Easy Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe (Cà Phê Sữa Đá)

Spread The Love!

Vietnamese iced coffee, known as Cà Phê Sữa Đá, is a beloved drink that perfectly blends strong coffee and sweetened condensed milk, served over ice.

Its rich, bold flavor and creamy sweetness have made it a favorite worldwide.

This drink has a special place in Vietnamese culture, enjoyed daily by many.

It’s not just a beverage; it’s a tradition.

Let’s explore this iconic coffee, its history, and how you can easily make it at home.

How To Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee: At A Glance

  • Step 1: Prepare the Filter
  • Step 2: Bloom the Coffee
  • Step 3: Brew the Coffee
  • Step 4: Combine Coffee and Condensed Milk
  • Step 5: Add Ice and Serve

Basic Ingredients

Vietnamese Ground Coffee

To make authentic Vietnamese iced coffee, start with 2-3 tablespoons of Vietnamese ground coffee.

Brands like Trung Nguyen and Café Du Monde are popular choices.

These coffees are known for their strong, bold flavors, which are perfect for this recipe.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Add 1-2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk.

This ingredient is essential for achieving the sweet, creamy taste that defines Vietnamese iced coffee.

Common brands include Longevity and Eagle Brand.

Ice Cubes

You’ll need about 1 cup of ice cubes or crushed ice.

The ice is key to transforming this rich, strong coffee into a refreshing iced beverage.

Hot Water

Use 1/3 to 1/2 cup of hot water.

This will be used to brew the coffee.

Make sure the water is hot, but not boiling, to extract the best flavor from the grounds.

Optional Additions

Coconut Milk

For a unique twist, you can add coconut milk.

This adds a tropical flavor and extra creaminess to your coffee.

Simply substitute a portion of the sweetened condensed milk with coconut milk.


If you’re short on time or prefer a slightly different flavor, use espresso as an alternative brewing method.

Brew a shot of espresso and mix it with the sweetened condensed milk and ice for a quicker version of Vietnamese iced coffee.

Equipment Needed

Vietnamese Phin Filter

To brew traditional Vietnamese iced coffee, you’ll need a Vietnamese phin filter.

This small metal drip filter is designed specifically for Vietnamese coffee.

It’s simple to use and produces a strong, flavorful brew.

If you don’t have a phin filter, you can use a French press or a drip coffee maker as alternatives.

While they won’t give you the exact same flavor, they can still make a delicious cup of coffee.

Tall Glass

You’ll need a tall glass for serving your coffee.

The glass should be large enough to hold the brewed coffee, sweetened condensed milk, and ice.

A clear glass is ideal because it lets you see the beautiful layers of coffee and milk before stirring.


A spoon is essential for stirring the coffee and sweetened condensed milk together.

Make sure to mix well to combine the strong coffee with the creamy, sweet milk evenly.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Filter

First, add 2-3 tablespoons of ground coffee to the phin filter.

Ensure the coffee is evenly distributed.

Next, press the coffee grounds with the filter screen to compact them slightly.

This helps in even extraction during brewing.

Step 2: Bloom the Coffee

Pour a small amount of hot water over the coffee grounds, just enough to saturate them.

Allow the coffee to bloom for about 30 seconds.

This step releases carbon dioxide and enhances the flavor of the coffee.

Step 3: Brew the Coffee

Fill the phin filter with hot water, covering the grounds completely.

Place the lid on the filter.

Let the coffee drip slowly into the glass.

This process takes about 5 minutes.

Be patient, as the slow drip is crucial for a rich, flavorful brew.

Step 4: Combine Coffee and Condensed Milk

While the coffee is brewing, add 1-2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk to a tall glass.

Once the coffee has finished dripping, pour it into the glass with the condensed milk.

Stir well to combine the coffee and milk, ensuring the sweetened condensed milk is fully dissolved.

Step 5: Add Ice and Serve

Fill the glass with ice cubes.

Stir the mixture again to ensure it’s well blended.

Serve immediately to enjoy a refreshing and flavorful Vietnamese iced coffee!

Nutritional Information

When enjoying a serving of Vietnamese iced coffee, it’s helpful to know the nutritional content.

Here are the approximate values per serving:

  • Calories: 100-129
  • Fat: 1-3g
  • Carbs: 22g
  • Protein: 3g

Tips and Tricks

Adjusting Sweetness

If you find the traditional Vietnamese iced coffee too sweet, there’s an easy fix.

Mix sweetened condensed milk with half and half.

This will cut down the sweetness while maintaining the creamy texture that makes this coffee unique.

