How To Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Coffee lovers like to try different coffee recipes and making Vietnamese iced coffee is one way to do that without spending a lot of money.

If you ever go to Vietnam, ask for the Ca Phe Sua Da as that’s its common name around there.


A Brief History Of The Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Coffee began in Vietnam in the 18th century when both French and Dutch colonists brought coffee bean seeds and started plantations in different parts of the country.

Sweetened condensed milk which is an important ingredient of the iced coffee was imported by the French colonists as they discovered that the supply of fresh milk was in limited supply ‘cause the culture wasn’t one that revolved around milk.

After colonial rule, the Vietnamese took over the development of the coffee plantations and over time, increased the popularity of the Ca Phe Sua Da.

3 Things You Must Get To Make The Vietnamese Coffee

1. Vietnamese Coffee Maker

It’s also called the Phin and is a simple device that combines the features of the drip coffee maker and the French Press.

Medium or coarse grinds are ideal for this machine because fine grinds will simply fall through its holes.

It’s a small device so you’ll be able to make only a cup per brew.

2. Robusta Beans

Go to coffee-producing countries like Ethiopia and Brazil, you’ll discover most of the plantations there focus on the Arabica variety of coffee.

In Vietnam, 95% of the plantations grow Robusta coffee. Robusta is generally considered to be the bitter variety but it produces strong coffee that’s delicious when you prepare the Vietnamese coffee.

3. Sweetened Condensed Milk

This masks the bitter taste of the bitter Robusta roast. The milk allows you store your brew for long hours without refrigeration.

The Recipe

How do you make a cup of the Vietnamese coffee? Let’s look at the ingredients involved and how to use them:


3 tbsp. Vietnamese coffee or Café du Monde coffee (if you’re abroad), 3 tbsp. sweetened condensed milk, boiling water and cubed ice.


1. Measure out three spoons of sweetened condensed milk into a glass.

2. Pour three spoons of the coffee grinds into the Phin. Shake the device a bit to keep the grinds consistent.

3. Place the coffee maker on top of the glass with milk.

4. Place the metal filter to cover the Phin.

5. Heat up ten fluid ounces (300ml) of water and pour it over the filter to the brim and wait till it drips into the glass.

6. Keep pouring the water over the filter until you use the water up.

7. Now use a spoon or something to stir so you can mix the coffee grinds and the milk. Keep stirring till the coffee changes from dark to a light brown color.

8. Fill a separate glass with cubed ice and pour your hot coffee over the ice.

9. That’s it, enjoy your coffee.

It takes a little practice, but there are things you can do to ensure you get the perfect Vietnamese iced coffee.


Tips To Get The Perfect Vietnamese Coffee

1. Watch The Temperature Of Your Water

Anything between 195 and 205°F is a perfect temperature to brew with.

If you spend a lot of time on preparation before brewing, don’t heat your water first as you’ll have water below the 195°F mark when you’re ready to pour into the grounds.

Instead, get everything set and heat your water to boiling point and allow to cool for about three to five minutes so you can get the temperature range.

2. Adjust The Amount Of Milk

The Ca Phe Sua Da can be really sweet if you increase the amount of the sweetened condensed milk.

Two tablespoons will give you coffee that’s tasty but still with that strong coffee feel and anything above four spoons will give you very sweet coffee.

3. Adjust The Metal Filter

Note the amount of pressure you applied on the filter if you get coffee that you like. Too much or too little pressure causes the Phin to under-extract.

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