There is nothing like a quick pick-me-up of caffeine to get your day going. Unfortunately, hot coffee can be less than ideal if you live in a hot climate.
Vietnamese iced coffee is worth trying if you don’t enjoy hot coffee in the warm seasons. It is easy to make at home while being delicious and giving you all the caffeine you want without breaking a sweat.
What Is Different About Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Many coffee lovers love Vietnamese coffee. You shouldn’t miss its iced version – Cafe Sua Da. It is a refreshing coffee drink and one of the best cold drinks in summer. It is brewed strongly with highly caffeinated robusta coffee beans. The strength of the coffee is balanced by sweetened condensed milk.
The sweetened condensed milk balances the bitterness of the robusta coffee. This combination highlights the nutty and chocolatey flavors of the robusta coffee beans.
In addition to the unique ingredients, Vietnamese iced coffee is brewed using a specific method. Vietnamese coffee uses a phin or small personal coffee brewer. Phins have a lid, a brewing chamber, and a small drip filter and come in various sizes. Such a simple device is unique to Vietnam and is a must-have for making authentic Vietnamese iced coffee.
Phin drippers may seem simple, but they are an effective coffee brewing method. The compact nature of the drip filter allows you to control the brewing of the coffee and gives you a strong and flavorful cup of joe. It became so popular that you can even find this drink in many American coffee shops.
Things You Need for Making Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Before getting started, be sure you have the ingredients and equipment required for making Vietnamese iced coffee.
What is in a Vietnamese Iced Coffee?
If you want to make authentic Vietnamese iced coffee, you need to use Vietnamese coffee beans. Popular brands of Vietnamese coffee include Cafe du monde coffee, and Trung Nguyen gourmet blend.
If you cannot get Vietnamese coffee beans, you can use dark roast coffee. French roast or espresso roast ground finely will both work for making Vietnamese iced coffee.
To make an authentic Vietnamese iced coffee, you must use sweetened condensed milk. Go to an Asian grocery and purchase Longevity Brand Condensed Milk for maximum authenticity. This is a popular brand in Vietnam. Coconut condensed milk may also be used.
You can get it in a can or a squeeze bottle. I prefer the squeeze bottle because it is easier to clean up and use.
Condensed milk is a must for Vietnamese iced coffee because it balances out Vietnamese coffee beans’ strong and bold flavor. The robusta beans would take over the drink without the condensed milk with their bitter flavor. Additionally, the milk creates the perfect consistency for an iced coffee.
In addition to coffee and condensed milk, you will also need ice cubes to make Vietnamese iced coffee.
What Coffee Equipment Do You Need?
To make authentic Vietnamese iced coffee, you need to use a Vietnamese coffee filter or phin. Phins are small coffee filters with a lid, a brewing chamber, and a small drip filter.
Phins are usually made out of metal and are portable due to their size. Most phins can make at least four ounces of coffee. However, six to eight-ounce phins are more common.
This type of coffee filter is a highly effective brewing method. It creates a slow drip that you can control and results in a bold cup of coffee.
The French first introduced phins in the 19th century. Since then, you can find them throughout Vietnam. Phins are cheap and easy to make. This makes them quite popular.
The final piece of equipment you will need is a tall heat-proof class. The glass should be large enough for several tablespoons of condensed milk, ice, and coffee. In a Vietnamese coffee shop, the coffee is usually served in glass.
How Do You Make A Vietnamese Iced Coffee?
Now that you know the necessary ingredients and equipment, you are ready to learn how to make Vietnamese iced coffee. Brewing Vietnamese iced coffee is a slow and methodical process. It may take longer than pour-over coffee, but the wait is worth it.
For one serving of Vietnamese iced coffee, you will use around three tablespoons of ground Vietnamese coffee. Depending on how sweet you want your iced coffee, you will need one to three tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk. Finally, you will need six to eight ounces of almost boiling water and plenty of ice cubes.
Step 1: Add Sweetened Condensed Milk to the Glass Cup
Your first step is to add the sweetened condensed milk to your tall glass cup. The Phin will brew the coffee directly over the mug, so you need to complete this step before brewing the coffee.
*If you want to drink the coffee black, you can skip this step.
Step 2: Place the Phin on Top of the Cup
Once the milk and ice are in the glass, place the phin on top of the cup. Remove the coffee filter from the phin.
Step 3: Add Coffee Grounds
Add the ground coffee to the phin. With a 5oz phin, we use 2 tablespoons of grounds (Around 15 grams). Place filter on top of the coffee ground coffee.
Note: Some phins use a gravity filter, which simply sits on top. Some use a screwed filter press like the one we are using. Don’t screw too tight or the water can’t get through.
Step 4: Bloom the Coffee
Add just enough hot water into the coffee grounds and let it bloom (Right above the filter press). Blooming allows the ground coffee to expand and also releases CO2 for more even extraction.
Step 5. Pour the Remaining Hot Water Into the Phin
Slowly pour the remaining hot water over the ground coffee. Let the coffee brew until it stops dripping.
Step 6. Pour The Brewed Coffee Over the Ice
Stir to mix the sweet condensed milk with the coffee. It’s easier to mix them when the coffee is still hot. Then add ice cubes to the cup and stir the ice cubes, milk, and coffee together. You have the refreshing and flavorful iced coffee!
Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe
Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe
- 1 Vietnamese coffee filter (Phin) 5 oz for single-serve, many sizes are available.
- 1 tall glass
- 2 tbsp Vietnamese coffee grounds Trung Nguyen or Café du monde coffee
- 2 tbsp Sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup ice cubes
- Add 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk to a glass cup.
- Place the phin on top of the cup and remove the filter press.
- Add 2 tablespoons of ground coffee to the phin, and shake it to evenly distribute the grounds.
- Place the filter press in the brewer.
- Pour a small amount of hot water to bloom the coffee. Let it sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Fill the phin completely with the rest of the hot water, and then cover the lid.
- Let it drip for about 5 to 10 minutes, and wait until the dripping stops.
- Fill the glass with ice cubes. Pour the hot brewed Vietnamese coffee over ice.
- Stir and enjoy!
- It would be best to let the coffee drip for around five to ten minutes. If the drip rate is too slow, try to use a coarse grind size.
- For authentic Vietnamese iced coffee, the coffee should be ground medium-fine. This maximizes the amount of caffeine and flavor released during the brewing process.
- You should use around three tablespoons of coffee per seven ounces of hot water. You can adjust the ratio of coffee to water depending on how strong you want your coffee.
- You can also add the coffee to the crushed ice and shake it in a cocktail shaker to make a shaken iced coffee.
There you have it, you’ll love Vietnamese iced coffee. You now know how to make Vietnamese iced coffee. I promise you will not be disappointed by this delightful cool beverage. It is the perfect way to enjoy coffee on a hot day and interact with the rich culture of Vietnam. Enjoy!