Vietnamese Ice Coffee (Cafe Sua Da)


Vietnamese Ice Coffee is an intensely brewed coffee concentrate that drips down into a tall glass of ice and a big spoonful of sweetened condensed milk.

If you love coffee, and have only tried weak, watered down coffee served over ice, you’re in for a big awakening.

Vietnamese Ice Coffee is creamy, rich, smooth and sweet. Oh, and intense coffee flavor. It’s bold in flavor and makes a wonderful Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream as well.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cafe Sua Da)

When I made this on TV years ago, I was grateful that I brought extra coffee, ice and sweetened condensed milk – the entire television crew and morning hosts/hostesses all wanted a galls of Vietnamese Ice Coffee for now….and another one to save for their afternoon treat!

How to make Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cafe Sua Da)

1) French roast medium coarse ground coffee: You can use any type of coffee really. Many Vietnamese use Cafe Du Monde French Roast Chicory coffee, but as long as the coffee is medium coarse ground, you can use it. Fine ground coffee would fall right through the little holes of the coffee press.

2) Sweetened condensed milk: It’s the sweet, sticky, thick stuff – NOT evaporated milk! No substitutions here!

3) Vietnamese coffee press: Found at any Asian market – usually between $1.50 and $6.00, or online – Amazon sells them!

4) 2 glasses: one filled to the brim with ice.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cafe Sua Da)

Step 1: Add 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk to a glass

Add grounds

Step 2: Add 2 tablespoons of ground coffee to the base of the coffee press. Wet the grounds just a little bit with some hot water.

Screw on the press tight

Step 3: Screw on the press tight. The coffee should be packed well.

Pour boiling hot water

Step 4: Pour boiled hot water into the coffee press.


Cover with its little hat.
Step 5: Wait. It will drip veeerrrry….veeerrrry slowly. It takes 3-5 minutes to finish brewing.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

The longer it takes, the stronger the coffee. Notice that there are only a few drops per second. For me, I can’t wait any longer than 5 minutes. If the coffee is dripping too fast, then use a small spoon or tip of knife to screw the press on tighter, 1 turn clockwise. Or if it’s dripping too slow, unscrew 1 turn counterclockwise.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe

While it’s dripping, go get some ice in a glass. You’ve got nothing else to do!

Viet Iced Coffee

Step 6: Once it’s finished, stir well.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe

You can set your coffee maker on top of its overturned lid to prevent dripping onto your nice table.
Step 7: Pour over ice and enjoy!

[content_band style=”color: #fff;” bg_image=”” parallax=”true” border=”all” inner_container=”true”] [custom_headline style=”margin-top: 0; color: #fff;” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h3″]Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream![/custom_headline]Learn how to make Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream, from Seven Spoons Cookbook[/content_band]

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Vietnamese Ice Coffee Recipe

Servings: 1

Prep Time:

Cook Time: 6 minutes

You'll need a Vietnamese Coffee Maker.


2 tablespoons medium course ground coffee
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk


1. Boil water, remove from heat to cool just a bit while you measure out your coffee grounds.
2. Add sweetened condensed milk to a cup. Fill a separate, tall glass with ice. The more ice you use, the weaker the iced coffee.
3. Spoon in the coffee into the Vietnamese Coffee Maker. Wet the grounds with about a tablespoon of the hot water. Screw on the press, finger tight. Pour in the hot water and cover. The coffee will slowly drip into the cup. Use the tip of a spoon or butter knife to turn the press clockwise (for tighter press, if the coffee is dripping too fast) or counter-clockwise (too loosen if the coffee isn't dripping at all.) It should take about 3-5 minutes to finish brewing. Adjust the press as needed.
4. Stir the hot coffee and the sweetened condensed milk well. Pour over the ice in the tall glass.