Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cà Phê Sữa Đá)

Need a pick me up in the afternoon? Prefer your coffee extra strong and sweet? We got you covered with this Vietnamese iced coffee. This 3 ingredient coffee drink will make you say “where have you been all my life?”   

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

I would say drinking Vietnamese iced coffee is like drinking rocket fuel, it will keep you energized all day. When you combine highly concentrated coffee with ultra sweet condensed milk, you’ll probably start bouncing off the walls. This coffee is probably the best thing that came out of the French colonizing Vietnam. Sorry, I had to say it. 

What type of coffee should I use? 

Cafe Du Monde (aka the OG coffee amongst Vietnamese-Americans). However, Trung Nguyen (the other OG) is another popular option but it doesn’t have the chicory flavor found in Cafe Du Monde. Just to give a very brief history, the combination of coffee and chicory was first introduced by the French during the Civil War. The French experimented with chicory and discovered it added flavor to the brew and the rest is history. 

You might be wondering how Cafe Du Monde has become a cult favorite of the Vietnamese-American community. It is said to have originally spread around the time when Vietnamese refugees and immigrants arrived in the United States during the Vietnam War. Many Vietnamese immigrants who ended up in New Orleans, found that Cafe Du Monde lived up to the bold, flavorful coffee they were used to drinking at home. Soon, word of the coffee spread fast amongst the Vietnamese-American community and can now be found in pretty much any Vietnamese cafe or Asian grocery store.

Condensed Milk 

Vietnam, like many other countries in Asia, didn’t have a history of consuming dairy products. The situation might be different now that there is a larger Western influence on their diet. However, at the time when the French brought coffee to Vietnam, dairy products were scarce. Hence, the canned condensed milk was born and would last for years without refrigeration especially through Vietnam’s heat wave

Vietnamese Coffee Filter

The Vietnamese coffee filter differs from other coffee filters due to its slow drip system resulting in a stronger coffee. It is best described as a small, stainless steel vessel with a dish, filter basket, removable press, and a lid. 


  1. You can use any dark roast ground coffee if you can’t find Cafe Du Monde in your local grocery store. 
  2. If you can’t buy or access the Vietnamese coffee filter, you can steep 2 tbsp of coffee grounds in a small pot with 1/2 cup boiling hot water for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, you can pour it through a coffee filter in an 8 oz mug. 
  3. You can opt out of the condensed milk if you want to avoid consuming a sugary drink. However, if you do choose to make your coffee, please use condensed milk. If vegan, you can use coconut condensed milk. Please do not use evaporated milk because that is unsweetened. 


This iced coffee is: 

& Addicting


Please let me know if you gave this recipe a try. Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo on Instagram @tifflovestofu. I’d love to see or hear how it turned out for you. 

Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cà Phê Sữa Đá)

Prep Time

5 min

cooking time

0 min



total time

5 min




2 tbsp Cafe Du Monde (or any dark roast ground coffee)
2 tbsp condensed milk (If vegan, sub with coconut condensed milk)
3/4 cup boiling hot water
Kitchen equipment
Vietnamese coffee filter

Cooking Instructions

Step 1
Begin with boiling 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. If you have an electric kettle, that will work just as well.
Step 2
Add 2 tbsp of condensed milk to the bottom of an 8 oz mug. Place the container and metal dish on top of the mug. It’s best to use a mug with a narrow top versus a wide top since the filter is rather small.
Step 3
Remove the metal press from the container and add 2 tablespoons of the ground coffee. Add the metal press on top of the coffee being cautious not to press too hard to avoid the coffee grounds from escaping the filter.
Step 4
Start with adding 1 tbsp of hot water in the container and wait about 30 seconds. This will allow the coffee grounds to expand which will prevent the coffee grounds from passing through the filter and into your mug.
Step 5
Now you can fill the rest of the filter about ⅔ of the way, cover with the lid, and allow it to drip. This should take no more than 5 minutes.
Step 6
Lift the lid to see if there is any water remaining. Remove the entire filter and dish, add ice cubes, stir and enjoy! 🙂

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Hi, I'm Tiff!

Tiff Loves Tofu is a blog all about simple and delicious plant-based recipes, largely influenced by my culture and life experiences. I hope to show people that cooking wholesome, vibrant plant-based meals is not only easy but it is loads of fun. So, let’s get cooking!

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