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.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe – Delicious, Simple, and Fun (5)

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 is a fun fact about Vietnamese coffee? ›

Fun fact: Vietnam is the world's second-largest coffee exporter behind Brazil. A testament to the beans, there's certainly a lot more to the local stuff than the usual lattes and cappuccinos!

What makes Vietnamese iced coffee special? ›

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.

What makes a good Vietnamese coffee? ›

It all starts with a phin

Since fresh cow's milk wasn't accessible in Vietnam, sweetened condensed milk became the dairy of choice to have with coffee. This combination of bitterness and sweetness has become a hallmark of the drink: the punch of strong coffee counterbalanced by honey-like condensed milk.

What can be added to Vietnamese coffee? ›

In Vietnam, according to traditions, Robusta coffee beans are roasted very dark, and elements such as salt, rice liqueur, butter, whiskey or even fish sauce and sugar can be added. An addition can make the bitter and hard Robusta beans taste and taste better.

Why is Vietnamese coffee so cheap? ›

Vietnam is the second largest producer of coffee in the world, and this means that coffee beans are relatively inexpensive.

Is Vietnamese coffee black? ›

Coffee was first introduced to Vietnam in 1857 by the French, influencing Vietnamese coffee to be made typically as a dark or French roast. Vietnamese coffee production boomed after political and economic reforms in the 1990s, particularly within specialty coffee markets over the last 15 years.

What's the difference between Thai iced coffee and Vietnamese iced coffee? ›

Ultimately, both are unique and delicious in their own way, so you should definitely give both a try. 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.

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

A popular variation is cà phê sữa đá (or nâu đá in the North), which is iced coffee served with sweetened condensed milk. This is done by putting two to three teaspoons or more of condensed milk into the cup prior to the drip filter process.

Why do Vietnamese use condensed milk? ›

In Vietnam, sweetened condensed milk is often used instead of fresh milk because of its long shelf-life in a tropical climate. The combination of condensed milk and the strong, bold flavors of Robusta beans creates the classic taste of Vietnamese ca phe sua, which has an irresistible blend of sweetness and bitterness.

What is Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk called? ›

In the north of Vietnam, the mixture of black coffee and sweetened condensed milk is referred to as ca phe nau (brown coffee), while in the south it's called ca phe sua (milk coffee). While it is mostly served cold with ice, you can also order it hot.

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.

How do you enjoy Vietnamese coffee? ›

Vietnamese coffee is strong and sweet. It gets its unique flavor from sweetened, condensed milk, making it creamy and rich. Brew Vietnamese coffee using a phin, or by pouring steeped coffee through a filter. You can enjoy Vietnamese coffee hot or cold, or even add it to yogurt or a smoothie for a caffeinated snack.

Can I 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.

How do you thicken Vietnamese coffee? ›

About This Vietnamese Egg Coffee Recipe

This custard is poured over a cup of very strong coffee, and stirred together to enjoy. The egg yolk custard thickens the coffee (similar to how milk or cream would do so in a regular coffee), and gives it a creamy, thick texture with a slightly foamy top.

Can you use any ground coffee for Vietnamese coffee? ›

Certainly you can; however, there are few differences: ground espresso coffee is usually made from Arabica beans; whereas Vietnamese ground coffee is made from Robusta beans, or from a blend with more Robusta beans.

Did you know fun facts about coffee? ›

Dec 9, 2021

Who invented Vietnamese coffee? ›

It is believed that the coffee plant was first introduced to Vietnam in 1857 by French missionaries, but the first coffee plantations were only set up in 1888 at the Ninh Bình and Quảng Bình provinces of Tonkin. Early coffee production was mainly of the Arabica variety.

Why is coffee popular in Vietnam? ›

During colonization, the French brought coffee to Vietnam, and obviously, that influence still bears heavily. The numerous coffee plantations and cafes around the country wouldn't be there without them. 97% of the plantations produce the Robusta coffee beans, famous for their unique and bitter coffee taste.

How dark is Vietnamese coffee? ›

Vietnamese coffee refers to both a style of traditional brewing and the robust coffee grown in Vietnam. The coffee beans are typically a dark roast with a strong, distinct flavor, often with a chocolatey or nutty undertone.


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