How to Make Vietnamese Coffee

A step by step guide that is easy to follow!



Coffee was first introduced to Vietnam by the French in 1857 because the environment proved to be the perfect place to grow Robusta coffee. Soon the country was a major exporter of the product, and they also developed their own way of making the drink.

This stemmed from the lack of fresh milk because dairy farming wasn’t very common in the region, so alternatives were used- in particular sweetened condensed milk that was blended with a dark roast coffee to produce a drink they call “cap he nau” (meaning brown coffee) or “ca phe sua” (meaning milk coffee). Further variations that are commonly seen include yoghurt, eggs, fruit, and sometimes even rice.

The Vietnamese use special filters to make their coffee, and often pour the finished product over ice to form a refreshing drink.


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How to Make Vietnamese Coffee

Author: sarahjones

Time: 15 minutes Calories: 125 Servings: 1

Making Vietnamese Coffee

If you want to make Vietnamese coffee properly you will need to have the right equipment and ingredients. First you will need to get yourself a stainless steel filter, something that is easy to find for a reasonable price online or from a Vietnamese store.

To make the coffee in the traditional way, you will need a dark roasted coffee, but if you prefer the taste you can use a medium roast instead.

You will also need some condensed milk, a spoon and a glass, and some ice if you want to make the cold version. Some recipes also call for the use of a small amount of fish sauce. The stainless steel filter separates into two parts, with the coffee going in the center, and then it brews straight into your mug or glass.


Ground Vietnamese coffee beans of your choice

Condensed milk

Ice (optional)


Step 1: Condensed Milk

The first thing you will do is to pour a small amount of the condensed milk into the glass. You don’t need to use too much, because it is very sweet, so adding enough to cover the bottom will be plenty to start with. You can add more later on to account for your desired taste.

Step 2: Your Coffee Grounds

Unscrew your coffee filter and add your ground coffee. Traditional Vietnamese coffee is normally made with coarsely ground granules, but you can use whatever you prefer. After adding a tablespoon, you then screw the filter back together until it has a firm fit. At this stage you can add extra elements for flavor, like chicory for example.

Step 3: Filter It

Place the filter over the top of your glass or mug.

Step 4: Add Water

Now it’s time to add water to the filter. The best way to do this is by letting it boil as normal, but leave it for a minute or so to cool down a bit before using it. Once you fill up the filter it should take about 5 minutes to completely drip through. If it seems like it is passing too quickly or slowly you may need to adjust how tight the filter has been screwed. (You want this stage to take that long to ensure the water is pulling all of the flavor from the coffee).

Step 5: Give It A Stir

The coffee will settle on top of the condensed milk, so you will now need to use your spoon to mix it together.

Step 6: Ice It

If you are making iced coffee, this is when you should add the ice cubes and stir it all together.


You Made it

Your coffee is now ready to drink, enjoy!

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By following these steps you will create a tasty Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk. If you want to use further ingredients like fruits or rice, then simply prepare them and add them at Step 6 after the coffee has fully brewed and just prior to drinking it.


Final Thoughts

Vietnamese coffee is a traditional drink that uses the coffee bean in a very different way to other places in the world. By using condensed milk, ice, and fruit, it becomes a sweet treat. Learning how to make Vietnamese coffee is really easy. It simply needs you to have the right filter and some condensed milk, and then you can follow a series of simple steps to make it in no time.

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