Vietnamese Iced Coffee - Ca Phe Sua Da

Vietnamese style iced coffee known as ca phe sua da, is a slow-dripped, full bodied robust coffee, sweetened with condensed milk and poured over ice. Bold in flavor and high in caffeine, this is more than your average cup of joe.



Vietnamese coffee is made using a phin, a small metal filter that slowly drips hot coffee on top of a glass. Add coffee grounds to the filter, screw in the filter insert then pour boiling water to fill the phin and cover with the lid. The coffee is slowly drip into glass. Once fully brewed, mix in condensed milk and pour over ice.


Brewing the Coffee


The depth of flavor of the coffee will rely on two main factors: the amount of coffee grounds and the tightness of the filter insert. Less grounds will produce a lighter flavored coffee and be less caffeinated, so keep in mind how strong you prefer the coffee to be. The filter insert is an important factor in flavor as it controls the speed of the brew. Once grounds are added, the insert should be screwed on as tight as possible but shouldn't provide too much resistance when unscrewing. This will allow for the hot water to steep the grounds and brew the coffee at the perfect speed.


This process will take more time than a regular coffee maker but I can assure you that the extra wait time is worth it for this wonderful cup of coffee.



If you love ca phe sua da, you'll love ca phe trung, which is Vietnamese egg coffee which you can find my recipe here.


Ingredients:

2 tbsp dark roast, coarse ground coffee (Trung Nguyen brand or Cafe Du Monde)

2 tbsp condensed milk


Visual Instructions:


From left to right: Phin with filter insert and lid, coffee grounds, sweetened condensed milk, glass cup that will fit the shape of the 4 oz phin.



Measure coffee grounds based on preference and pour into filter with the insert removed. I use two tablespoons which yields a strong and flavorful coffee that will keep me caffeinated all day. If this is too strong, you can always scale back half a tablespoon to fit your taste.



Screw on the insert tightly onto the grounds.



In a kettle, bring water to a boil. Pour a tablespoon of water over the phin to bloom the grounds and allow it to fully drip out. Discard the water in the cup.



Add condensed milk into the glass.



Place the phin back onto the glass and fill with boiling water then place lid.



Allow the coffee to fully drip into the glass then remove phin and discard the coffee grounds.



Mix the condensed milk thoroughly to fully incorporate into the coffee.



Transfer coffee to a new glass to avoid any coffee grounds that might have filtered through and sunk to the bottom of the glass. Fill glass with ice and enjoy!



Directions:

  1. Measure coffee grounds based on preference and pour into filter with the insert removed. Screw on the insert tightly onto the grounds.

  2. In a kettle, bring water to a boil. Pour a tablespoon of water over the phin to bloom the grounds and allow it to fully drip out. Discard the water in the cup.

  3. Add condensed milk into the glass.

  4. Place the phin back onto the glass and fill with boiling water then place lid.

  5. Allow the coffee to fully drip into the glass then remove phin and discard the coffee grounds.

  6. Mix the condensed milk thoroughly to fully incorporate into the coffee.

  7. Transfer coffee to a new glass to avoid any coffee grounds that might have filtered through and sunk to the bottom of the glass. Fill glass with ice and enjoy!


Tip: The ratio of coffee grounds, water and condensed milk can be altered to preference. The above recipe will resemble the Vietnamese iced coffee found in restaurants. As a rule of thumb, I like to use an equal ratio of condensed milk to coffee grounds for a balance of flavor but sweetness level can be reduced or increased to your liking.