Vietnamese Iced Coffee

June 23, 2014

I drink five cups of coffee a day. Three cups in my Chemex when I wake up, and then a least two more cups in the afternoon, as I sit jittering away in the corner of a cafe. Growing up in Berkeley, home of the original Peet’s coffee and now Philz, it feels like less of a choice and more of a caffeinated birthright. Oh, and I take it black – always black. That is until Erica and Karen brought me back a pound of coffee from Vietnam last year. If you’re not familiar with Vietnamese coffee, it’s a dark (and I mean DARK) roast that is brewed using a special filter called a phin. The result is a thick, robust coffee that is subsequently mixed with sweetened condensed milk. While it’s definitely sweeter than your average cup of joe, this coffee has a certain lusciousness that makes it hard to put down – especially when poured over a tall glass of crushed ice. If you consider yourself a coffee person, you owe it to your caffeinated self to give it a try.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee from HonestlyYUM

Gather your ingredients: Vietnamese coffee, condensed milk, and a phin filter. The phin filter is essential for making Vietnamese coffee.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee from HonestlyYUM

Add the condensed milk to a heat proof glass or mug.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee from HonestlyYUM

Next, add the coffee grounds to the phin filter and give it a little shake to even out the grounds. Screw on the press (the flat part with a little rod sticking out). Place the filter over the glass and boil your water. Add a small splash of boiling water to the filter. This is an important step, as it allows the grounds to bloom. Once the grounds have bloomed (about 30 seconds) fill the filter to the top with boiling water. Put the cap on the filter and wait!

Vietnamese Iced Coffee from HonestlyYUM

The coffee will begin to drip . . . slowly. It can take about 5 minutes for a proper drip. Patience!!

Vietnamese Iced Coffee from HonestlyYUM

Once the dripping has subsided and the filter has been emptied of water, remove the filter from the top of the glass and stir to combine.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee from HonestlyYUM

Pour the coffee into a tall glass full of crushed ice.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee from HonestlyYUM

Vietnamese Iced Coffee from HonestlyYUM

It’s coffee time!!

Vietnamese Iced Coffee from HonestlyYUM

Vietnamese Iced Coffee


  • 2 tablespoons Vietnamese coffee grounds (or similar dark roast)
  • 2 tablespoons condensed milk (or less if you prefer less sweet)
  • boiling water
  • crushed ice


  • Add the condensed milk to a heat proof glass or mug.
  • Add the coffee grounds to the phin filter, screw on the press, and place the filter over the glass.
  • Boil water.
  • Bloom the coffee grounds by adding a small splash of boiling water to the filter.
  • Fill with boiling water to the top of the filter, cover with the cap and let drip into the glass (~5 minutes).
  • Remove the filter from the glass and stir the coffee to combine with the condensed milk.
  • Pour the coffee into a tall glass full of crushed ice and enjoy!

(images by HonestlyYUM)


My name is Mary and I’m an addict. I love iced coffee ❤️

i bought one of the phin filters in vietnam a few years ago, but i could never figure out how to use it! thanks for this – i can now finally attempt making the coffee at home!

I’m Vietnamese and a big coffee fan, especially the “phin coffee”. Thank you for featuring our coffee culture and introduce it to the world. It’s 10.23am in Saigon, Vietnam right now and I have to say this article hitting me better than a triple espresso.

Thank you <3

Coffee addicts unite! My go to is my morning cup from the Chemex but I always can make time for a good Vietnamese iced Coffee!

I drink coffee before bed!! I adore coffee in all forms. My regular go to is with a splash of milk.

I’ve been wanting to try vietnamese coffee for some time.. I don’t have a phin filter but the indian coffee filter is a very similar contraption that I plan on using..
I just need to get on it but I struggle since I’m trying to cut back on my many cups of coffee 🙂

I love iced coffee, but have never made a good cup. I’m getting a phin filter. Thanks for the recipe!

The first time I had Vietnamese Iced Coffee was actually in Thailand. Well, it was a version of it anyway. I was smitten with the very first refreshing sip! I could use one right now…and I think I have everything I need. Gotta go! 😉

These pictures are so gorgeous.

I just experimented with making iced coffee at home this weekend and I’m dreaming about it now!

I might have met my coffee soul mate! Haha! I drink about 4 cups of coffee a day. Sometimes I have tea on top of that too. I haven’t gotten fully on board the Vietnamese coffee train just yet (I usually just like my coffee with milk–no sugar), but this looks so good!

Beautiful pictures as always. Do you use a editing filter at all? Just curious! 🙂

I’ve never tried Vietnamese Coffee before, but it sounds incredible so I’ll give it ago! Iced coffee is perfect for the summer so I must give this recipe a try… sounds incredible!

I am with Naomi! I only just started drinking iced coffee, but I think it is the sweetened condensed milk that has me HOOKED! I don’t drink any other form of coffee, but I love Vietnamese coffee! So good and such awesome photos!

It’s true, I hate coffee but LOVE Vietnamese coffee, and this looks incredible!!

I’ve debating on getting a Chemex this year, do you recommend it ? I have a Moccamaster and its wonderful but we love coffee so much at home and love experimenting with different methods of preparations. I’m loving your Vietnamese iced coffee so much, it’s the perfect summer thirst quencher.

this is absolutely one of my favorite thing to drink in summer..

Vietnamese coffee is the best iced coffee and I’m not just say’ n that because I grew up on it. Seriously, nothing beats the strong brew with the condensed milk.

Funny thing is, Matt can’t stand coffee but loves Vietnamese coffee. And btw-I’m only drink my coffee black too, BUT I throw in a ton o’sugar in mine for an extra hit of “cracked out-ness”.

Ha! You drink A LOT of coffee. I would literally be a crazy person if I drank that much. One cup will do it for me everyday, however, if I had THIS coffee drink, I imagine I couldn’t just stop and one. They look awesome.

Wow this looks so great! I am a big coffee fan too and I am trying to cut down a bit the portions of caffeine I am consuming so this little coffee “ritual” might do the trick since it needs some patience but the result is worth it 😀

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