Vietnamese Iced Coffee

updated Jun 22, 2021
Vietnamese Coffee

No matter how it’s made, Viet coffee is a delicious heart thumper. Drink slowly.

Makesa brimming 1/2 cup

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Credit: Aubrie Pick

Don’t feel obligated to buy a traditional Vietnamese, metal coffee filter to make authentic Viet coffee. The phin filter is charming but slow, and not everyone in Vietnam uses it. The important thing to focus on is making inky, slightly bitter, very strong-tasting coffee. Use your favorite method. For a quick daily cup, I employ the Aeropress, which some people compare to a French press but I see it as a high-tech cousin of the phin filter. This recipe makes a single serving to be combined with condensed milk in one of the drink recipes that follow (either hot coffee or iced). Full-fat Eagle Brand and Carnation are great substitutes for the Longevity (Old Man) brand sold at Viet markets; or try coconut sweetened condensed milk if you are vegan. No matter how it’s made, Viet coffee is a delicious heart thumper. Drink slowly.

Andrea Nguyen’s Vietnamese Food Any Day is Kitchn’s June pick for our Cookbook Club. See how you can participate here.

Vietnamese Coffee

No matter how it’s made, Viet coffee is a delicious heart thumper. Drink slowly.

Makes a brimming 1/2 cup

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons

    ground medium-dark or dark roast coffee, such as Café Du Monde, or French, Italian, or Spanish roast

  • About 2/3 cup hot water

Instructions

  1. Assemble the Aeropress with a metal or paper filter in place and set over a coffee cup. Add the ground coffee, then shake the chamber to distribute. Pour in 3 tablespoons of the hot water to moisten and bloom the coffee. After the water passes through, about 30 seconds, add the remaining 1/2 cup hot water. Stir five times, then wait for the water to pass through until half of the original volume remains, 30 to 90 seconds. Slowly plunge to express the remaining coffee before serving.

Recipe Notes

Hot coffee with condensed milk: Add 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk to 1/2 cup hot coffee. Stir well to create a caramel-colored drink. Taste and, if it’s too intense, splash in hot water to dilute.

Iced coffee with condensed milk: Stir together 1/2 cup coffee with 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk. Put 4 or 5 ice cubes in a tall glass. Pour the coffee over the ice and stir with a long spoon or chopstick to chill and slightly dilute.

Reprinted with permission from Vietnamese Food Any Day: Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors by Andrea Nguyen, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Photography credit: Aubrie Pick © 2019