Vietnamese Iced Coffee

All I needed was five minutes. Just five minutes of peace and solitude.

I was running around all day, ticking off each item on my to-do list, and by late afternoon, all I could think of was sitting down by myself. Have you ever had those days? Those hairy days when you rise at dawn and go non-stop? That was me, and to make matters worse, I was feeling the effects of not indulging in my afternoon coffee.

So when I found my five minutes, I seized it.

I looked in the depths of my cupboard and found it. A can, filled with bliss. My love affair with condensed milk started at a young age, and I resisted every temptation to lick the lid as I opened it to reveal the creamy sweetness within. I was making myself a Vietnamese Iced Cofeee.

With just a few minutes to spare, and without the traditional metal filter (phin) used in steeping the dark rich coffee grounds, I let my coffee maker do the work. Traditionalists will surely gasp, but I have a few short cuts that work. I cheat by letting my smart coffee maker grind the beans and steep at its highest setting for maximum richness. And I take a little extra precaution. Reaching into the freezer, I pulled out a tray of coffee ice cubes.

I have learned that rather than filling my cup with regular ice cubes (as seen above), my iced coffee becomes even more full flavored when I pour in a cascade of chestnut hued coffee ice cubes. As they melt, swirls of deep coffee flavor add to my drink, making it more robust. I may be cheating a bit, but if it means a cool glass of bliss in five minutes, then it works for me.

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Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Yield: Serves 1

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

There are so many resources out there on how to make authentic Vietnamese Iced Coffee. To learn how to make Vietnamese Iced Coffee easily using a traditional metal filter and resources for coffee, refer to these Vietnamese Iced Coffee Tips by Andrea Nguyen and these instructions Bon Appetit.


2 tablespoons dark French roast coffee, ground (use the richest you can find - see Notes below)
6 oz boiling water
2-3 tablespoons condensed milk (I use low-fat for less guilt)
1 cup coffee ice cubes*


If you have the option to control your coffee maker's steeping methods, select the strongest, darkest brew. Otherwise, steep your coffee in hot boiling water for about 4 minutes, then pour the filtered coffee into a glass.

Stir in the condensed milk, then fill the glass with coffee ice cubes. Enjoy!

* I like to make my coffee ice cubes by pouring any extra brewed coffee into ice cube trays. Having a stash in the freezer means iced coffee all summer long.

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by Liren Baker on June 28, 2012

19 Responses to “Vietnamese Iced Coffee”

  1. Brian June 28, 2012 @ 8:30 am (#

    Oh what I would give for one of these right now. Looks fabulous and refreshing!

  2. Laura (Tutti Dolci) June 28, 2012 @ 9:15 am (#

    Yum, talk about a delicious afternoon pick-me-up. Love the coffee iced cubes!

  3. Joy June 28, 2012 @ 10:46 am (#

    I completely understand how you feel. If I had the choice i would have condense milk with my coffee wveryday. Too bad my hips wouldnt like it too much.

  4. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } June 28, 2012 @ 7:15 pm (#

    Sooooo loving this coffee drink! Each morning I make a double iced latte to start the morning off. I need to make these coffee ice cubes. Almost Friday – yeah!!

  5. Rikki June 28, 2012 @ 7:39 pm (#

    I want an iced coffee so bad now. This looks beyond incredible. And I love how you use the coffee ice cubes so when they melt it adds even more flavor. Perfection [:

  6. Mary June 28, 2012 @ 8:37 pm (#

    Oh my, Liren! – I love these photos. Even for non iced coffee drinkers, these photos would entice them right into wanting to try this recipe.

  7. Sandra's Easy Cooking June 28, 2012 @ 8:56 pm (#

    OMG!!!!! I love this! Now I am in love with this!:)) Thank you for posting! BTW stunning photos!

  8. Holly June 29, 2012 @ 2:23 am (#

    I’ve never had this but it looks like a great afternoon treat. I also love the idea of coffee ice cubes – I’m going try that with my left over coffee.

  9. Rowena @ Apron and Sneakers June 29, 2012 @ 2:05 pm (#

    Lovely drink! I think I need this too whenever I get to have 5 minutes to myself. Love everything about this post.

  10. ray June 29, 2012 @ 3:55 pm (#

    I can relate on what you are going through. Yes, life could be very hectic most of the time but . . . it is what it is. Ice cubed coffee is a brilliant idea and your photography is amazingly beautiful.

  11. Jennifer (Delicieux) June 30, 2012 @ 5:20 am (#

    I was similarly obsessed with condensed milk at a young age too. I’m not sure I’d have your will power to resist licking the lid. I’ve never heard of an iced coffee with condensed milk, but it makes me wished I liked coffee! Gorgeous images as always Liren.

  12. sippitysup June 30, 2012 @ 10:32 am (#

    The Ravenous Couple gave me the traditional metal filter (phin) you spoke of which helped me achieve good results, but with this extra info I am ready for perfection. GREG

  13. Norma-Platanos, Mangoes and Me! July 1, 2012 @ 7:45 am (#

    I can surely use a glass of that wonderful coffee….

  14. Monet July 1, 2012 @ 8:28 am (#

    Isn’t it amazing that it is often only five minutes that we need…five minutes to reconnect, to unwind, to take deep, cleansing breaths. This looks delicious. An iced coffee can cure most ills in my mind. Thank you for your words, your encouragement, and your prayers. I hope you are having a restful and peaceful Saturday. Love and hugs!

  15. Smart move on the coffee ice cubes! I lived on these coffee when we went to Vietnam many moons ago (in fact, that was the year SARS or avian flu struck!). Needless to say, I had to be quarantined when I got back to Canada. So, I have many wonderful memories of Vietnamese Iced Coffee…LOL!

  16. Magic of Spice July 7, 2012 @ 4:58 pm (#

    I love these photos Liren! Of course I always do :)
    This really looks wonderful…a must try!

  17. Patty July 7, 2012 @ 5:03 pm (#

    i love that afternoon coffee, it’s a time to recharge and regroup for the rest of the day!
    Lovely photos of your coffee creation;-)

  18. Sarah July 1, 2013 @ 10:38 pm (#

    Wow liking the photos! I love my Vietnamese iced coffee. I recently discovered Silk makes a soy creamer and the vanilla is awesome. Definitely a favorite treat for me! I had featured U in the post of Beat The Summer Heat With These 7 Homemade Iced Coffee on AllFreshRecipes, if u have any other Eats want to be featured. tell me, please.

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