This past weekend was focused on catching up with old friends, spending some family time, and continuing to work on my budding photography skills. After watching many DIY videos on how to whitewash wood, I ended up heading to Lowe’s with my grandpa to pick up some pine wood. Of course, you can’t go to Lowe’s with your grandfather and not leave with an abundance of fertilizer. We walked away with 8 bags of fertilizer. My car reeked of chicken and cow poop for the duration of our drive home. Thank gosh for windows, right?
Anyways, I got home and unloaded the car. My grandpa and I snuck the bags of fertilizer into the backyard without my grandma or mom catching us. Phew. Mission accomplished. The stench has also dissipated from my car, so that’s a plus too. I was able to whitewash the wood while getting a minimal amount of paint all over me (I do still have some spots in my hair…), and take a few test shots.
Now that the whole ‘studio setup’ was complete, however, I didn’t have anything to photograph. Except…well…coffee. We always have coffee available in the Diep household, especially now that Mark (the ex barista) has joined our forces. Our go to weekend sweet treat is generally Vietnamese Coffee. We’re pretty much coffee addicts.
Vietnamese coffee is traditionally a French Roast brewed using a Fin, AKA Vietnamese coffee filter (photographed above). When using the fin, you grind the coffee to a very specific grind (not too fine and not too coarse) and pour hot water over the grounds. The coffee gradually drips into the cup that the fin is sitting over. The waiting process is often long, and not ideal for when you need to brew a lot of coffee for your guests and only have one fin.
Since Vietnamese coffee is a very small but concentrated cup of coffee sweetened with condensed milk, the aeropress is also capable of brewing the dark roast coffee at a quicker rate. You’ll still need to pay attention to the size of your coffee grounds (it needs to be on the finer side).
The aeropress often comes in a set with the plunger, funnel, filters, scoop, and wand. Pretty sweet, right? You can buy it off Amazon here: Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker with Tote Bag.
To make one cup of coffee is very simple. All you’ll need are two scoops of dark roast coffee beans, condensed milk (or agave and almond milk if you’re vegan), and a glass filled with crushed ice. When you’ve finished brewing your coffee and mixing the sweetener of your choice into your coffee, you can pour it over the ice and enjoy a refreshing glass of strong, creamy, and sweet iced coffee.
I love coffee because not only does it taste delicious black, sweetened, or with milk, it is also a natural source of caffeine. This source of caffeine can help energize you, improve your mood, and in turn increase your productivity (I could not survive without it!). Since coffee beans are the seeds of berries on coffee plants, if you drink it plain every day, it could potentially give you many health benefits.
What are some of these health benefits?
Coffee, first off, is low calorie and can decrease your risk of Type 2 Diabetes (if you don’t load it with sweeteners), Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s (since caffeine can aid with motor impairment), depression, heart failure, and liver disease. Furthermore, according to Michael Greger, coffee can also aid with preventing liver cancer as well as other types of cancers.
Contrary to popular belief, coffee provides us with many more health benefits than deficits. This doesn’t mean that you should be drinking an excess amount of coffee everyday. As with anything, consuming too much of it can be unhealthy. But hey, if you need an extra kick to start your day, stray away from the soda or energy drink and reach for a steaming mug or refreshing glass of plain coffee.
Even with the condensed milk in this Vietnamese coffee, there’s probably still less sugar in it than what is found in soda or energy drinks. It is also much more natural, ‘wholesome’, and you know exactly what ingredients are in your drink. For all you coffee lovers out there, hurrah! Coffee is the greatest thing humanity has ever created. Wouldn’t you agree?
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