Vietnamese Iced Coffee: Eating Vietnam

by Karen on Friday, July 23, 2010

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One cup makes me very happy.  Two cups make me want to compulsively clean my apartment.  Three cups– well three happened only once– and it reminded me of my “experimental” days in college of which I shant discuss here.  So warning: this coffee is super yummy and incredibly strong!  A few tips you should abide by when striving for a cup of the real thing:
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1) Make sure to use the right beans: brands that are commonly used are Cafe Du Monde or Trung Nguyen (both have online stores) and are uniquely Vietnamese because they contain chicory, the root of endive which is a type of lettuce.  If you don’t want to source these beans, full-bodied dark roast beans will do.
2) Grind the beans extrafine or to an espresso grind.  This allows for maximum flavor extraction.
3) Use a small Vietnamese steel press.  These are readily available at Vietnamese markets but if you don’t have one, a stove-top espresso maker or electric coffee maker is a great substitute.

Directions for 1 cup:

– 2 spoonfuls of ground Vietnamese coffee
– 2 spoonfuls of condensed milk (or however much you want, I don’t like mine too sweet or milky so I put about 1 1/2)
– 1/2 cup of boiling water
– lots of ice cubes

Put the condensed milk in the bottom of a glass cup.

Assemble your Vietnamese coffee filter by placing the perforated saucer and perforated cup on top of your glass cup.  Fill the perforated cup with ground coffee and place the perforated disk with the attached rod over the coffee, packing in the coffee gently.  Pour boiling water over the disk and let the coffee drip into the glass cup.  Or if you are making the coffee using an espresso maker or the best single serve brewer you can find to brew the coffee accordingly. For the perfect piece of brewing equipment for your office, visit Corporate Coffee Systems website.

The water should drip very slowly and may take a few minutes.  Mix the coffee with the condensed milk so it’s all incorporated and turns a lovely mocha color.  Fill the cup the rest of the way with ice cubes and enjoy!



Deana July 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I absolutely love Vietnamese coffee, the condensed milk is what really does it for me. I had no idea what an intricate process it was to make it!

Valerie July 26, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Karen, I remember the “experimental” days and can I just say… THIS COFFEE SHOULD BE ILLEGAL! Seriously one of the best things I’ve had in a dog’s age. The condensed milk is love and the coffee itself has such a unique flavor… I haven’t been able to get it off my mind!

Jaja August 3, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Ever since I had my first sip of this coffee, I never went back to drinking instant coffee anymore, not unless I run out of Vietnamese coffee in my pantry. Good thing my dad works in Vietnam so I have a steady supply of Trung Nguyen to last me till his next visit. I love love love this coffee. Great to drink on a hot summer day! =)

Karen August 4, 2010 at 12:07 am

Couldn’t agree more! I just LOVE this coffee– tastes like candy! I haven’t tried Cafe du Monde yet, but am gonna buy a couple bags online 🙂

Maria @ Scandifoodie August 4, 2010 at 12:26 am

I love Vietnamese drinks, they are genius with condensed milk!

Valerie August 5, 2010 at 12:40 am

Almost too delicious, aren’t they?!

Laura August 4, 2010 at 9:04 am

My roommate just brought me back some Vietnamese coffee from her travels and I had no idea what to do with it. Now I do! Thanks for the instructions — I’ll have to try it out.

P.S. Just found your blog and love it!

Karen August 4, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Thanks Laura, glad the post could help!

B August 4, 2010 at 4:49 pm

The chicory used in coffee or as a coffee subsitute is not the root of endive, the names are similar.
Thank you for the coffee recipe, sounds delicious

Valerie August 5, 2010 at 12:39 am

Hope you enjoy the recipe! Let us know how it was!

limolori August 22, 2010 at 10:21 am

I had Vietnamese coffee at a restaurant named Rainbow in Minneapolis. Not only do I love the coffee, but they bring it out and you get to watch while you wait. I am glad it is not close enough to my home to make it a habit.

Valerie August 22, 2010 at 10:41 am

Best addiction ever though… 🙂

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