Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Easy - You got this
🛒 Buy Duncan’s Vietnamese iced coffee kit here!
Watch me make this recipe on my YouTube channel here!
Ca phe sua da (Vietnamese iced coffee) is arguably Vietnam’s most iconic beverage, and a refreshing alternative in Australia’s saturated coffee culture. There are many elements that come together to characterise the flavours of Vietnamese coffee such as the coffee’s origin and blend, the phin filter (coffee filter), the brewing technique, and the use of condensed milk. But the exclusive use of robusta coffee beans for Vietnamese coffee is what gives it the deep, bold, dark and woody tasting notes that we’ve come to expect.
In Australia, arabica beans are comfortably engrained in our coffee culture. I am partial to the trend and thoroughly enjoy a cup of coffee from 100% Arabica beans favouring an espresso, cappuccino, pour over coffee (v60), or cold brew. However, nothing can compare to the nostalgia from a refreshing glass of Vietnamese iced coffee and its power to immediately transport me back to the streets of Vietnam.
LUCK Vietnamese coffee is my unique blend bringing together these two coffee cultures, by incorporating robusta and specialty arabica coffee beans to refine the tasting notes of Vietnamese coffee. Expect dark chocolate and walnut notes from the robusta beans and hints of stone fruit all in the one glass. Vietnamese coffee is incredibly simple to brew and filled with flavour.
The Vietnamese phin filter has multiple parts to it, all of which play a critical role to brew the perfect cup of slow drip coffee. I believe the most important aspect to brewing a slow drip coffee with a phin filter is to tamp the coffee with gentle but firm pressure before pouring over a small amount of hot water (90-95°C). This allows the coffee to bloom and carbon dioxide to escape. This method of brewing is also used in the pour over method to ensure the brew is not sour. Brewing the perfect cup of Vietnamese coffee also comes down to having the coffee beans ground to the right consistency. If the grounds are too coarse the coffee will be acidic, too fine and the coffee will be too bitter. The hot water needs to be at an ideal temperature (boiling water will scorch the beans) and the ratio of coffee to condensed milk just right.
Vietnamese iced coffee is commonly known to be a milk coffee but in Vietnam it is also enjoyed black (café den), where the extracted coffee is simply poured over ice with teaspoons of sugar. Sweetness plays a critical role in equilibrating the bold and sometimes astringent flavours of robusta coffee. Traditionally, the generous addition of condensed milk paves way for a glass of iced coffee that is sweet, creamy and slightly bitter. Due to the inclusion of arabica beans in LUCK Vietnamese coffee, less sweetness is required in this recipe to find the balance for a glass that is refreshing and fragrant.
If you love Vietnamese iced coffee but would like to learn how to make it in the comfort of our own home and perfect your home-barista skills, do yourself a favour and grab my Vietnamese iced coffee kit for a unique take on this iconic Vietnamese beverage.
20g Vietnamese coffee
1 tablespoon (heaped) of condensed milk
100ml hot water
Tall glass of ice
Scoop 2 tablespoons (20g) of ground coffee in the filter chamber.
Tap the chamber over the sink to level out the coffee grounds.
Gently drop the small filter plate on top of the grounds and gently but firmly tamp (push down).
Add condensed milk into a small cup.
Place the large filter plate over the cup and put the filter chamber on top.
You are ready to brew!
Add enough hot water (90-95°C) to slightly cover the small filter plate (approximately 30ml) and allow the coffee to bloom (sit) for 20 seconds.
Top up the filter chamber with hot water and cover with phin lid to retain heat.
Once coffee stops dripping from the phin filter, remove it from the cup and stir the coffee well.
Consume as is or pour over shaved or crushed ice for the ultimate Vietnamese iced coffee experience.