Do you want an exciting beverage to whisk away the heat during sunny days?
Let me show you how to make Vietnamese Iced Coffee, an innovative drink that combines the perfect blend of condensed milk and coconut milk, along with your caffeine fix, of course 🙂
With a few ingredients and some basic equipment, you can whip up this refreshing summer drink in a jiffy.
What is a Vietnamese Iced Coffee?
Vietnamese iced coffee is a traditional beverage from Vietnam that is made with strong coffee, sweetened condensed milk, and coconut milk. It is also known as ca phe sua da and iced coconut coffee. The coffee is traditionally brewed using a Vietnamese phin filter with Robusta beans.
Why Robusta? Isn’t Arabica better? This is because over 95% of Vietnam’s coffee production is Robusta, so that is the coffee type you should use if you want to make this recipe as authentic as possible.
In the 1850s, a French Catholic priest introduced coffee to Vietnam (now one of the world’s largest producers). Due to the shortage of fresh milk, they used condensed milk with the coffee. There are different variations of ca phe sua da, but infusing its two main ingredients with coconut milk is the most popular way of making this drink today.
As for me, I discovered Vietnamese iced coffee through a friend who visited Vietnam. He made me one and after tasting its unique flavor, I knew I also had to learn how to make it at home. Now, I’m sharing with you this easy recipe for Vietnamese iced coffee using a French press so you can give it a shot yourself.
Equipment & Ingredients Used for Iced Vietnamese Coffee
Here are the things that you will need for this Vietnamese iced coffee recipe:
- Vietnamese phin filter, Aeropress, moka pot, etc: Choose a brewing method to make strong coffee, the base of the drink.
- Coffee mug or glass: Used to hold the final drink.
- About 16 g of ground Robusta coffee: I recommend dark roast coffee to balance the milk and the ice that will dilute the drink. Café du Monde is a popular brand for this recipe, or you can use Vietnamese coffee for a more authentic experience. The exact amount and grind size will depend on which brew method you choose.
- 3 teaspoons of sweetened condensed milk: It sweetens the coffee and provides a creamy texture.
- 75 ml of unsweetened coconut milk: Enhances flavor by adding a subtle coconut taste and complements the creaminess from the condensed milk.
- 150 ml of boiling water: Used to brew the coffee for the drink.
- Ice cubes: Turns your Vietnamese coffee into a chilled drink.
Step-by-Step Guide to Making Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Vietnamese iced coffee is a cool drink you’d want to sip on during hot days, and you don’t have to break a sweat making this easy recipe. Here’s how you can make a ca phe sua da at home:
1. Put the condensed milk and coconut milk into your cup.
- Add 3 teaspoons of condensed milk into a clear glass cup.
- Pour 75 ml of unsweetened canned coconut milk into the same cup as the condensed milk.
If you want to step it up a notch, you can also add real coconut meat to the mixture, and blend it together.
2. Add ice cubes.
- Add ice cubes to the glass.
- You can also blend the ice cubes together with the mixture for a few short pulses, which will create a slushy-like consistency.
3. Brew your coffee.
- Grind your coffee beans and make 120 ml strong coffee using your favorite brewing method.
- The traditional Vietnamese phin filter is the authentic choice, but any strong, lungo style coffee will do.
4. Pour the coffee over the iced mixture.
- Take your prepared glass with the condensed milk and coconut milk.
- Gently pour the brewed coffee from the French press into the glass, and watch it drizzle down through the ice.
- Let it sit for a few minutes.
What kind of cup should you serve Vietnamese Iced Coffee in?
A tall glass that can hold both the ice cubes and the coffee is the recommended cup to serve Vietnamese Iced Coffee.
Barista Tips for Making Vietnamese Iced Coffee
It’s a pretty simple recipe, but I have a few more tips to make your Vietnamese Iced Coffee even more delicious:
- Grind the coffee beans yourself if possible for the maximum freshness of your drink.
- You can experiment with the ratio of coffee and condensed milk to achieve your personal preference for strength and sweetness.
- You can also make your coffee using the drip method, pour over, and other ways to have a pure brew.
- Espresso can work too but I prefer pure black coffee without the crema on my Vietnamese iced coffee.
- If it’s available to you, you can try using the Vietnamese phin coffee filter so you can make your drink the way they traditionally do it.
- Once you’ve mastered this recipe, you might also want to try my other creamy and sweet coffee recipes such as the caramel macchiato, espresso con panna, and iced cappuccino.
I hope you enjoyed this easy Vietnamese iced coffee recipe and learned something new about this unique drink. It’s one of my favorite ways to cool down and perk up at the same time.
Remember to add some real coconut meat and blend it together if you want to go all-in on this recipe.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try other variations of Vietnamese iced coffee, such as adding egg yolk, pandan paste, or avocado. So go ahead, skip the typical iced coffee today and make yourself a delicious glass of ca phe sua da. Let me know in the comments how the recipe worked for you.