Vietnamese iced coffee – The drink that never gets old


Vietnamese iced coffee has long been such an iconic drink that it always has a place on the menu of every coffee house, whether it is a classic or modern one. It’s the taste that makes it special or is there any other reason, let’s find out.

Vietnamese iced coffee culture

Being especially loved by many generations, Vietnamese iced coffee is no longer just a drink.

Drinking Vietnamese iced coffee in the traditional way

Vietnamese people drink coffee in a very subtle and distinctive way. In European countries, coffee is considered a quick drink, which will help to regain energy quickly. Meanwhile in Vietnam, coffee, especially Vietnamese iced coffee is the drink of relaxation. For the Vietnamese, coffee is for sipping and contemplating. If you walk on the streets of Vietnam, you will easily come across the image of many people sitting and talking with friends and occasionally taking a sip of Vietnamese iced coffee.


Drinking Vietnamese coffee in the traditional way

There are also some people who choose to drink Vietnamese iced coffee alone. They consider it a quiet time to rest, read a book, think about everything around, or simply observe the street. Although the purposes are different, there is always one thing in common: Traditionally, Vietnamese iced coffee is not for the hustle and bustle.

“Phin” – Vietnamese coffee filter

It can be said that the “Take it slow” culture of Vietnamese iced coffee is derived from the filters, also known as “Phin”. The most common way to make Vietnamese iced coffee is to use a rudimentary aluminum filter, which consists of a lid, a filter chamber, a bottom filter, and a filter press. The filter containing the coffee powder will be placed on the cup, the brewer will pour boiling water into it, and then what you need to do is wait. Making coffee in this unhurried way forces you to slow down and pay attention to every moment. Vietnamese iced coffee fanatics love the feeling of watching each drop of coffee slowly flow from the filter. It not only arouses your desire but also gives you time to enjoy the vibes instead of just focusing on your coffee.

See more: Best Vietnamese coffee powder suppliers


“Phin” coffee

“Phin” is the typical difference of Vietnamese iced coffee compared to the rest of the world because people often use machines to make coffee. In today’s busy life, along with iced coffee, “Phin” is the symbol for a slow life, peaceful and relaxing. Phin now is no longer in a unique position due to the appearance of modern and convenient coffee machines, but “Phin” still remains its attraction, especially for those who love traditional Vietnamese iced coffee.

The taste of Vietnamese iced coffee

A factor that cannot be ignored when talking about drinks is the taste, and for Vietnamese iced coffee, its taste is as special as the way people enjoy it. Robusta coffee beans account for 97% of total coffee production in Vietnam, and because of this abundance, most Vietnamese iced coffee is made from this kind of coffee bean. Robusta has twice the caffeine content of Arabica along with higher acidity and stronger bitterness. These characteristics combined with the drip brewing method make the flavor of Vietnamese iced coffee encapsulated in one word, which is “robust”, exactly like the name of the input material. This pure coffee with a strong flavor is called “Den Da” (Vietnamese black iced coffee).


The taste of Vietnamese iced coffee

Besides “Den Da”, there is another famous method of making Vietnamese iced coffee, which uses condensed milk. When the French brought coffee to Vietnam in the 19th century, fresh milk was not a popular item here, so they used sweetened condensed milk as an alternative. Coincidentally, this ingredient proved to be very suitable for coffee brewing. Gradually the use of condensed milk became a habit and “Nau Da” (Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk) was born. Nau Da is made exactly the same as “Den Da”, using Phin and the drip technique. The difference is that it is added with sweetened condensed milk to reduce bitterness and sourness thereby creating a smoother taste. If you are a coffee connoisseur and want to experience a specialty coffee in the truest way, you should try “Den Da”. Your first time with it will definitely be memorable. And if you are a person of balance and lightness, who is looking for a long-lasting coffee, Nau Da will be the best choice.

What makes Vietnamese iced coffee special

As you can see, each component of traditional Vietnamese iced coffee has its own story and place in Vietnamese coffee culture. Through the flow of history, they have found each other and combined to create a unique drink that holds many meanings.


What makes Vietnamese iced coffee special

Three distinctive things that make up the true Vietnamese iced coffee: the Phin, Robusta coffee beans, and sweet condensed milk, which is optional. It is completely normal to use other types of coffee beans, other brewing methods, or other sweeteners because it helps to satisfy different needs. But such cups of coffee cannot be considered true Vietnamese iced coffee because not only has the taste changed, but now they are coffee cups made just for drinking. Today, despite the introduction of famous coffees such as Cappuccino, Latte, Americano… Vietnamese iced coffee still exists and plays an important role in the experience of Vietnamese culinary culture.

Vietnamese iced coffee from an international perspective

The popularity of Vietnamese iced coffee has gone beyond the territory of this country. In recent years, Vietnamese iced coffee has become a familiar name that frequently appears in the world coffee rankings. In 2016, this humble drink even reached the attention of U.S President Barack Obama, who firmly stated on his first visit to Vietnam that he would try it someday. In the same year, Australia’s Traveler Magazine ranked Vietnamese iced coffee on the list of must-try coffees thanks to its uniqueness, which you cannot find anywhere else on earth. The American travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler has reaffirmed the coverage of Vietnamese iced coffee when voting it as one of the best coffees around the world. The magazine also emphasized that despite appearing everywhere, the best iced coffee flavor can only be found in Vietnam.


Vietnamese iced coffee from an international perspective

Refreshing, sophisticated, and distinct, this drink has been recognized by coffee lovers and experts from all over the world. Along with ‘pho’ and ‘banh mi’, Vietnamese iced coffee contributes to enriching Vietnamese cuisine on the world culinary map.

How to make a good cup of Vietnamese iced coffee at home

If you cannot come to Vietnam and try iced coffee, don’t worry, here is a simple guide on how to make Vietnamese iced milk coffee drinks at home.

Ingredients you will need

Making a delicious cup of Vietnamese iced coffee is not too complicated. You need to prepare the following ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of your favorite ground coffee;
  • 1 ice cup;
  • Hot water that is close to the boiling point;
  • Vietnamese coffee filter.


Instructions for brewing Vietnamese iced coffee

Here are 6 steps to help you have a delicious cup of Vietnamese iced coffee

Step 1: Use boiling water to rinse the coffee filter to ensure that the Phin is clean, besides the warm coffee filter will help the coffee bloom more evenly and reduce the absorption of heat when making coffee.

Step 2: Put 3 tablespoons of ground coffee (about 25g) into the filter and then shake well.

Step 3: Put the filter on top of the cup, slowly and evenly pour 30ml of boiling water (92℃ – 98℃) over the surface of the filter for the coffee to bloom.

Step 4: Press on the Phin gently to compress the bloomed coffee and then pour the rest of the water into the Phin and cover it with the lid.

Step 5: Wait about 15 minutes for the coffee to finish brewing, or until dripping stops.

Step 6: Transfer coffee to the ice cup and enjoy.


Instructions for brewing Vietnamese iced coffee

If you want to make a cup of Nau Da, add condensed milk to the coffee before pouring it into the ice cup. The amount of milk you use will depend on the sweetness you want, but do not use too much because it is not good for your health.


If you want to learn more about coffee and how to do coffee business, feel free to visit the website: or contact me via Whatsapp: +84855 555 837 (Ms. Sarah)

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About author Camila Nguyen

She has 13 years experience in connecting B2B customers around the world and provide best-quality agricultural products from Vietnam to them. She would love to share her knowledge about agricultural products through the blogs. You can contact her on Whatsapp via number: +84 84 4444 867 to get the free consultancy

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