Not only does Vietnamese iced coffee (lovingly known as cafe sua da) remind me of my childhood–conjuring up the clinking sounds as my grandparents and parents stirred their coffee in the morning, it’s also freakin’ delicious. If you’ve yet to experience this decadent iced coffee delight, I beg of you–please go get one–or better yet, use this recipe to make your own. It packs a punch both in the caffeine and deliciousness department. Please and thank you. Oh…and you’re welcome.
There are recipes all over the place for Vietnamese iced coffee, but over the years of drinking ones from restaurants or at my parents’ house, i’ve tweaked it a bit to make it just right for me–not too sweet and just the right amount of the rich coffee taste. My dad drinks coffee for the aroma, so he takes his pretty weak. My mom, on the other hand, drinks it for the caffeine punch. So I take after my mama here–I like a coffee that’ll put some serious pep in my step. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, you can tweak this recipe to your liking.
Ok, this is where a certain level of coffee snobbery comes in. I HIGHLY recommend using this coffee to get the best results; it’s made specifically for Vietnamese coffee drinks. You can, of course, use any finely ground espresso, buuuuutttt it’s just not the same. You’ll also need this kind of filter to make the magic happen. If you’re thinking it’s a bit much to have a filter just for Vietnamese iced coffee–it isn’t just for this one recipe! It’s great for making quick espresso drinks at home too (more recipes for you later). Allow me to introduce you the piece de resistance:
Part #1 goes right on top of the glass into which you’re filtering your coffee. Part #2 goes right on top of #1, and this is where you’ll put your coffee grounds. Once the grounds are in, you’ll put in part #3; you’ll want to firmly press this down onto the grounds–not crazy tight, but enough to smush everything down a bit. There’s also a lid that goes on top, but since that’s mainly to just keep steam in (for hot drinks), I don’t use it because I only ever take this drink iced.
Vietnamese Iced Coffee
-2 Tbsp of finely ground Trung Nguyen Coffee
-1 Tbsp of half and half
-1 Tbsp of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
-6oz of water
-In a 12oz glass, pour in the half and half and condensed milk.
-Put the coffee grounds into the filter. Give it a good jiggle to even out the grounds.
-Put in the filter stop and tamp it down.
-Pour in a bit of the hot water just to bloom the grounds. Once the coffee begins to drip into the glass, fill the filter with hot water.
-When all the water is filtered through, mix everything until the condensed milk is dissolved.
-Fill the glass full of ice, and give it a good stir.
-Inhale…I mean, enjoy!
-If you don’t want it as strong, reduce to 1.5 Tbsp of coffee grounds. Or if i you’ve already brewed it according to the directions, you can add more water or half and half.
-If you want it sweeter, add more of the sweetened condensed milk.