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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cafe Sua Da)

Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cafe Sua Da)Thanks to two of of my fellow Asian bloggers WhiteOnRice and Wandering Chopsticks, I learned a few secrets to some great recipes that I shared on TV last month…come take a look at the video.

When you get to ABC’s site, click on FEATURED VIDEO right below recipe name.

Vietnamese iced coffee is almost like a dessert to me – sweet, lush and I could just savor it little sip by little sip.

I’ll show you how to make Vietnamese Iced Coffee, or Cafe Sua Da (in Vietnamese):


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 $4.00. Here are some resources.

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
Note: if you want a much stronger coffee, Wandering Chopsticks recommends to wet the grounds just a bit to let them expand. About a spoonful of water should do the trick!

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 boiling hot water into the coffee press.

Cover

Cover with its little hat.
Step 5: Wait. It will drip veeerrrry….veeerrrry slowly.

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!



82 Responses to “Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cafe Sua Da)”

  1. City Girl DC — 6/19/08 @ 8:23 pm

    Thanks so much for the recipe! I always order the coffee when out at Vietnamese restaurants. Wish there were more in DC – the city, not the burbs!

  2. Victoria — 6/28/08 @ 9:53 am

    This looks so refreshing. This is the second Vietnamese Iced Coffee recipe I’ve seen recently, so obviously it’s a sign I must try this out immediately :)

  3. Vegeyum Ganga — 6/30/08 @ 4:21 pm

    This is just like how the South Indians make coffee, except that they serve it with boiled milk rather than condensed milk, but also very very sweet. It is the best coffee I have ever tasted, so I will have to make it this way now.

    I did a post on South Indian coffee if you are interested.

  4. Marianne — 7/3/08 @ 9:29 pm

    Thank you for the instructions. My Vietnamese friend gave me the press, the condensed milk and the coffee but the instructions were in Vietnamese! LOL! :)

  5. Leighanne — 7/8/08 @ 3:29 pm

    Love, love, LOVE!!! Thank you!

  6. pixen — 7/15/08 @ 12:18 pm

    That’s a yummylicious Ca phe sua da and Ca phe sua nong!!! I just ran out the coffee! Gorgeous photos as always!!!

    Cheers
    pixen

  7. magrack — 10/10/08 @ 8:49 am

    I recently re-visited Viet Nam; the first two trips were 40 and 37 years ago I did’t get to try this style of coffee then, but I made up for it on this trip.

    Fantastic stuff. I brought back three of the coffee makers and a couple pounds of coffee and my morning routine includes an ounce of ca phe sua.

    Though my wife and some of my friends classify me as a “coffee snob”, I’m not really a snob, but I know what I like.

    In order to make this right, I believe you must use a real Vietnamese roast…I’ve experimented with others and though the New Orleans coffees make a suitable substitue, it just doesn’t have the same flavor.

    Vietnamese coffees are available here in the states (most orietal markets carry it) and is worth the effort to find some. Some stores carry the coffee filters and are cheap.

    If you haven’t tried it, I think you’re missing a real coffee lovers delight.

  8. Kathy — 3/27/10 @ 5:00 am

    Oh i can’t wait to try this! It is just what I am looking for, I will be saving it for my caffeine fix!

  9. Jessica — 5/27/10 @ 9:44 pm

    I tried to make this, but how do you not get the coffee grounds from straining through the filter? I’ve screwed the filter as tight as it can go, but i still get little flecks that my BF hates. I really do not mind them, but he cannot enjoy it the same.

    Any suggestions?

    • duy — 1/14/14 @ 10:43 pm

      You can fold a coffee paper filter into a cone and place it between the glass and slow drip.

  10. gusse — 6/22/10 @ 8:42 am

    uuhhh very nice… have to try that !

  11. sylvia — 7/28/10 @ 4:02 pm

    What can we say – YUMMY!

  12. lyndsay — 8/3/10 @ 7:36 pm

    gorgeous photos, great tutorial. found you through a google search! can’t wait to turn this into an ice cream! :)

  13. Poor Taste — 9/28/10 @ 8:09 pm

    This looks so good, thanks for the tutorial! One thing: I’ve noticed many bahn mi shops will serve their iced coffee over crushed, almost slushie-like ice.

  14. Cheryl Berry — 10/10/10 @ 3:37 pm

    Looks so velvety and smooth. I love it.

