Craving Thai food is not uncommon for me, no matter what the season. I can always be easily convinced to go out to my favorite Thai restaurant, or throw together some homemade Pad Thai or green coconut curried seafood. The brilliant flavors and bold spices are what I crave all year long. But come summer, there is one more thing I must have with my Thai-inspired meal: Homemade Thai Iced Coffee.

The craving is two-fold: it battles the heat on my tongue from zesty chili peppers… and the sweltering summer temperatures outdoors. Cold and refreshing, it’s my favorite way to beat the heat, whether I’m feasting on a bowl of Tom Kha Gai, or sitting on the patio, under the umbrella in the backyard.

I remember the first time I marveled at the swirls of condensed milk that transformed the richly brewed coffee from chestnut to tan. It was mysteriously strong and sweet…and I was thrilled to discover how very simple it is to make at home!

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It all starts with the best coffee you can find. For me, I find that my favorite French Roast works really well, the deeply hued, oily coffee beans giving a rich flavor that tastes exceptional both hot and cold. With choice beans, I grind them in the KitchenAid® Blade Coffee Grinder.

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The grounds are placed in my trusty French press (I can no longer make coffee any other way), and allowed to steep in just-boiling water for about 4-5 minutes.

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And then, the magic: I pour the brew into tall glasses (two, because it’s better to share), and drizzle in the thick and irresistible condensed milk. At this point, I try really, really hard to keep from eating it straight out of the can.

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The glasses are topped off with ice cubes, then the magic is up to you: take a long spoon and swirl the sweetness in, transforming the coffee into its lovely tawny shade of brown. With each sip, you are coaxed to cool calm, a treat for any hot summer day.

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