Cold Brew Vietnamese Iced Coffee: Say Cháo to Your Newest Addiction

Cold brew

As you probably know, we’re OBSESSED with Vietnamese iced coffee. An authentic cà phê sữa đá is full of contradictions; it’s strong yet sweet, exciting yet comforting, and it’s safe to say there’s nothing we wouldn’t do for a tall glass of iced coffee.

While we love this coffee as is, one of the best things about it is that you can tweak it to suit your preferences and you can be as creative as you like. An excellent way to do this is by experimenting with different types of coffee, and today we’re using a powerful cold brew as the base.

Read on to find out how you can make this ngon (tasty) cold brew Vietnamese iced coffee at home.

What is Vietnamese Coffee?

This traditional Vietnamese coffee is made by combining dark-roast robusta coffee that’s been brewed using a traditional Vietnamese coffee filter known as a phin. Once brewed, the coffee is mixed with a generous spoonful of sweetened condensed milk and topped with iced and an extra splash of milk. This is a wonderfully refreshing drink that’s great to have on hot summer days, or whenever you feel like you need some TLC. 

Vietnamese phin filter
Picture courtesy of Pexels

Are Cold Brew and Iced Coffee the Same?


Although iced coffee and cold brew are often used interchangeably, the two are quite different. Iced coffee is a regular coffee (that’s been brewed using your preferred method) and then served with ice. Cold brew on the other hand is coffee that’s made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for over 12 hours. The result is a smooth and potent concentrate that is served with water or milk to slightly dilute it. It’s this rich concentrate that you will use to make your cold brew Vietnamese iced coffee (cà phê sữa đá).

Recipe for Cold Brew Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Here's our recipe for cold brew Vietnamese iced coffee. We're giving you two options, one where you prepare the cold brew yourself, and one using store bought cold brew… because who really has the time to make your own cold brew at home? 


  • 1/2 cup coarsely ground dark-roast coffee
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 tabelspoon sweetened condensed milk
  • Milk (if desired)
  • Ice


Step 1

Combine the coffee grounds and cold water in a large jar or pitcher. Stir to combine and let it steep.

Step 2

Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours, depending on how strong you like your coffee. We recommend 18 hours to get the perfect smooth yet strong concentrate, anything less than 12 hours will result in a weak and watery brew.

Step 3

Strain the coffee concentrate through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a clean container.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee with Store bought Cold Brew

Alternatively, you could skip these steps and just use a pre-made cold brew from the store. 

Step 1

To make the iced coffee, fill about half a glass with the cold brew concentrate, and top it with ice.

Step 2

Add 1-2 tablespoons (or however much your heart desires) of sweetened condensed milk, and top with a splash of your milk of choice.

Step 3

Stir until the coffee and condensed milk are well combined. Enjoy your homemade Vietnamese iced coffee!