Vietnamese Coffee is a robust and sweet coffee popular in Vietnam. This intensely brewed concentrate is creamy, rich, smooth in texture, and has a bold flavor. Learn how to make Vietnamese coffee with and without using the Vietnamese filter. Drink it hot or make an iced version (vegetarian, gluten-free).
About Vietnamese Coffee
Vietnamese Coffee is a strong brewed coffee that is very popular in Vietnam and is an integral part of Vietnamese culture.
You will find many street-side shops or cafes selling it. It is made in all Vietnamese households too.
Rich, flavorful, and sweet, this coffee is also called ‘Ca Phe Sua’ in the local language.
This coffee drink is very popular all over the world now, and you will find Vietnamese restaurants all around the world selling it on their menu.
To make this beverage, freshly brewed coffee is mixed with sweetened condensed milk. It can be served hot or chilled. People in Vietnam prefer hot coffee in the morning, while iced coffee is served during the day when it gets hot.
Vietnamese Hot Milk Coffee is called Ca Phe Sua Nong, while Vietnamese Iced Coffee is called Ca Phe Sua Da in the local language.
Vietnam coffee is usually served in a small clear heatproof glass, with a layer of sweet thick condensed milk at the bottom and a stainless steel filter (with the coffee and water) sitting on top of the cup. Another glass filled with ice is served for those who want to have the coffee chilled.
When the coffee is done dripping, you stir it with condensed milk. You can then drink it immediately or pour this mixture over ice if you want to drink it chilled.
Traditionally, a Vietnamese Phin Filter (pronounced ‘feen’) is used to brew coffee, but you can use the regular stovetop brewer or any other method to make your brew.
If you want to buy a traditional Vietnamese coffee maker, check online portals like Amazon, Ali Express, etc. If you have a local Asian market, they might have it stocked too. Also, if you get a chance to visit Vietnam, it’s the best place to buy those coffee filters.
Here are some other coffee drinks that you may like
- Dalgona Coffee
- Nutella Iced Coffee
- South Indian Filter Coffee
- Beaten Coffee
- Gingerbread Latte
- Caramel Latte
- Cafe Style Cold Coffee
- Turmeric Coffee
- Horchata Coffee
History Of Vietnamese Coffee
The history of Vietnamese coffee can be traced back to the 19th century when the country was still a French colony. During this time, coffee was introduced to Vietnam by French traders and quickly became popular among the locals.
In the early 20th century, Vietnam began exporting coffee to other countries, and the coffee industry continued to grow and flourish.
By the 1950s, Vietnam had become one of the world’s leading coffee producers and exporters.
Today, Vietnam remains a significant player in the global coffee market, with coffee being one of the country’s top agricultural exports. The traditional drip brewing method and the use of sweetened condensed milk in Vietnamese style coffee have also gained popularity around the world, making it a unique and distinct type of coffee.
Coffee – Any medium-grind French roast coffee grounds can make Vietnamese coffee.
I like dark roasted robusta coffee beans to make this Vietnamese coffee recipe. You can get robusta beans at any coffee shop in an Asian market or online.
My personal preference is the Cafe Du Monde Coffee brand. It is a dark roast coffee with a medium grind. It has some added chicory, giving it a very earthy and nutty flavor.
You can also check out Trung Nguyen Brand, made using Vietnamese coffee beans for authentic Vietnamese flavors.
Filter – You can brew the coffee using a Vietnamese Phin filter, French Press, French Drip Filter, or Moka Pot. A simple drip machine or paper filter also works great.
If you have an espresso machine, you can use espresso shots instead of brewed coffee.
Condensed Milk – Vietnamese coffee uses sweetened condensed milk instead of regular milk. Additional sugar is not required as it gets enough sweetness from the condensed milk. Try the Longevity brand, which is also used by most Vietnamese cafes in the US.
Ice Cubes – To make it chilled (Vietnamese Iced Coffee), lots of ice cubes are added. If you don’t want ice cubes to dilute your coffee as they melt, then freeze some brewed coffee in ice trays. Use these cubes in place of regular ice.
How To Make Vietnamese Coffee
Vietnamese Phin Filter
I am using a traditional Vietnamese coffee filter (Phin Filter) to brew the coffee, but you can use any method you prefer. I sometimes use my French Press Cold Brew to make this coffee, which tastes fabulous.
