Delectable Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cà Phê Sữa Đá)

Living in Seattle for me meant that I can choose from a lot of independent coffee shops within my walking reach, grab a cup of latte and enjoy the rain. But most of the time I just make my own cup with my favorite instant coffee – Nescafe Brown N’ Creamy from the Philippines. I do love my coffee creamy and sweet – thanks to my parents and my sweet tooth. So when my husband told me is going to Vietnam for a business trip, I only asked that he bring me home a Starbucks collection mug from his trip to add to my city collection. He came home a few days later with my request – plus a lot more.

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While listening to his stories about the trip – and all the amazing food he had – I was unpacking his suitcase and saw that he bought a Vietnamese coffee and filter from a coffee shop called Phuc Long. The first thing I asked him is how to use the coffee filter, and what Vietnamese coffee tasted like. I got my answer after making my very first brew of Vietnamese iced coffee.

Here is a brief summary of what I have learned about Vietnamese coffees: (from a white rice couple)

Cà Phê Sữa Đá (Coffee Milk Ice) A base of sweetened condensed milk, over which about 2 oz of ground coffee is brewed using an individual serving size filter, with the addition of ice. This version is creamy, strong and sweet – enough to boost yourself from sugar and caffeine.

Cà Phê Sữa Nóng (Coffee Milk Hot) Same concept as above, except omit the ice and in Việtnam they often warm the whole glass in a cup of hot water.

Cà Phê Đen (Coffee Black) Just the coffee this time, no sweetened condensed milk. Not for the weak.

Cà Phê Đen Đá (Coffee Black Ice) I think you can figure this one out.

You can probably find a Vietnamese coffee filter in your local Asian market. You may also adjust the amount of condensed milk and coffee in your own preference. Personally, I do love mine sweet and creamy. If you can’t find a coffee filter, just brew your coffee then pour over condensed milk, add ice and enjoy.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe

Delectable Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cà Phê Sữa Đá)

Recipe by Laura MartinCourse: Recipes


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Cooking time





Ingredients To Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee

  • Vietnamese coffee filter

  • 2 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk

  • 2-3 Tbsp coarse-ground coffee

  • Glass with ice

  • Hot water

Directions For Vietnamese Iced Coffee

  • Pour 2 tbsp of condensed milk into a glass or cup
  • Remove the top screen from the coffee filter. Put the ground coffee in the filter, put the screen back on, compacting the grounds. Place the filter on the glass with the sweetened condensed milk. Pour just enough hot water (about 20 ml) to cover the grounds and warm the coffee.
  • Fill up the filter with hot water. This can take up to 5 minutes depending on how fine your grind is.
  • When all the water passed through the filter, remove a filter from the glass and mix it with a spoon.
  • Pour over a glass of ice and enjoy.
best Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Vietnamese Iced Coffee recipe


For a quick version, replace the Vietnamese-style brewed coffee with a 2oz shot of espresso.

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