    May I suggest a guide for coffee grinding? I saw you were linking to one.

    It’s here: http://www.coffeegrindersreviews.com/edu/coffee-grind.html

  15. hghgh — 10/12/10 @ 6:25 am

    eee

  16. TuyetHoaTienTu — 12/16/10 @ 3:32 pm

    I love this cafe drink! It tastes so good! I love how it’s not to bitter than other coffee and I love how it goes good with the condense milk! Definitely a favorite drink of mine!

  17. razzle — 2/4/11 @ 9:25 pm

    Is it true they also use cold press coffee because it doesn’t have a slightly bitter aftertaste?

  18. Anonimous — 8/27/11 @ 11:41 pm

    Thanks sooo much!!! I just had some of this at a Vietnamese restuarant, and it was sooo good I came home and looked up how to make it, thanks again!!! =)

  19. Nord — 1/4/12 @ 6:15 pm

    Have enjoyed Vietnamese coffee since the 60s. One comment… if you grind the beans too much, they will fall through to the cup below and take just about forever to make a decent cup. Medium grind works for me and just back out the screw a bit before adding water.

  20. This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe and visual shots – now I want to make it ^^

  21. Lexy Vu — 5/9/12 @ 9:28 pm

    Definitely was craving condensed milk with bread (a childhood favorite!) and I didn’t want to just pop open a can of condensed milk and leave it sitting there for days upon weeks… So I figured, since I had family in town, I’d make cafe sua da. What really got me was my uncle and my brother added a shot of cognac to their cups!
    What a big surprise! IT. WAS. DELICIOUS!

  22. Hai Van — 5/31/12 @ 7:56 pm

    Good morning from Vietnam,

    Thanks fo the post with excellent pictures. I have Ca Phe Sua Da almost every morning before office. I can show you how to get the best coffee village in Vietnam

  23. Janis — 9/19/12 @ 8:11 pm

    Love this coffee! I call it my liquid inspiration since I get a ton done after a glass. Because I only have it once in a while, I was wondering what to do with the milk. Then I discovered I could place it in a plastic yogurt cup and throw it in the freezer. Twenty seconds or so in the microwave will thin it enough to pour it. Also, I use the same glass to receive the coffee + milk. I once measured the weight of the two tablespoons of milk plus the glass, marked a dot on the kitchen scale and now I don’t have to use a spoon to measure the milk, which just makes a mess. I place the glass on the scale and just pour milk til the scale hits the dot. Take it off the scale, set the filter on top, and brew away!

  24. gaby — 10/16/12 @ 10:57 pm

    Have just returned from a fabulous holiday in Vietnam and the first thing i needed to do was find out how to make that great Iced coffee, thank you so much for your very clear instructions. I will be making it the minute I get to the shops to buy the condensed milk

  25. daniel — 11/26/12 @ 11:17 pm

    I recently “discovered” cafe sua da and love it. I have tried to recreate at home and have not been having success; I just can’t get that same great strong flavor. It seems like I am getting a cup of caffeine that upsets my stomach more than anything. For such a simple device, I think I just haven’t mastered the phin yet. I recently tried to really tighten the filter and that gave me a better cup, but still a little to much caffeine and after almost 10 minutes only half the water had gone through the coffee. I will keep experimenting on getting the right “tamping” of the coffee but not so tight the water doesn’t do it’s job…..but I would love some tips if you have any. For coffee I have used the Trung Nguyen gourmet blend and premium blend and have tried mixing in some espresso roast ground as well.

  26. anita h — 2/6/13 @ 9:27 am

    I found Organic Sweetened condensed milk in a dispenser bottle from Trader Joes that is excellent for this, if you are only using a couple T at a time. It is the same price as canned milk!

  27. sergey — 8/26/13 @ 10:24 pm

    Chicory???
    Where did you take it from? I have been staying in Vietnam for several years, professional in coffee industry and very surprised reading about chicory as component of Vietnamese coffee at western forums.
    What they use really here in Vietnam is 100% coffee, robusta or robusta/arabika blend, dark roast. No chicory.

  28. matt — 10/15/13 @ 6:06 pm

    what if you substitute Bailey’s Irish Cream for the sweetened condensed milk? It’s pretty thick, it could work right?

  29. B&P — 1/8/14 @ 12:09 am

    Condensed milk makes all the difference! Love that stuff!

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