How to Say Coffee in Vietnamese
When ordering traditional iced coffee in Vietnam, use the phrase cà phê sữa đá, (pronounced “kah-fey-suh-dah”), which literally translates to “Vietnamese iced coffee with milk.” For black Vietnamese coffee, you would use the term cà phê đen (pronounced “kah-fey-dehn”). However, it gets pretty hot in Vietnam, so if you’re looking for black iced coffee, add the đá back in, and ask for cà phê đen đá (pronounced “kah-fey-dehn-dah”).
The origin of the phrase cà phê comes from the French word café (pronounced “kah-fey”). In fact, coffee was originally introduced to Vietnam by the French in 1857, when the European nation colonized the land. (They also brought baguettes and an alphabet system.) After that, coffee plantations in Vietnam began to crop up all throughout the country, and Vietnam became the coffee industry powerhouse that it is today — the second largest producer of coffee beans in the world and the number one producer of robusta coffee beans globally.
Another important thing to remember if you ever find yourself in search of coffee while in Vietnam is that most Vietnamese coffee is brewed using a phin filter, a stainless steel or ceramic filter that sits on top of your cup and functions like an espresso-pour over hybrid. (You can check out our how-to brew guide here.) If you’re ordering cà phê sữa đá, there will likely already be some sweetened condensed milk in the bottom of your glass or mug. Once the phin stops dripping, the resulting cup of delicious cà phê sữa đá is sure to blow you away.
Make other exciting coffee creations using our recipes here.
Learn about dialing in a phin filter here.