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Vietnamese iced coffee: A refreshing drink to get your day started

16/01/2024 5.331

Vietnamese iced coffee, often called "ca phe sua da," is a delightful and invigorating beverage. It is a rich and intense coffee served over ice with a generous pour of sweet condensed milk, creating a harmonious blend of strong flavors with a touch of sweetness.

Vietnamese iced coffee

Vietnamese iced coffee is a signature among Vietnamese drinks. This beloved beverage is made by pouring strong brewed coffee over ice and sweetening it with condensed milk, resulting in a delightful blend of bold flavors and cool refreshment. It is a popular choice for locals and visitors, especially in Vietnam's warm climate.

1. What is Vietnamese iced coffee?

Vietnamese “ca phe sua da” is a beloved drink. Traditionally, this drink must be brewed from freshly ground coffee beans, either medium or coarse, with Robusta being the typical choice. The Robusta is also known as the best coffee for Vietnamese iced coffee, brewed with a drip phin filter. The coffee is then poured over ice and mixed with sweet condensed milk, offering a delightful contrast of strong coffee and creamy sweetness. 

This tradition of making iced coffee dates back to the 19th century, when the French introduced coffee to Vietnam. The distinct charm lies in the slow drip and leisurely enjoyment. Recently ranked 2nd in the world by Taste Atlas, Vietnamese coffee's unique blend of Robusta beans and sweet condensed milk has captivated coffee enthusiasts globally. Whether sipped on Vietnam's bustling streets or savored worldwide, it is a cultural icon and a testament to Vietnam's rich coffee heritage.

Vietnamese iced coffee

2. Best Vietnamese iced coffee recipe for a sip of heaven in a cup

You can unlock the unique taste of Vietnamese iced coffee by using only three key ingredients: coffee, condensed milk, and ice. Delve into the best recipe for this beverage and discover some helpful tips below for mastering the art of crafting this iconic beverage!

2.1. Ingredients & equipment

For the perfect Vietnamese iced coffee, start with Vietnamese coffee beans, preferably Robusta for its rich flavor. A traditional phin filter, a gravity insert that holds the coffee grounds, is essential. The aromatic brew pairs harmoniously with sweetened condensed milk, a crucial component that adds creaminess and sweetness to Vietnamese iced coffee. To chill the beverage, ice cubes are indispensable. Mastering the balance between these ingredients and investing in a quality phin filter ensure a refreshing cup that captures the essence of this beloved drink. 

2.2. Instructions

To prepare an authentic cup of Vietnamese iced coffee, follow these steps:

  • Rinse the coffee-making tools: phin (drip filter), glass, and saucer. Heating the tools evenly will enhance the coffee's flavor.
  • Pour condensed milk into the brewing glass. Typically, use 2-3 spoons for each phin. Adjust according to taste. (You can also add milk after brewing.)
  • Add coffee grounds to the phin. Gently shake to level the coffee surface. Place the phin over the glass and press lightly to compress the coffee. 
  • Let the water cool to 93-95°C, then slowly pour over the coffee surface. Set the phin on its lid, adding a bit of boiling water to the lid to aid absorption. This ensures even soaking, improving the flavor.
  • After 1-2 minutes, fill the drip phin almost to the top and close the lid.
  • Wait for 3-5 minutes until the coffee drips through. Stir the coffee and condensed milk thoroughly. Pour over ice and enjoy your meticulously brewed Vietnamese iced coffee. 

These steps guarantee a rich and aromatic experience using the distinctive Vietnamese drip coffee method.

Vietnamese iced coffee

2.3. Extra tips for a perfect cup of Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk

For a perfect cup of Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk, the key is to complete the coffee drip in approximately 5-7 minutes from the moment the water starts pouring. If it flows too quickly, the coffee may turn sour (under-extracted), and if too slow, it might become bitter (over-extracted). Aim for an average drip rate of around one drop each second. However, for pure coffee or moderately fine grounds, the drip rate can be slightly faster. To prevent sediment in the coffee, place the phin lid under it while steeping. After steeping, transfer both the coffee and sediment into the phin. Before adding the coffee to the iced glass, pour out the melted ice water to intensify the flavor of your Vietnamese iced coffee cold brew.

