Vietnamese Iced Coffee At Home

September 30, 2010Katie

I order this drink almost every time I go to indulge in Pho at my favorite Pho place, but I’ve also seen and ordered the same version from Thai places so I guess it’s not only Thai, but Vietnamese coffee as well, although the Thai version sometimes involves cardamom and cream.

And it’s so easy, with a little help from a little contraption that you can buy at your local Asian market for just a couple of bucks.

First, start a teapot of water to boil.

Next, let me introduce you to the Vietnamese/Thai coffee press. I picked up a couple of these for Mr. Wonderful and myself at our local Asian market for a couple of bucks a piece.

There are three parts to this contraption. 

There is the base that you can rest on a teacup or a glass, a little screw filter that goes down inside of it, and a lid.  The screw filter and the base have tiny holes in them.  You trap the coffee in between the two of these and once you pour water over them, the water filters very slowly through both of them which produces a very strong coffee result.

My Pho place brings this out with a teacup and saucer, which I think is pretty cute, but you can just use a glass if you choose, as long as the base fits on it comfortably. 

First things first.  Take your tea cup or glass and spoon in 2-4 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk (not to be confused with evaporated milk). I use about three.

Place the base of the press on top of the cup.  Now, depending on how strong you like your coffee, spoon in 2-4 tablespoons of medium-ground coffee into the base.  I go for about 2 1/2 tablespoons, but I am a strong coffee lover, so adjust according to your taste.

My Pho place uses this kind of coffee and it’s readily available in our Asian market here. If you can’t find this brand, then just make sure you’re using a medium kind of coffee that is coarsely ground so as not to fall through the holes in the bottom of the base. 

Now screw the filter down over top of the grounds, as tightly as you can, without grinding the grounds any further.

Then, pour your boiling hot water up to the top of the silver base.

Then, adjust the tension on the screw lid until you see bubbles in the water.  Just remember that the tighter the screw lid, the stronger the resulting coffee will be. 

At this point, the water should ever-so-slowly begin to drip into the tea cup. 

And it will be nice and hot.  And it will begin to melt the sweetened condensed milk.

You see where I’m going don’t you?

It will take awhile for this to all drip out, at which point, you can either drink it hot, which is nice in cooler weather or…

Go get a tall glass of ice.

Take a spoon and stir your coffee/milk mixture thoroughly.

All I can say to you is…come to Mama baby.

Now pour this over the tall glass of ice.

Find a beautiful place to enjoy this, like your patio, with birds chirping, butterflies flitting around, and the gorgeous low-80 degree weather surrounding you.

This is my perfect pick-me-up drink.

Had this drink? Like it? Seen it any other way? Leave me a comment! I love to hear from my readers!


  • Patsy Joanne Oltmanns

    October 2, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    This sounds great! Can't wait to try it.
  • Anne

    May 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I've seen this served slightly differently, for greater visual effect. I'm not quite sure how they do it, but the coffee and milk end up layered in the glass of ice -- very pretty.
    1. dishinanddishes

      May 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm

      Anne - they usually pour the milk in a glass and just let the filter drip over the glass I think.
  • Wholesale Coffee

    June 29, 2011 at 4:54 am

    I love Vietnamese coffee! Here's a simple recipe for making your own at home.

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