5 Minute Recipes/ Drinks/ Recipes

How to make Vietnamese Iced Coffee (cà phê sữa đá)

22/07/2016 (Last Updated: 10/07/2019)

The best coffee in the world tastes like chocolate. Wait, what? Learn how to make Vietnamese Iced Coffee and enjoy this deliciously chocolatey, smooth and super addictive pick-me-up at home. It’s quick and easy to make and may just be the start of a whole new addiction. Oops?

How To Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee - Learn to make this velvety, chocolate-esque drink and get your caffeine fix for the day! | wandercooks.com

(In a rush? Click here to jump straight to the recipe!)

So yesterday was my birthday (yaaaay!) and of course, birthdays always demand a few cringeworthy photos don’t they?

I have to admit, I’m still immature enough to look forward to a day of getting spoilt. And there was so much spoiling going on. Not just for breakfast, but lunch and dinner too, plus a healthy dose of shopping, and some rare sunshine in the middle of winter.

As with any good birthday there were also a few glasses of bubbles last night (too many? neverrrr). So Sarah’s final birthday surprise was teaching me how to make Vietnamese Iced Coffee this morning.

Let me tell you, it was just what the doctor ordered.  ????

All through our South East Asian adventures in  Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, we were addicted to our daily dose of icy drinks like teh tarik (iced tea).

Brewed with tea leaves and mixed with sweetened condensed milk, teh tarik usually came in a little plastic bag cinched up with a rubber band, a handy straw poked through the side.

Ingenious. A cool drink AND super portable.

But…

How To Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee - Learn to make this velvety, chocolate-esque drink and get your caffeine fix for the day! | wandercooks.com

 

Quick note: There may be a couple of affiliate links in this post, which means that we may get a few cents if you purchase something through the link. We want to make sure some of our hard-to-find ingredients are reachable at the click of a button. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.

Then we headed into Vietnam, and BAM!

We’d suddenly crossed the border into the holy land of thick, luscious and super strong coffee, brewed in perfect Vietnamese style.

One sip of Vietnamese Iced Coffee and we were like: ‘Iced tea what now?’ ????

How To Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee - Learn to make this velvety, chocolate-esque drink and get your caffeine fix for the day! | wandercooks.com

So what makes Vietnamese Iced Coffee so good? What gives it that magic chocolatey flavour and thick, velvet-like texture?

Well it has a little something to do with butter… and FISH SAUCE.

Yep.

Not even joking. It’s an actual thing and it’s amazing.

In a feat of alchemical glory, Vietnamese Robusta coffee beans are roasted in a mix of fish sauce and butter to bring out that incredible flavour.

Even better, the end result tastes nothing like fish sauce at all.

Phew. 😛

How To Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee - Learn to make this velvety, chocolate-esque drink and get your caffeine fix for the day! | wandercooks.com

So you want to learn how to make Vietnamese Iced Coffee, do you?

Learn how to make Vietnamese Iced Coffee at home and it’ll always be within reach, whenever you need it. All you need is a bag of Trung Nguyen Gourmet Blend coffee, some condensed milk and ice cubes and you’re set.

We scored a packet of Trung Nguyen coffee at our local Asian grocery store, so if you have one near you check them out first. Otherwise you could look at buying some online.

Quick Note: You CAN skip the ice cubes and drink it warm, but we think the flavour and strength of the coffee is much better when iced.

But hey, if you love your coffee pulse-racingly intense then who are we to judge?

Feel free to play around with the amount of condensed milk to find your favourite ratios… or omit the ice for a hot version… or drink it down black…

Oh the options.

How To Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee - Learn to make this velvety, chocolate-esque drink and get your caffeine fix for the day! | wandercooks.com

How about that technique then?

To master the authentic technique, you’ll need to invest in a Vietnamese ‘phin’ coffee filter. (If you’re not yet equipped you can brew the coffee using a moka pot or plunger, but it might not have that same strength of flavour). For the best results we recommend the following method:

  • Pop a few tablespoons of condensed milk in the bottom of a tall glass.
  • Add in a few tablespoons of Vietnamese coffee grounds to your Vietnamese coffee filter, then pop it on top of the glass.
  • Pour in a little boiling water until the coffee grounds are covered, then cover with the gravity insert and press down lightly to even the grounds.
  • Pour in more boiling water until it just reaches the top of the gravity insert, then allow the coffee to steep. Pop on the lid and watch as thick black coffee starts to drip down onto the condensed milk.
  • Once it’s finished, simply pop in your ice, mix everything together, and enjoy that coffee buzz.

Huzzah! Vietnamese Iced Coffee is ready to be your new best friend.

How To Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee - Learn to make this velvety, chocolate-esque drink and get your caffeine fix for the day! | wandercooks.com

If you think Vietnamese coffee is good, there’s so much more deliciousness to discover in Vietnamese cuisine. We love it so much we even created a free ecookbook about it. Oh and don’t forget to check out our Ridiculously Easy Malaysian Teh Tarik too.