3. Fascinating things to know about Vietnamese iced coffee

3.1. How many calories in Vietnamese ice coffee?

Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk is normally favored over black iced coffee. The counts of calories in Vietnamese iced coffee vary, which are approximately 95 calories in a cup made with condensed milk, 135 calories for fresh milk, 125 calories for a latte, and 105 calories for a bac xiu. In contrast, a classic black coffee contains only about 10 calories. Beyond the flavor, the caffeine in Vietnamese iced coffee depends on the type of milk. For caffeine enthusiasts, a cup typically packs around 95mg. You can also choose to enjoy this Vietnamese classic in your own way regarding the taste and caffeine intake.

Vietnamese iced coffee

3.2. How to make Vietnamese iced coffee with instant coffee?

For a quick fix of this iconic drink using instant coffee, start with 1 tablespoon of instant coffee and dissolve it in 100 ml of hot water. Then, add a tablespoon of condensed milk, stir thoroughly, and cool the mixture with ice cubes in a 300-milliliter glass. This efficient method eliminates the need for filters and intricate brewing processes. Vietnam's rich coffee market boasts popular instant coffee brands like G7 from Trung Nguyen Legend, Nescafe, Starbucks, Vinacafe, An Thai Cafe, Highlands, and King Coffee, offering quality close to pure coffee at an affordable price.

3.3. Which tastes better, Thai iced coffee or Vietnamese iced coffee?

When comparing Thai iced coffee vs Vietnamese iced coffee, the choice depends on your palate preferences. Vietnamese coffee offers a sweeter and smoother taste due to sweetened condensed milk. In contrast, Thai coffee, enriched with spices like cardamom, presents a bolder flavor intensified by cream and brown sugar. The brewing methods differ, with Thai coffee using ground beans infused with spices and Vietnamese coffee relying on a slow drip filter. Both nations use Robusta beans, but Vietnamese iced coffee tends to be sweeter due to the condensed milk.

Vietnamese iced coffee

3.4. Where to try a cup of Vietnamese iced coffee?

Many coffee shops in Vietnam serve ubiquitous iced coffee, from roadside stalls to upscale restaurants. The price of a cup of iced coffee varies across Vietnam, from local street shops offering the basics at an affordable 10,000 VND to backpacker cafes ranging between 15,000 VND and VND 20,000 VND. In more upscale establishments, big brand restaurants, resorts, and tourist traps, the cost can reach around 40,000 VND for a glass of this beloved beverage.

Apart from enjoying iced coffee in Vietnam, you can delve into other famous Vietnamese drinks such as egg coffee, coconut coffee, yogurt coffee, salted coffee, etc.

Vietnam travel offers a diverse and budget-friendly culinary scene, spanning across Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long. For a delightful stay blending comfort, top-notch service, and Vietnamese cuisine, Vinpearl stands out as a premium option across these destinations.

Vinpearl is well-known for offering a diverse range of high-quality facilities, featuring fine-dining establishments tailored to the preferences of sophisticated travelers. Additionally, Vinpearl's accommodations, with breathtaking views, provide exceptional comfort, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable vacation experience.

Vietnamese iced coffee


Vietnamese iced coffee

Moreover, make sure to discover the entertainment havens of VinWonders, where a myriad of thrilling games, captivating shows, and interactive activities awaits.

>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Phu Quoc, Vinpearl Nha Trang, Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An, Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long to enjoy everything that Vietnam has in store for you!

Whether you delight in the genuine allure of Vietnamese iced coffee from street vendors or venture into variations like Starbucks' take on this iconic beverage, the enchantment of this beloved beverage knows no bounds. With its distinctive blend of robust coffee and condensed milk over ice, the Vietnamese version of iced coffee has captivated coffee aficionados globally. Today, with accessible recipes, you can recreate the delightful experience of iced coffee at home, infusing your kitchen with the essence of Vietnam.

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