Adjust the ratio to your preference for a perfectly balanced drink.

Choosing the Right Coffee

For an authentic Vietnamese iced coffee experience, use Robusta beans.

These beans are known for their strong flavor and high caffeine content.

Avoid using fine grind coffee as it can clog the filter, leading to an uneven brew.

Instead, opt for a medium to coarse grind for the best results.

Alternative Methods

If you’re in a hurry, an espresso machine can be a great alternative to the traditional phin filter.

It offers a quicker brew while still providing a rich, intense flavor.

Additionally, experimenting with different brewing methods like a French press or drip coffee maker can offer new flavor profiles and convenience.

Each method brings its own unique twist to this classic drink.


Vietnamese Iced Coconut Coffee

For a tropical twist on the traditional Vietnamese iced coffee, try adding coconut milk.

The coconut milk complements the strong, bold coffee flavor and adds a refreshing, creamy element to the drink.

Simply replace the sweetened condensed milk with coconut milk or add it alongside for a richer taste.

This variation is perfect for those hot summer days when you need a little bit of extra refreshment.

Vietnamese Egg Coffee

If you’re looking for a creamy, luxurious version of Vietnamese coffee, incorporate whipped egg yolks.

Vietnamese egg coffee, known as Cà Phê Trứng, combines the richness of coffee with the creamy texture of egg yolks.

To make this, whip egg yolks with sweetened condensed milk until frothy and then pour it over your brewed coffee.

This variation is not only unique but also adds a delightful texture to your coffee experience.

Hot Vietnamese Coffee (Cà Phê Sữa Nóng)

For a warm and comforting drink, simply omit the ice from your Vietnamese iced coffee recipe.

This hot version, known as Cà Phê Sữa Nóng, retains the rich and sweet flavors but provides a cozy alternative for cooler days.

Brew your coffee as usual, mix it with sweetened condensed milk, and enjoy it hot.

It’s a perfect way to start your morning or to warm up during chilly evenings.

Related Recipes

Exploring related recipes can expand your appreciation for the flavors and versatility of Vietnamese coffee.

Here are some delightful options to try:

Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles

These popsicles are a refreshing twist on the classic Vietnamese iced coffee, perfect for hot summer days.

They combine the strong coffee flavor with the creamy sweetness of condensed milk, frozen into a treat that cools and caffeinates at the same time.

Vietnamese Coffee French Toast

Take your breakfast game to the next level with Vietnamese Coffee French Toast.

This recipe infuses the rich flavors of Vietnamese coffee into the batter, resulting in a unique and delicious twist on traditional French toast.

It’s an excellent way to start your day with a touch of coffee flavor.

Cold Brew Coffee

For those who love the smooth, less acidic taste of cold brew, this recipe provides a perfect alternative.

Cold brew coffee can be made with Vietnamese coffee grounds to maintain that robust flavor, offering a refreshing and convenient option for coffee lovers.


Making Vietnamese iced coffee at home is both simple and incredibly rewarding.

Its rich, sweet flavor is sure to delight coffee lovers.

Try out the different variations and see which one becomes your favorite.

Don’t forget to share your experiences and any new twists you discover along the way!

Enjoy your delicious homemade Vietnamese iced coffee!

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Vietnamese iced coffee unique?

Vietnamese iced coffee stands out for its bold flavor and sweetness.

Made with robusta beans and sweetened condensed milk, it has a rich, intense taste.

The use of the phin filter gives it a thick, concentrated coffee that’s distinct from other brewing methods.

Can I use regular milk instead of sweetened condensed milk?

While you can use regular milk, it won’t provide the same richness and sweetness.

Sweetened condensed milk is essential for the traditional flavor.

For a less sweet option, you can mix sweetened condensed milk with half and half.

How can I make a vegan version?

To make a vegan version, replace the sweetened condensed milk with a plant-based alternative, like Nature’s Charm coconut condensed milk.

This keeps the creamy texture and sweetness without using dairy.

How to make Vietnamese coffee without a filter?

If you don’t have a phin filter, you can use a French press or drip coffee maker.

Brew the coffee as you normally would, then mix it with sweetened condensed milk and pour it over ice.

This alternative method still captures the essence of Vietnamese iced coffee.

Spread The Love!
Photo of author

Jacob Harris

Jacob is a coffee enthusiast who turned his passion into a career. As the owner and editor of Karma Coffee Cafe, he shares his extensive knowledge and recommendations, captivating fellow coffee lovers.

Leave a Comment