How to Make Ca Phe Sua Da (Vietnamese Iced Coffee)

How to Make Ca Phe Sua Da (Vietnamese Iced Coffee) Recipe

The key to making cà phê sữa dá is freshly ground, dark, extra bold roast blend coffee. In addition to this, you’ll need a Vietnamese coffee filter and sweetened condensed milk. If you're ready for a day full of energy, or if caffeine doesn't seem to leave you sleepless at night, give this drink a try!

As I mentioned on Facebook this week, I recently learned an important lesson: never drink Vietnamese coffee in the evening if you're sensitive to caffeine. Last weekend, I drank an entire cup of iced coffee right before going to bed (silly, I know). Since I'm not a big coffee drinker, I spent une nuit blanche, which is a French idiom that translates to "a white night" (an "all-nighter" in English). I love Vietnamese iced coffee (cà phê sữa dá in Vietnamese) but my body doesn't seem to appreciate it!


Yields: 2 servings

1 Vietnamese coffee filter
3 tablespoons dark roast coffee, freshly ground
¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup water, near boiling
½ cup half and half (optional)
2 cups crushed ice (or ice cubes), as needed


Making Vietnamese coffee:

Pour the sweetened condensed milk into the bottom of a tall glass.

Put the dark roast, freshly ground coffee in the Vietnamese coffee filter. Tighten the screw of the filter so that the coffee does not escape, then cover with the lid.

Place the glass underneath the coffee filter. Pour in a little bit of water at a time until the coffee is totally submerged and starts dripping. Fill the filter completely with water (make sure you don't pour  in too much liquid so it doesn't overflow). It will take a few minutes for the water to flow.

You'll start seeing the condensed milk turning into a caramel color at the bottom. Stir well using a long-stemmed spoon. Make sure the condensed milk is dissolved.

Making iced Vietnamese coffee:

Let the coffee completely cool to room temperature.

Divide the coffee into 2 tall glasses filled with ice cubes. Top with half and half.

You can serve this drink with rau câu (Vietnamese agar jello cake), bánh khoai mì nướng (cassava coconut cake) or some chocolate filled sticky rice balls with coconut.

Relax and enjoy! 


Always start with cold, fresh filtered water to avoid an off-taste because of the presence of chlorine in regular water.

I mentioned in the instructions to use nearly boiling water. Plain water boils at temperatures from about 200°F to 212°F. The temperature for brewing coffee is about 200°F (208°F for optimal taste).

For a richer mouth feel, I added half and half. You could omit this ingredient or add milk instead.

Vietnamese Coffee Filter Picture
Vietnamese coffee filter.

You can find Vietnamese coffee filters at Dai Thanh Asian market on 420 S 2nd St, in San Jose.

Adding condensed milk will turn the coffee a nice caramel color. Stir well until everything is dissolved. I use Longevity brand sweetened condensed milk, the one with the picture of a white-bearded old man. You can easily find it in Asian stores.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on June 25, 2010.


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