Vietnamese Iced Coffee! {street food monday}

Vietnamese Iced Coffee // The Sugar Hit


Vietnamese iced coffee is lush. It’s rich, ice cold, sweet and strong. Just like I like my men? No, that joke sucks, forget it.


Instead, turn your attention to this drink. This iced coffee has changed my home coffee game forever. Until now it’s been straight up black french press coffee for me, unless I’m out and about and can indulge my iced coffee dreams. Well, not any more.


Vietnamese Iced Coffee // The Sugar Hit


Traditional Vietnamese Iced Coffee is made in a nifty little metal filter contraption, which I’m told are actually super cheap and pretty easy to locate online, or if you have a Vietnamese community in your town.


And I totally understand that coffee made in a french press is different than coffee made in one of those authentic individual drip filters. But hey, this is The Sugar Hit, and I make no promises about authenticity, only about what tastes good.


Vietnamese Iced Coffee // The Sugar Hit


And when something begins with an oozy layer of condensed milk, you know it’s going to be good, right? Side note: pouring condensed milk is one of my favourite kitchen activities.


Straight onto that sticky-sweet foundation of goodness goes a layer of dark, strong coffee. This drink is all about contrast, so on top of the very sweet milk, you want a very strong dose of coffee.


Vietnamese Iced Coffee // The Sugar Hit


My secret touch is a tiny pinch of cinnamon in with the coffee grounds. Cinnamon is such a Vietnamese ingredient to me, I just love it, but it’s not traditional so feel free to leave it out if you’re not a fan.


Once the coffee is in – and not too much, about a double-espresso’s worth – you fill up the glass with ice and give the whole thing a stir up. And that my friend, is going to be the drink of my summer, which is just starting down here in the southern hemisphere. It’s completely addictive and so, so refreshingly tasty. Give it a go!


xx Sarah.


Vietnamese Iced Coffee // The Sugar Hit


Vietnamese Iced Coffee!
Strong, rich, icey cold, and totally addictive!
  • 1 tbsp dark roast coffee, per person
  • 85ml (1/3 cup) freshly boiled water, per person
  • 1-2 tbsp condensed milk, per person
  • Ice, to serve
  1. Place the coffee into the bottom of your plunger and add in the water. Leave to brew for around 4 minutes, or however long you prefer.
  2. Pour 1 tbsp of condensed milk into the bottom of each glass.
  3. Slowly press down the plunger on your french press, and then pour the coffee onto the condensed milk in each glass - try not to disturb the condense milk too much.
  4. Add a good handful of ice to each glass, and serve!
  5. Let each person stir their drink and add additional condensed milk as desired.



  1. Your photography blows me away every. single. time. I want to swim in a vat of condensed milk now. So thanks for that, too.

  2. adding condensed milk to the shopping list!!!!

  3. I saw your pic on Facebook while browsing and literally gasped!I grew up in Russia and sweet and condensed milk was our condiment of choice. It went on everything-cakes, fruit, tea, coffee. I am 100% there with you, Sarah!

  4. Sweetened condensed milk is the greatest thing.. ever. I’ve strangely never had Vietnamese coffee, but now is the time! So easy, too. Yum.

  5. Man, if anyone is judging the great & glorious French press, they can just quit whining! Coffee trends may come and go, but delicious coffee is delicious coffee no matter how you brew it. :) This coffee sounds so refreshing on a sultry afternoon.

    • THANK YOU! Yes, I totally agree about good coffee – who cares how it got to you? Just enjoy it! And you’re right, this is A+ sultry afternoon material!

  6. Still can’t believe I’ve never had Vietnamese iced coffee! I tend not to be a sugar-y coffee person, but I need to just try it and see!

    Just want to say that I love this series Sarah!

  7. Hahaha! The opening sentence really made me LOL.
    Condensed milk is the BEST! I used to eat it practically by the can-ful when I was a kid. Yum!

    The photos are gorgeous are usual :)

  8. I had at least one of these a day both times I went to Vietnam. Coffee + condensed milk is a match made in heaven! I found the drip thing in a Vietnamese grocery store for about $10, but a French Press seems like a worthy substitute.

    Loving your blog, and it was great to meet you over the weekend!

    • Thanks Chisa! It was so good meeting you too! I had a blast learning about those bees.

  9. YESSS to adding cinnamon to coffee. Always and forever. It’s about 5 o’clock here and I’m honestly contemplating making this right now. And how is it that this is the first time I’m seeing your blog. Sarah, you’re amazing. xo

  10. I LOVE vietnamese coffee (who doesn’t love something that creamy?), and this is way easier than I thought! I’ll definitely be giving this a shot ASAP :)

  11. Can I just make all my coffee with condensed milk from now on? Seems like a good life plan.

  12. Oh this looks beautiful! I love condensed milk, but never thought of trying this at home. Might have to go decaf though, as I’m not to have caffeine – doctor’s orders :(
    Summer cannot come soon enough :D

  13. OMG! As usual, I’m a couple years late and always a few dollars short! Not sure how I missed this one for all these years…. I’m a huge Thai coffee fan, but this!! This looks fabulous! Not sure we have a Vietnamese store in town, but I’m sure I can find a French press! Currently I make my own cold process iced coffee, I can’t even drink srarbucks anymore! Cold process coffee brings great shame to SB…

    Thank you for another yummy way to drink coffee without spending $6.00 a pop!

  14. This coffee is a favorite memory from when I went to Vietnam a few years ago and stayed at a friend’s house near the Cambodian border. we sat at a card table on the sidewalk, someone walked 2 blocks to the market for fresh fruit, and we drank iced coffee. We got fresh bahn mi from the place next door. I don’t know if it was because we were fat Americans or not, but they put much more condensed milk in it.

  15. It’s a great recipe, but it needs one word added which makes a HUGE difference. There is a major difference between CONDENSED milk and SWEETENED condensed milk. Condensed milk is about the same as evaporated milk. It is similar in density to regular milk.

    SWEETENED condensed milk has a great deal of sugar added during the manufacturing process and has a syrupy or caramel-like density. It is thick and creamy and pours slowly.

    It makes a huge difference in the taste of this coffee. The proper name of the ingredient that you used and that is pictured above for Vietnamese Coffee is SWEETENED condensed milk.

    • Hey Dan – are you American? You guys are the only ones that have non-sweetened condensed milk! Here in Australia we use the two terms interchangeably, and (according to a quick glance at wikipedia) so do most! But you’re right. In the interest of specificity, it should be sweetened condensed milk.

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