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…

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.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Serves 1 | Prep: 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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  1. Nina

    Hi! I’m excited to try your recipe! But, I’d like to know the size of the grounds to use? Can I use fine and/or espresso grind?

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Nina, the size of grounds really depends on your method of brewing. If you’re using a coffee maker, you can use the fine grind, and if using a French Press, use a coarser grind. I hope this helps!

  2. Sarah

    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.

  3. Patty

    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;-)

  4. Jen Laceda @ Tartine and Apron Strings

    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!

  5. Monet

    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!

  6. Norma-Platanos, Mangoes and Me!

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

  7. sippitysup

    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

  8. Jennifer (Delicieux)

    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.

  9. ray

    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.

  10. Holly

    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.

  11. Mary

    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.

  12. Rikki

    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 [:

  13. Joy

    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.

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