The first time I traveled to Vietnam to meet my Grandparents, my Uncle made me this drink and I was hooked. I was so young but every morning I woke up, I wanted this sweet, refreshing and new drink I had never had before.
It was a Vietnamese Iced Coffee (also known as cà phê đá in Vietnamese) and it was so different than anything I had tried in the US. The difference between a traditional iced coffee and a Vietnamese version, is that it is made of a strong espresso type coffee mixed with condensed milk. Even if you don’t like coffee, you will probably like this drink and it is a perfect summer drink.
- glass or cup
- espresso ground or dark roast coffee
- condensed milk
- coffee dripper or coffee machine
There are a few ways to make this, you can brew your coffee as normal and mix in the condensed milk then pour it over ice or you can make it in a pour-over coffee way of brewing, which is more of a traditional way to make this drink.
I don’t have the metal French drip filter that my family had in Vietnam, only because it was so hard to find to buy that I chose to make this with something you could easily purchase.
A traditional cup looks like this …
You put as much condensed milk in the bottom of the glass that you want to make your coffee sweet. I generally do two spoon fulls. Then you would put the coffee grounds in this metal thing and pour water over it so it slow drips into the milk then mix it together and pour over ice.
But since it was so hard for me to find this metal version, I did this with an alternative I bought at Crate and Barrel and it worked just as well.
Im using this coffee dripper, eagle brand sweetened condensed milk from Whole Foods and Cafe Bustelo espresso ground coffee.
I start by heating a cup of water and putting in one scoop of cafe bustelo into the filter.
After I’ve got the coffee into the filter, I put two spoon fulls of condensed milk into a separate glass.
Then I put the coffee dripper over the glass that I just put the condensed milk in. I slowly pour a little bit of water at a time into the filter in the coffee dripper and it drips into the glass with the milk.
After the glass fills up, I mix the coffee and milk together and if you want it hot you can drink it this way or add in some ice for a summer drink that is sweet, refreshing and energizing. And it’s just that easy!
I hope you enjoy this yummy Vietnamese iced coffee that brings back so many great memories for me of my trip to Vietnam.
all photos by Marianna Hewitt