Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe – Delicious, Simple, and Fun (2024)

How to Brew

Enjoy this traditional Vietnamese iced coffee recipe that combines a bold, dark roast with the rich sweetness of sweetened condensed milk.

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By Marley Inksetter

Last updated: January 6, 2023

If you love coffee as much as I do, you probably like to experiment and try new ways to prepare and enjoy your coffee, and today we’ll show you a delicious alternative to your regular hot coffee.

Vietnamese iced coffee is a great way to expand your coffee palate without having to invest in expensive brewers to do it.

Vietnamese iced coffee is a slightly different take on iced coffee that has been popular in Vietnam for quite some time.

It is stronger than many iced coffee drinks and is served with a different type of dairy product compared to the other options out there. If you want to expand your horizons, then Vietnamese iced coffee should be on your list.

Let’s take a brief look at the history of Vietnamese iced coffee, the ingredients you’ll need to make it, and the steps you need to take to prepare this rich and delicious version of iced coffee.

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What Is Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Even for many self-described coffee connoisseurs, Vietnamese iced coffee may be something new.

Essentially, Vietnamese iced coffee is a coffee prepared using a traditional Vietnamese coffee maker that is then mixed with sweetened condensed milk and served over ice.

It is stronger than many coffee drinks out there, making it a great treat for those that prefer their coffee black, but it definitely can be enjoyed by everyone.

Coffee was first introduced in the region way back in 1857 by a French Catholic priest and soon became one of the country’s biggest exports.

The availability of dairy was rather limited then, so the local population began using sweetened condensed milk in dark roast coffee.

Over time, this became one of the main ways coffee was served in the country and continues to be today.

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@roastycoffee Sweet, delicious, authentic Vietnamese iced coffee using a phin coffee press! So good! #vietnamesecoffee #phin #coffeetok ♬ Blade Runner 2049 – Synthwave Goose

What You Need to Make It

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To prepare Vietnamese iced coffee the right way, you will need a few things before you get started:

  • Glass
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Dark or medium-dark roast in a coarse ground
  • Vietnamese coffee press
  • Ice
  • Hot water

It is important that you don’t make any substitutes when making this type of coffee as you want to be as authentic as you possibly can to truly enjoy it.

That means you need to use stronger coffee in a coarser ground and you cannot substitute other types of dairy for the sweetened condensed milk.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe

Now that we know what we need and we have gathered all our supplies, it is time to get started brewing our first cup of Vietnamese iced coffee. Ready?

Brewing the Coffee

Step 1:

Add 2 tablespoons of your coarse-ground coffee to the coffee press. Wet the grounds slightly with hot water.

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Step 2:

Screw the press on tight ensuring that the coffee is packed well. Boil your water and pour your hot water into the coffee press and cover it with its hat.

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Step 3:

Wait for the coffee to finish brewing*. This press drips very slowly so you will have to wait 3-5 minutes for it to complete the brew.

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Step 4:

When the brewing has completed, stir the coffee well.

*The longer it takes to brew the stronger the coffee will be. You may have to experiment with your wait times based on your own personal tastes.

Making The Drink

Step 1:

In an empty glass, add 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk.

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Step 2:

Once your coffee is done brewing, pour it into the glass with condensed milk and stir.

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If you are using the Vietnamese coffee press, you can brew directly into the cup, then mix.

Step 3:

Fill a separate glass with ice then pour the coffee and condensed milk mixture over it.

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And voila! It’s ready to serve.

In total, you can probably expect this process to take you about 10 minutes including prep and cleanup times, so it really isn’t all that bad when you think about it.

The end result is a strong, great-tasting, and rich cup of iced coffee that makes a perfect summer treat.

Wrapping Up

There you have it. You now have the tools and knowledge you need to prepare this amazing iced coffee drink right in the comfort of your own home.

All in all the process is straightforward, even for a coffee beginner to try, and requires only a small investment in a proper press to get started.

If you are looking to expand your coffee palate, then I strongly encourage you to give this one a try. The result is a sweet, cool, and rich beverage that will delight your taste buds even when it’s hot outside.

Remember, this iced coffee is a bit on the strong side so be careful when you are brewing it or you could make it too strong, especially if you are not used to stronger coffee.

However, I am confident that you will delight in this type of coffee and consider it a great change of pace from many western brewing methods that we have all become accustomed to.


What Type of Coffee Should Be Used for Vietnamese Iced Coffee?

You’ll want to use a dark roast that is coarsely ground to get authentic Vietnamese coffee.

Check out some of our top-rated Vietnamese roasts to get you started.

How Was Vietnamese Coffee Invented?

Because the dairy industry was barely beginning in 1857, when coffee was first introduced to the Vietnamese population, alternatives were found for sweetening coffee.

Using sweetened condensed milk quickly became popular and has continued to be a favorite form of consuming coffee even today.

Where Can You Buy Ready-to-Drink Vietnamese Coffee?

Vietnamese coffee is offered at some cafes, as well as being available for purchase in can or bottle form through companies like Sang, Nguyen, and more.

How to Brew Coffee Without a Vietnamese Coffee Filter?

If you don’t have the traditional Vietnamese coffee filter (known as a Phin coffee filter), you can always brew your dark roast coarse grind in a French press.

It has a similar end-result taste.

How Does a Phin Coffee Filter Work?

A Phin coffee maker is a type of drip brewer that produces very strong coffee.

It has three parts, the plate filter, the brewing chamber, and a filter insert. This makes the water flow through the grounds slowly and coffee drips out the bottom, producing a rich and dark coffee.

Happy Caffeinating!

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe – Delicious, Simple, and Fun (10)

Yield: 1

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

This delightful combination of condensed milk and your favorite coffee will transport your taste buds to the beautiful Southeastern oasis you didn't realize you needed.


