How to make Vietnamese iced coffee – so good and a bit different!

I’ve never been to Vietnam (at least not yet  😉), but I still love Vietnamese iced coffee! It’s quite different from the regular iced coffee we normally buy, where they use normal milk. In Vietnam they use sweetened condensed milk to make iced coffee! I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing it might have something to do with the heat, and regular, fresh milk being harder to keep from going off.

Traditionally Vietnamese iced coffee is made with Arabica coffee beans. All coffee in the world is divided into either Arabica or Robusta. Arabica is the most common type, with almost 70% of the world’s coffee. It grows mostly in Latin America, and is more expensive. It’s rounder and more fruity in flavour. Robusta grows mostly in Africa and Indonesia, and is less common. It’s harsher in flavour, and has more caffeine. 

For this iced coffee, I went to my local Asian supermarket and got some Arabica coffee grown in Vietnam. It’s made by Trung Ngyen, which is the largest coffee supplier in Vietnam. 

In Vietnam this coffee is called Cà phê đá, which literally means iced coffee. It’s traditionally brewed with a Phin filter placed over a glass, and the coffee then drips down into the glass, over the condensed milk and ice. If you’ve got one of these filters, or has a way of getting one, then by all means, please use it! However, if you don’t have a Phin filter, then you can use a regular french press instead, like I’m doing ☺

>> More iced coffee? Try my new favourite cold brew coffee!

French presses come in different sizes, but a general rule of thumb is one tablespoon per cup of coffee. 

It’s actually that easy, so let’s just get started and make some gorgeous Vietnamese iced coffee!

Have you had this kind of iced coffee before? Maybe even in Vietnam? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of my recipe below!

Vietnamese iced coffee
Serves 4
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  1. 4 tbsp Vietnamese arabica coffee
  2. 800 ml water
  3. 150 ml condensed milk
  4. Ice cubes
  1. Bring water to the boil and pour into the french press. Let sit for 30 seconds to make it warm. Pour out the water.
  2. Add the coffee to the french press and add 800 mls boiling water. Stir so all the coffee is blended.
  3. Place the lid on and let sit for four minutes.
  4. After four minutes, push the lid down.
  5. Pour condensed milk into a glass. The general rule is 50/50 milk and coffee, but you can use less or more if you like.
  6. Add ice cubes, and pour coffee over.
  7. Stir until the coffee and milk has blended. Vietnamese iced coffee done!
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2 thoughts on “How to make Vietnamese iced coffee – so good and a bit different!

  1. Well, thanks for sharing great recipes here. I really love Vietnamese coffee, especially, iced coffee. It looks not difficult to make, isn’t it?

Let me know what you think!