Vietnamese style iced coffee (ca phe sua da or cà phê sữa đá) is super easy to make and all you need is a stainless steel filter that costs around $2 USD online. If you come to a Vietnamese grocery store to buy, you will likely find them even cheaper.

Vietnamese coffee can be served hot, but for this tutorial we are going to brew an iced coffee with milk – a traditional way to enjoy coffee in Vietnam.

Although it is traditional to use dark roasted coffee for this drink, I discovered it is perfectly fine to use a medium roast – weasel coffee. Weasel coffee is the coffee produced from animals – Weasels and it is really famous in Vietnam.


vietnamese coffee filter set


What You’ll Need


  • Vietnamese Coffee Filter
  • Ground coffee
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Spoon
  • Glass or mug
  • Ice


brew best coffee filter


#1 Add Condensed Milk to Glass


You don’t need much, as condensed milk is very sweet. Start with just enough to cover the bottom, maybe 1/3 of an inch (~1 cm). You can always add more later. Don’t add the ice yet. That is the last step.


iced vietnamese coffee


#2 Remove the Top Screen of Filter


The coffee will go underneath the top screen, so remove it before adding coffee.


#3 Add Ground Coffee to Filter


Add 2 – 3 rounded tablespoon of ground coffee (~ 10-13 grams). There are various opinions on the best grind level. How tight the filter is screwed on will also play a role. Medium grind is a good place to start.


ground coffee


I suggest using a Vietnamese Organic Arabica roasted medium-dark, which is Weasel Legend Coffee by Huongmai Cafe. It is kind of medium coffee with smoothed, soft and has the taste like combination of Chocolate and Caramel – The special gift of the Nature.


weasel legend coffee


#4 Cover with Top Filter


Wet the coffee in the filter with 20 ml of hot water and wait for about 1 minute to warm up the coffee. If you decided to use a coarse grind, you may need to go a little tighter. More on that below.


brew coffee


#5 Set Brewer Over Glass with Stand


The advantage of brewing into a glass instead of a mug is you can watch the brewing take place.


vietnamese coffee filter


#6 Add Hot Water


Fill the Vietnamese Coffee Filter  with about 60 – 80 ml of hot water over the coffee grounds. I usually take water to boil and then let it cool for about 30 seconds before pouring.

The water should take between 4 and 5 minutes to pass through the filter. If it goes too fast, you can either tighten the top filter or use a less coarse grind. If it goes too slow, either the grind is too fine or the filter is screwed in too tight.

There is also a lid you can place on top of the filter.


make vietnamese coffee


#7 Wait for Brew to Complete


The easiest part. Just wait for the water to pass through the filter. For the first fews brews, use a timer. The coffee will drip through the filter. See the advice in Step #6 if you are outside that range.

Notice how the coffee layers on top of the condensed milk.


make delicious vietnamese coffee


#8 Mix the Coffee and Condensed Milk


Stir the condensed milk into the brewed coffee. Some recipes call for adding additional sugar. I found the drink sweet enough, but let your palate be your judge.


mix milk and coffee


#9 Serve With Ice


Mix the ice into the drink and enjoy!


vietnamese coffee with filter and milk


Because coffee contains virtually no calories, the only calories in Vietnamese iced coffee come from the canned milk. Coffee drinkers add sweetened condensed milk to taste, so the calorie content can vary. One tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk has 61 calories, 10 grams of sugar and 1.7 grams fat, mostly saturated. A typical recipe for Vietnamese iced coffee contains 2 to 4 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk per cup of coffee, for a total of 123 to 245 calories.


best iced vietnamese coffee




Vietnamese Iced Coffee Brewing Tutorial by Inanimate Objects – Comic version of this tutorial.

Vietnamese Coffee Filter Set –

Weasel Legend Coffee –

Condensed Milk – Wikipedia page describing how condensed milk is made using steam and sugar so it remains shelf stable for years.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee – Wikipedia page.

How to Brew Vietnamese Iced Coffee