Bridging Cultures, One Sip at a Time: The Vietnamese Iced Coffee Voyage

Delve into a world where simplicity meets depth, and tradition kisses modernity. The Vietnamese Iced Coffee, known as “cà phê đá” in its homeland, is more than just a drink. It’s an experience, a testament to Vietnam’s rich coffee culture and its French colonial past.

Echoes from the Land of the Ascending Dragon

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Vietnam, renowned for its lush landscapes and bustling cities, has a lesser-known secret – its burgeoning coffee culture. Introduced by the French, the Vietnamese added their twist, giving birth to this lustrous iced coffee.

Coffee Roast Recommendation

Choose a robust dark roast for this drink. Its strong flavor profile perfectly counterbalances the sweetened condensed milk, creating a harmonious blend.


  • 2 tablespoons of coarsely ground dark-roast coffee
  • 2-3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (depending on desired sweetness)
  • Ice cubes
  • 8 oz boiling water (for brewing)
  • A Vietnamese drip filter (phin) – traditional method

Step-by-step Brewing Instructions

  1. Add the sweetened condensed milk to your serving glass.
  2. Place the Vietnamese drip filter (phin) over the glass.
  3. Add the coffee grounds to the phin.
  4. Pour just enough boiling water into the phin to cover the coffee grounds. Allow them to bloom for about 30 seconds.
  5. Continue to fill the phin with the rest of the boiling water, cover, and let the coffee drip slowly into the glass with condensed milk. This process may take 5-7 minutes.
  6. Once the dripping stops, stir well to mix the coffee and condensed milk.
  7. Add a generous amount of ice cubes, stir once more, and enjoy your refreshing Vietnamese Iced Coffee!
Vietnamese Iced Coffee recipe

Aroma and Flavor Profile

Inhaling, you’re embraced by the robust and earthy aroma of the dark roast, layered with the sweet caramel notes from the condensed milk. The taste is a perfect balance – the bitterness of the coffee dances gracefully with the milk’s sugary richness, leading to a harmonious crescendo on the palate.

Sensory Experience

The first sip is an invitation to explore the streets of Hanoi or Saigon, where time seems to slow down. The creamy texture, combined with the cold temperature and intense flavors, provides both a jolt and a comforting embrace.

Dive into the rich tapestry of global coffee culture as we explore unique brews from different corners of the world. Here are the top 10 coffee recipes that stand out in flavor and tradition.

Tips and Variations: Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Creamy Dream: Swap out some ice cubes for a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a dessert-like twist;

Brew Alternatives: If you don’t have a phin, use a French press or regular drip coffee but aim for a strong brew;

Vegan Version: Use coconut condensed milk for a dairy-free, tropical twist.

Nutritional Information

(Note: These values are approximate and can vary depending on exact ingredients used.)

  • Calories: 150
  • Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 26g
  • Protein: 3g

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Prep Time8 minutes
Cook Time14 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 150kcal


  • 1  Vietnamese drip filter (phin) – traditional method


  •  Ground dark roast coffee
  • 3 tbsp  Sweetened condensed milk
  • Ice cubes
  •  Vietnamese drip filter (phin) – traditional method


  • Add the sweetened condensed milk to your serving glass.
  • Place the Vietnamese drip filter (phin) over the glass.
  • Add the coffee grounds to the phin.
  • Pour just enough boiling water into the phin to cover the coffee grounds. Allow them to bloom for about 30 seconds.
  • Once the dripping stops, stir well to mix the coffee and condensed milk.
  • Add a generous amount of ice cubes

FAQs Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe

Is There a Hot Version of Vietnamese Coffee?

Absolutely! Known as “cà phê sữa nóng,” you can simply skip the ice and enjoy it warm after mixing the coffee with the sweetened condensed milk.

Can I Use Regular Milk or Creamer Instead of Sweetened Condensed Milk?

Traditional Vietnamese coffee uses sweetened condensed milk for its unique taste and texture. Using regular milk or creamer will yield a different flavor profile, lacking the signature sweetness.

How Does Vietnamese Coffee Differ From Regular Iced Coffee?

Vietnamese Iced Coffee is characterized by its strong coffee paired with the distinct sweetness and creaminess of sweetened condensed milk, whereas regular iced coffee usually involves cold brew or drip coffee served with or without regular milk and sugar.

Wrapping Up How to Make a Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Vietnamese Iced Coffee is more than just a caffeinated beverage. It’s a journey through time, a story of a nation, and a testament to the human ability to adapt and innovate. As you sip on this concoction, remember you’re tasting history, culture, and the heartbeats of countless coffee sellers from the bustling streets of Vietnam. Embrace the experience and let every drop recount its tale!

While understanding the nuances of various coffee drinks is essential, ensuring you have a consistent supply of quality beans is equally crucial. For those looking to elevate their daily coffee experience, don’t miss my comprehensive piece on ‘The Ultimate Guide to the Best Coffee Subscriptions: Elevate Your Daily Brews.’

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