  • 2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp dark or medium-dark roast (coarse grind)
  • Vietnamese coffee press
  • Ice
  • Hot Water


Brew the Coffee*

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of your coarse ground coffee to the coffee press.
  2. Wet the grounds slightly with hot water.
  3. Screw the press on tight ensuring that the coffee is packed well.
  4. Boil your water and pour your hot water into the coffee press and cover it with its hat.
  5. Wait for the coffee to finish brewing. (3-5 minutes)
  6. When the brewing has completed, stir the coffee well.

*Needs to be done over a mug. (Can be the one with condensed milk in it or a seperate one.)

Make the Drink

  1. Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a mug.
  2. Brew your coffee over the condensed milk. (Or pour in if using a different brewing method)
  3. Stir well to mix and melt.
  4. Fill a glass with ice and pour the mixture over top.
  5. Enjoy!


This drink can be enjoyed hot or iced. Stop at the mix and melt stage if you prefer a hot cup!

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 90Total Fat: 2.4g

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Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe – Delicious, Simple, and Fun (2024)


What makes Vietnamese iced coffee special? ›

The Phin

Have you ever wondered why Vietnamese iced coffee is so strong? Well, that's because of the robusta beans and the Vietnamese phin. This is a stainless steel filter that sits on top of a cup with condensed milk.

What makes a good Vietnamese coffee? ›

The use of Robusta beans in Vietnamese coffee instead of Arabica gives it a higher caffeine content and a more intense flavor. These beans are typically roasted dark, which contributes to the strong taste. Additionally, the drip method used in Vietnam further enhances the richness and concentration of the final cup.

Why is Vietnamese coffee so delicious? ›

In conclusion, Vietnamese coffee is a unique and sweet beverage that can be made at home using a traditional filter or adapted using other brewing methods. Its distinct flavor comes from the use of Robusta beans and sweetened condensed milk, which contribute to its thicker texture and rich taste.

What is added to the most popular Vietnamese coffee drink? ›

Coffee with milk (ca phe nau or ca phe sua)

Most people drink the dark, strong brew with sweetened condensed milk, a practice that began because the French couldn't easily acquire fresh milk.

What are the best beans for Vietnamese coffee? ›

Robusta coffee beans: Robusta beans are the most common choice for traditional Vietnamese coffee. They are known for their bold and robust flavor, which pairs perfectly with the addition of sweetened condensed milk, a staple in Vietnamese coffee.

Why does Vietnamese coffee use condensed milk? ›

Traditional Vietnamese iced coffee uses condensed milk to balance the bold, smoky flavor of dark-roast robusta coffee.

What is Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk called? ›

Learn how to make Vietnamese coffee (cà phê sữa nóng), a sweet, rich coffee drink involving sweetened condensed milk and strong drip coffee.

Which is stronger Thai or Vietnamese coffee? ›

Thai iced coffee tends to be milkier, sweeter, and milder as it uses light-medium roast coffee beans. While Vietnamese iced coffee, is stronger as it uses dark-roast robusta coffee.

Is it OK to drink Vietnamese coffee everyday? ›

Vietnamese coffee is stronger than regular coffee, so one can of our coffee has the same caffeine levels as about three cups of other varieties of coffee. You can enjoy the heart-healthy benefits of Vietnamese coffee by only drinking one of our Vietnamese coffees per day.

Is Vietnamese coffee better hot or iced? ›

The base coffee is really strong and bitter. The ratio of coffee to milk or water is 1:2, so this packs a serious punch. However, to counter the intensity, traditional Vietnamese coffee is balanced with condensed milk, making a bittersweet brew which is just as delicious cold as it is hot.

What makes Vietnamese coffee thick? ›

Vietnamese coffee is also renowned for having a very thick and dense mouthfeel. While there is some truth to this, Vietnamese street coffee in particular is often brewed with additives. Many street coffee vendors add starches such as corn, soy bean powder, and even more butter to thicken the brew.

What pairs well with Vietnamese coffee? ›

Pair Vietnamese Coffee with Seafood Pho

The boldness of Vietnamese coffee perfectly complements the mildness of seafood broth in a harmonious culinary experience. The rich, intense flavor of Vietnamese coffee serves as a robust counterpart to the delicate, savory taste of seafood pho.

What is Vietnamese iced coffee called? ›

Vietnamese iced coffee, often called "ca phe sua da," is a delightful and invigorating beverage. It is a rich and intense coffee served over ice with a generous pour of sweet condensed milk, creating a harmonious blend of strong flavors with a touch of sweetness.

What is the difference between Vietnamese iced coffee and regular iced coffee? ›

Here is a comparison of the key differences between the two: Preparation: Vietnamese coffee is made by brewing strong, dark roast coffee over sweetened condensed milk, while iced coffee with milk is made by brewing coffee and then pouring it over ice with milk.

How is Vietnamese iced coffee different? ›

Vietnamese iced coffee is a traditional beverage incorporating a medium to dark roast Vietnamese coffee with a Vietnamese drip filter. Like many other coffee types, the drip releases the coffee slowly into a cup with ice and sweetened condensed milk after the water is added.

What is unique about Vietnamese coffee? ›

Due to the Vietnam's climate, bean composition and phin filter brewing method, traditional Vietnamese coffee distinguishes itself from most coffee around the world. Vietnamese coffee is strong and bold with very deep flavors and complex flavor notes that can be simultaneously sweet, refreshing, savory, and earthy.

What is the difference between iced coffee and Vietnamese iced coffee? ›

A true Vietnamese iced coffee will always have the three things that make it Vietnamese: coffee made using a phin filter, robusta beans, and condensed milk to sweeten it.


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