This is how the Vietnamese Phin Coffee Filter looks. It comes in various sizes. I use a 6-ounce size (175 ml), perfect for one cup of coffee.
It has a compartment with tiny holes in it for the coffee to drip down. It sits on a plate that fits over the serving cup.
The umbrella-like part is called the plunger, and then there is the lid.
Make Vietnamese Hot Coffee
Rinse the filter with hot water just before brewing. This process helps the ground coffee bloom and drop better.
Add condensed milk to a heat-proof glass (or cup). The amount of condensed milk depends on how sweet and strong you like your coffee.
Regular Strong Coffee – add 1 tablespoon
Sweet Coffee – add 2 tablespoons
Extra Sweet, that tastes like candy – add 3 tablespoons
Note – Traditionally, Vietnamese-style coffee is overly sweet. But when making it at home, you can adjust the sweetness according to your liking.
I added 2 tablespoon of condensed milk.
Keep the plate and the compartment with tiny holes over the serving cup.
Add 2 tablespoon ground coffee to the filter and spread it evenly using a spoon.
Now press gently with the umbrella-like part (plunger). If you press too hard, coffee granules will clog the filter. Pressing the coffee will slow down the drip rate, and you will get strong flavorful brewed coffee.
Add 6 oz (175 ml) of water to a saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. You can use an electric kettle to boil the water too.
Let the boiling water sit for 60-90 seconds. This will let it cool to somewhere within the range of 195–205°F (boiling water will burn your coffee grounds).
Slowly pour 2 tablespoon of hot water over the coffee.
Cover the filter with the lid and keep it for 5 minutes. This step will slow down the drip rate, and you will get very flavorful coffee.
Now, remove the lid and slowly pour the remaining water over the coffee. The brewed coffee will start to drip into the cup.
Cover the filter with the lid and let the coffee brew for 8-10 minutes.
After 8-10 minutes, remove the filter from over the cup. Stir with a spoon and serve.
Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Brew the coffee as mentioned above.
Fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Pour the coffee and condensed milk mixture over the ice.
Stir well using a spoon or a stirrer and serve immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make this coffee vegan, use vegan sweetened condensed milk. You can also use thick coconut milk in place of condensed milk. Make sure to add some sweetener in that case.
You can serve this Vietnamese coffee at tea time with some of your favorite snacks.
I like to sip on it all day on hot summer days; it is so refreshing.
Serve a scoop of Vanilla or Caramel Ice-cream along with your coffee as a dessert after your meal.
Coffee mixed with condensed milk can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 12 hours.
If you want it to last longer (2 days), don’t mix the brewed coffee with the condensed milk.
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How To Make Vietnamese Coffee (Hot & Iced)
- 2 tablespoons medium-ground coffee
- 6 ounce boiling hot water (175 ml)
- sweetened condensed milk (adjust it as per your liking.)
- ice cubes
- Rinse the filter with hot water just before brewing. This process helps the ground coffee bloom and drop better.
- Add condensed milk to the serving cup. The amount of condensed milk depends on how sweet and strong you like your coffee.Regular Strong Coffee – add 1 tablespoonSweet Coffee – add 2 tablespoonsExtra Sweet, that tastes like candy – add 3 tablespoonsI added 2 tablespoons of condensed milk.
- Keep the plate and the compartment with tiny holes over the serving cup.
- Add ground coffee to the filter and spread it evenly.
- Now press gently with the umbrella-like part (plunger). If you press too hard, coffee granules will clog the filter. Pressing the coffee will slow down the drip rate and you will get strong flavorful brewed coffee.
- Let the boiling water sit for 60-90 seconds. This will let it cool to somewhere within the range of 195–205°F (boiling water will burn your coffee grounds).
- Slowly pour 2 tablespoon of hot water over the coffee.
- Cover the filter with the lid and keep for 5 minutes. This step will slow down the drip rate and you will get very flavorful coffee.
- Now, remove the lid and slowly pour the remaining water over the coffee. The brewed coffee will start to drip in the cup.
- Cover with the lid and let it brew for 8-10 minutes.
- After 8-10 minutes, remove the filter from over the cup. Stir with a spoon and serve.
- If drinking it chilled, then fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Pour the coffee and condensed milk mixture over the ice.
- Stir well using a spoon or a stirrer and serve immediately.