How To Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee - Learn to make this velvety, chocolate-esque drink and get your caffeine fix for the day! | wandercooks.com

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

The best coffee in the world tastes like chocolate. Wait, what? Learn how to make Vietnamese Iced Coffee and enjoy this deliciously chocolatey, smooth and super addictive pick-me-up at home. It's quick and easy to make and may just be the start of a whole new addiction. Oops?
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Author: Wandercooks

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Vietnamese coffee grounds we used Trung Nguyen
  • 2 tbsp condensed milk
  • Handful ice cubes

Instructions

  • Pop a few tablespoons of condensed milk in the bottom of a tall glass.
  • Add in a few tablespoons of Vietnamese coffee grounds to your Vietnamese coffee filter, then pop it on top of the glass.
  • Pour in a little boiling water until the coffee grounds are covered, then cover with the gravity insert and press down lightly.
  • Pour in more boiling water until it just reaches the top of the gravity insert, then allow the coffee to steep. That thick black coffee will start to drip down onto the condensed milk.
  • Once it's finished, simply pop in your ice, mix everything together, and enjoy that coffee buzz.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
How To Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee - Learn to make this velvety, chocolate-esque drink and get your caffeine fix for the day! | wandercooks.com

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Thảo Ly
    19/10/2016 at 9:29 pm

    Well, we do put fish sauce in everything but I didn’t know it was in the iced coffee. Instead, I always add a dash of salt in my coffee 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      20/10/2016 at 2:49 pm

      Oh yeah, we’ve heard of that but haven’t tried it yet! We’ve also heard that adding cinnamon helps to bring out that epic coffee deliciousness. We’ll be trying both ASAP. 😀 Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Renz
    30/09/2016 at 3:47 am

    I’m glad I clicked through. I keep seeing this type of coffee in my feed this week. Would have NEVER thought fish sauce was in there. I cringed when I saw it because the smell of it is so pungent. But I am intrigued and definitely want to try it.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      30/09/2016 at 4:06 pm

      We’re glad you clicked too! Fish Sauce is an interesting ingredient. It’s so horrible to smell alone, yet used in cooking it can add a saltyness and depth that you usually can’t achieve otherwise. We definitely recommend using it! As for the coffee, the beans are roasted with it, which reacts to give a smooth and almost chocolate-like coffee flavour when brewed. No fish smell or taste in sight – we promise! 😀

  • Reply
    Anne Murphy
    27/07/2016 at 4:59 am

    That’s fascinating about the coffee roasting! I always assumed the basic coffee was like any other, and so didn’t know why this was different from any other coffee with condensed milk (which you see in several hot climates…)

    Now I know. Cool! Thank you.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/08/2016 at 9:13 am

      There’s so much deliciousness out there but this one is so different. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • Reply
        Nghia Vo
        16/08/2016 at 11:02 am

        I hope that people will known about Vietname’s Coffee much more after this post. It’s so difference , like you said . I have my own small coffee bar in a small town. Of course, I have one Milk Coffee Glass every morning to wake me up.
        Thank you for your support Our Country Coffee.

        • Reply
          Wandercooks
          22/08/2016 at 3:42 pm

          Hi Nghia – we love Vietnam and especially Vietnamese coffee. Such a delicious way to start our day! We’d love to visit your coffee bar next time we go to Vietnam. 🙂

  • Reply
    Neli @ Delicious Meets Healthy
    27/07/2016 at 2:49 am

    This sounds amazing! Fish sauce and butter infused coffee beans!? I would have never thought of that. Love all the detailed and step by step instructions you provided. Wish I could try it soon.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/08/2016 at 9:10 am

      We were so surprised too, who would have thought that this strange combo would work so well to make coffee taste so amazing?? Then they made it even better with a good dollop of condensed milk. So delish!

  • Reply
    J@BlessHerHeartYall
    26/07/2016 at 11:27 pm

    Oh yum! this looks so refreshing! Thanks for sharing the technique to the perfect cup! yum!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/08/2016 at 9:00 am

      Definitely a good drink to cool off with on a hot day. Good luck and have fun!

  • Reply
    Igor @ Cooking The Globe
    26/07/2016 at 7:19 am

    I am a fan of iced coffee, I always order it in various cafes. I have never heard about this Vietnamese version, though. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      26/07/2016 at 8:37 am

      You’re welcome Igor, thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    25/07/2016 at 7:53 pm

    I think I need like 5 glasses of this!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      26/07/2016 at 8:37 am

      Amen to that!

  • Reply
    Alboni
    24/07/2016 at 12:21 pm

    Nice coffee to say good morning !!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      26/07/2016 at 8:37 am

      Absolutely!

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