I will never forget my first visit to Espresso Royale Cafe (Dinkytown location). It was the middle of February, I’m sure I couldn’t feel my fingers and North Face jacket or not, it was one of those chilling-to-the-bone days. For those of you who live in warm climates, I don’t mean 20° F, I mean -40°. But for that particular few hours, the temperature didn’t bother me, in fact, I doubt I even thought about it. I was 17 and had just finished what would be my final college tour. I knew right then and there this was where I needed to be. I would worry about getting accepted later, I was going to be a Gopher.

The decision was made right then and there, over a hot drink with my parents. I don’t remember what I drank that February afternoon, but that would be the first of many drinks at Espresso Royale Cafe. It was my favorite place to study and I will always think of it as my spot.

I first had this drink at Espresso Royale and it has been a favorite ever since. I think every coffee shop has a slightly different name/origin for it, but Espresso Royale calls it Spanish so that is what I use. (Thai would be my #2 choice based on the sole fact that I love Thai food) It consists of coffee and sweetened condensed milk – exactly why it is treat. Sweetened condensed milk isn’t exactly good for you, but at 120 calories, it beats a 500 calorie Frappuccino anyday!

Dunn Bros has introduced iced coffee growlers and it sounded like too much fun to pass up. So on a recent 95° day, a mere 135° difference, I knew just what I needed to have.

Only this time it was most certainly iced.

Spanish Coffee - 2 servings

  • 2 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 oz strong iced coffee

Mix the milk and coffee together until well combined. Add a few ice cubes if desired.

16 Comments (Reply )

  1. Mellissa
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 8:40 am

    I had a similar experience when I was touring the U of MN campus.

    Go Gophers!


  2. Angharad
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 9:14 am

    Oh good gracious. I drank a lot of sweet and condensed milk coffee in malaysia and probably gained 10 pounds from the amount I knocked back! It’s so good and comforting though, isn’t it? Ahh Minnesota winters…how we love you!


    • Emily
      Aug 27, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

      Is that how it was made in Malaysia? Just coffee and sweetened condensed?


  3. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 9:41 am

    I have never been to that coffee shop even though my husband lived in Dinkytown for several years while going to the U! I guess we didn’t get out enough. :)


  4. Erika @ Dr.TriRunner
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 10:13 am

    I know exactly what you mean when you say you’ll always think of it as “my spot”. For me, that’s the Dunn Bros in Linden Hills (and yes – I succumbed to buying one of those growlers too). On camps, I end up buying coffee most often from the rec (which is *terrible*, but at least caffeinated), or Java City in Moos Towers. :)


    • Emily
      Aug 27, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

      Ohhhh, so many memories!! BF and I rented those green bikes the other night and rode around campus. I love the U of M. hehe.


  5. Mo@MommyRD
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 10:29 am

    Gosh, I remember Dunn Bros. When I lived in the Twin Cities – 15 years ago, there were only about 2 locations.
    I love the idea of sweetened condensed milk in iced coffee, since I like my iced coffee sweet and creamy. :-)


  6. Steph@stephsbitebybite
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

    I have never heard of anythng like this before! But I am so gonna give it a try! Thanks for a new coffee drink…hope it doesn’t become an addiction :)


  7. Holly @ couchpotatoathlete
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

    Sweetened condensed milk is such a good idea to mix in coffee — Although sometimes I just want a sip out of the can :)

    Oh lovely MN winters — they will be here before we know it!


  8. Alex @ IEatAsphalt
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

    I’m not sure what type of coffee they use in the Vietnamese version of this (because it is SUPER strong) but I love it with sweetened condensed milk. I would always pass on bubble tea in Chinatown for the iced coffee.


  9. sophia
    Aug 28, 2010 @ 12:09 am

    Wonder why they call it SPANISH? This coffee is so similar to the ones in Southeast asia by using sweetened condensed milk. I love that stuff, it’s like crack!


  10. SheFit
    Aug 28, 2010 @ 11:59 am

    I’ve just started drinking coffee… this is definitely something I need to try :)


  11. kate
    Aug 29, 2010 @ 7:35 am

    you had me at coffee! i haven’t tried s.c. milk in my coffee before but bet it is yummy. i have coveting the dunns growlers all summer but didn’t buy as i felt it would be cheating on my coffee shop. nothing stopping me now tho!


  12. mary beth hughes
    Aug 30, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

    i’m with kate, i’ve never tried sweetened condensed milk in my coffee but i will have to try it out and thanks to you i am not craving dun bros (even though i treated myself to some caribou caffeine this morning!).


  13. Holly
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 9:29 am

    Thai iced coffee WAS my life in Thailand. there was this local shop that served the best I’ve ever had…in fact, now you have me dreaming of it…

    I think they used espresso + condensed milk, which certainly means I drank my fair share of fat, calories and deliciousness :)


  14. Willa
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

    I have many fond memories of coffee in Dinkytown. I LOVED the monster syle cookies that they used to sell at the old Purple Onion (I don’t know if they sell them any more). I like to drink my coffee black or sometimes with steamed milk. This post, however, transports me to Spain – my host mother always prepared strong coffee and then added tons of sweetened condensed milk. I am not sure if it was Spain or the coffee but I remember it as total bliss.


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