bag into the measuring cup to steep briefly once more. Raise the filter, position it over one of the glasses, and pour half of the coffee through the grinds once more. Add sugar or condensed milk (if desired), to taste, stirring to combine. Top with evaporated milk to taste. Repeat with the second glass and serve immediately.