Layman’s Vietnamese-Style Iced Coffee

A clear glass with Layman’s Vietnamese-Style Iced Coffee

“Just to be clear: I never don’t want iced coffee. There has never been a bad time for iced coffee. I will never be displeased by receiving iced coffee. At no point in my life will I ever say, ‘No, thank you, I don’t want iced coffee.’”

Can you relate? If so, you’ll love Vietnamese iced coffee! Vietnamese iced coffee, or cà phê sua dá, is made with sweetened condensed milk and a thick, strong, dark-roasted drip coffee. (For a comparison, American drip coffee typically uses 1 TBSP of coffee grounds for a single 6-8 oz serving. Vietnamese coffee uses 3.)

Vietnamese coffee also traditionally uses a small steel Phin filter that fits right over the mug. If you’re a coffee connoisseur, I would highly recommend that you take a trip to your local Vietnamese market to see if you can get your hands on one. (And if you want the experience of making a truly traditional Vietnamese coffee, this site has a fantastic step-by-step recipe.) If you’re looking for a way to try this treat with what you already have at home, my recipe works great with just a regular coffee maker.

If you’re wondering how much sweetened condensed milk to put in, it’s all going to depend on how much of a sweet tooth you have. 1 TBSP is pretty standard, and 2 makes it distinctly sweet. I accidentally added in more than that for a cup I was letting my husband try, and his response… well, he was visibly pondering what chain of events must have transpired in order for me to start drinking liquid candy. 🙃

This recipe works just as well served hot—just skip the ice and leave it in the original mug. Right now, it’s the middle of winter, so getting cozy with a warm mug of coffee sounds pretty perfect. If you’re looking for a sweet pick-me-up, whether iced or hot, give this a try!

Layman’s Vietnamese-Style Iced Coffee

3 TBSP ground Vietnamese or French roast coffee

8 oz water

1-2 TBSP sweetened condensed milk


Brew the coffee with the water using your favorite drip method. Place 2 TBSP of the water in the filter with the coffee 5 minutes before starting the actual brewing process. This will help the coffee to “bloom,” expanding with the release of CO2. It will actually help give you a more flavorful coffee!

Pour your desired amount of sweetened condensed milk into a heatproof mug, then pour the brewed coffee over it. Stir until combined, then pour in a glass over ice.

Makes 1 serving.


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