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How to make the BEST Vietnamese Iced Coffee

  • 3 min read

Iced coffee is a beverage beloved by people all over the world. Vietnamese iced coffee, cà phê sửa đá, is one of Vietnam’s most popular drinks that is taking American coffee shops by storm. 

For so long, many spots were mixing condensed milk with brewed coffee of varied origins and calling it Vietnamese iced coffee, but that’s false advertising. To have it as traditionally as possible (think street vendors in Vietnam or your favorite restaurants), Vietnamese iced coffee needs to be brewed with coffee from Vietnam, namely robusta beans as their bold, nutty flavors complement the sweetness of condensed milk perfectly. Additionally, the coffee should be brewed using a metal phin filter as this brew method yields a strong, concentrated cup of coffee that’s as traditional as possible.

While there may not be a cafe near you serving Vietnamese iced coffee with 100% single origin Vietnamese coffee beans, you have us to get your fix! Follow along to make the best Vietnamese iced coffee you’ll ever have and transport yourself to the tropics of Vietnam with our recipe for this refreshing, sweet, and strong coffee concoction.

Tools and Ingredients:

  • Robusta coffee like Truegrit or Loyalty
  • A stainless steel phin filter
  • Hot water
  • Condensed milk
  • A glass or container to brew in
  • Ice cubes 

How to Make It: 

  1. Boil water to 195-200°F 
  2. Add 2 tablespoons (14g) of ground Vietnamese coffee into the phin filter
  3. Shake the filter chamber to even out the grounds
  4. Place gravity press on top of coffee grounds
  5. Add 0.5 oz of condensed milk to your glass
  6. Place the phin filter plate and chamber on top of the glass
  7. Pour about 1 oz (or ½ inch) of water to bloom the coffee for 45 seconds
  8. Pour the remaining 3 oz of water to fill to the top of the filter
  9. Wait for the coffee to drip (5-7 minutes total)
  10. Stir and add ice! 

Vietnamese iced coffee is the opposite of an Americano in that its volume is much smaller and its flavor is much sweeter and punchier. For those looking to brew larger amounts of this drink, we recommend using a larger phin filter or doing a second pour of hot water in your phin filter to get more liquid in the final brew.

This is essentially the best Vietnamese iced coffee you could possibly make for yourself. If you want to make it even bolder, we recommend brewing your Vietnamese coffee in an ice bathso that the coffee cools as it brews and the final drink is less diluted once mixed. 

If an ice bath is too much work, you can also phin brew over ice directly so that the coffee cools instantly. Don’t worry, dilution won’t be much of an issue as the rate of melting is considerably slower than if you were to add ice directly to hot brewed coffee. Trust us, this is a popular brew style in coffee shops in Vietnam these days.

Vietnamese iced coffee doesn’t need to have sweetened condensed milk either! Your personal best coffee can be however you enjoy it. If you drink your coffee black, we recommend adding ice to your brewed coffee and calling it a day. If you’re vegan, we have a recipe for a vegan Vietnamese iced coffee that uses coconut condensed milk. Once you've established your personal preferences, feel free to tweak the ratios of coffee or water in the brew or customize the kind or amount of condensed milk you use.

Vietnamese iced coffee is easy, quick and delicious! In fact, we think it should be your new daily coffee. Brewing with a Vietnamese phin filter takes less than 8 minutes and the results are so strong and so delicious. What are you waiting for? The best Vietnamese iced coffee you’ll ever have is calling your name! 

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Purchase our Phin Kit to make your own Vietnamese iced coffee here.

Learn how to make vegan Vietnamese iced coffee here.

Learn how to phin brew over ice here.

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