Traditionally a ca phe phin is used to brew Vietnamese coffee. It’s similar to a pour over coffee. The phin sits on top of a cup, there is a compartment that holds the grounds and hot water is poured in on top. Then the coffee drips slooowwly, one drip at a time, through a built-in filter, right into the cup.

Just recently I learned, that the reason for Vietnamese coffee being so strong and bitter, is the use of Robusta coffee beans. While our North American palate is more used to the milder Arabica beans.
No wonder then, that usually one quarter to half as much sweetened condensed milk is stirred together with the strong coffee. This results in a very sweet beverage. In Vietnam it is often considered dessert.
I, however, like to sip away on my iced coffee to cool down on hot afternoons. So to make my Vietnamese-style Iced Coffee a little more refreshing, I use less sweetened condensed milk, more (not as bitter) coffee, and also add a splash of regular milk or half & half.


  • 1-2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • ⅓ cup (90 ml) strong brewed coffee
  • milk or half & half to taste
  • enough ice to fill a tall glass


  1. Fill sweetened condensed milk into a tall glass and top with ice.
  2. Pour in strong coffee and stir vigorously to combine and cool the coffee.
  3. Add (dairy-free) milk or half & half to taste. Enjoy!
  4. ...........................

for full instruction please see :


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