Easy Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe with Espresso

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe with Espresso for Coffee Lovers | @whiteonriceChances are if you walk into our house or work with us in our studio, you’ll end up sipping on some of our favorite coffee drinks. For the morning, a manual pressed espresso or cappuccino will start the day. In the afternoon when we start feeling sluggish, a Vietnamese iced coffee is the perfect “pick-me-up”. If you’ve never had a Vietnamese Iced Coffee, it’s a combination of strong coffee and a hit of sweetened condensed milk, add iced and a super refreshing “ahh”. It’s been a super busy summer and when the two o’clock hour rolls along, we’re reaching for the iced coffee like it’s going out of style.Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe with Espresso for Coffee Lovers | @whiteonrice

Speaking of Summer, we still can’t believe August is already here and we’re heading towards the holidays. Isn’t that terrible to already be thinking of the holidays?! We’re in no rush in any way to be pushing Summer away, but when we were shopping for some Summer props the other day, the stores were already stocking their shelves with faux pumpkins, autumn leaves and some Halloween items. We’re not ready to be giving up sweet corn, stone fruit and watermelon just yet, so why drop all this bounty and hang faux pumpkins? It just doesn’t feel right.

So in continuous celebration of this glorious warm weather and longer days on the beach, we’re sharing with you our easy method of making Vietnamese Iced Coffee.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe with Espresso for Coffee Lovers | @whiteonrice

Vietnamese iced coffee can be made in an number of ways, so have fun in exploring the different methods. We’re here to show you how we make it:

Starting with good coffee grinds: Many Vietnamese cafes or restaurants will use Cafe Du Monde grounds or they will grind their own coffee. Cafe Du Monde may be thought of as classic, however most of the better coffee shops around in Little Saigon here in Orange County and the shops Diane’s cousins took us to in Vietnam use a much better bean. Times are moving forward. We personally use our favorite coffee beans for our morning cappuccinos which lately have been either from Kean Coffee or Sleepy Monk Roasters.

For the method of brewing the coffee there are usually two schools. One which does it the slow and poetic way with the Vietnamese coffee filters. For the other Vietnamese coffee shops, you’ll usually see espresso shots being used for each glass.

Either way makes a great Vietnamese Iced coffee. For the classic coffee filter method, there is something beautiful and relaxing in having to wait for 5 minutes while the coffee brews one drip at a time. There is also something quite beautiful in quickly pulling a luscious shot of espresso and then flicking the fingertips to stir in the sweetened condensed milk. We love both ways depending on our mood.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe with Espresso for Coffee Lovers | @whiteonrice

If you want to customize each glass and have time to brew it the old fashioned way, use a Vietnamese iced coffee filter. It’s cool to be able to watch the coffee drip into each glass. Here’s our post about the coffee filter from our last Vietnam trip.

For a quicker, but still wonderful espresso version, fire up the espresso machine. There is also the added convenience for when you want to make it in bigger batches. Pull a bunch of shots then stir in the sweetened condensed milk to taste. You can even do this ahead of time if needed. Then when you are ready serve; ice, pour, and enjoy.

Now you have a couple options to make Vietnamese iced coffee for one or for a big party. Quick or slow a meditative. Have fun and drink up while the weather is still warm so you can hydrate yourself with lots of iced coffee!

-diane and todd

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe with Espresso for Coffee Lovers | @whiteonrice

any iced coffee lovers out there?

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe with Espresso for Coffee Lovers | @whiteonrice

More Beverage and Cocktail Recipes Here. 

Quick Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe

Yield: 1 Serving

Total Time: 5 min

This recipe is a quick version for those who have an espresso machine at home. For the classic recipe using a Vietnamese coffee filter, click here. Strength of coffee and sweetness will depend on your espresso and specific sweetened condensed milk brands. Adjust sweetened condensed milk to your personal taste.

We will often mix the sweetened condensed milk with some half and half to reduce it's sweetness a bit.


  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) Sweetened Condensed Milk *see head note
  • 2 ounces (60ml) Espresso
  • Ice


  1. Pour the sweetened condensed milk in a glass. Add the hot espresso and stir to combine.
  2. Taste and adjust to preference. Add ice and serve.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Minh Tran

    Great post! As a lover of Vietnamese coffee and culture I always get excited when I see others sharing the great things Vietnam has to offer.

    Being a fella born and raised in Saigon who lives for coffee it drove me absolutely crazy that I couldn’t get Vietnamese coffee beans in the States. Most brands from Vietnam are sold as ground coffee, often with filler and I much prefer whole beans for quality and freshness.

    When I would travel to Vietnam I started bringing Vietnamese coffee beans back to the US. At first for my own consumption but then the more people I shared it with the more people wanted it. The next thing that I know, we launched a business called ChestBrew, where we harvest and roast the best Vietnamese coffee beans and distribute it on Amazon.

    I recognize the brands you mentioned in your post but wanted to share this with you because, well the coffee is just too good not too and you sound like people who appreciate good Vietnamese coffee.

    I look forward to following your work!


  2. Mira L

    Looks refreshing ! And easy to make 🙂

  3. MyThy as in "Mighty"

    Delurking here! My mom lovingly (even after a vehement fight!) has made coffee for my dad every day for the past 36 yrs the old fashioned way with a drip filter. My dad likes Trung Nguyen for the added arabica and cocoa flavor where as my mom like’s Gavina (that comes in the brown paper bags often sold up at the register at Vietnamese super markets). Since moving from the great mecca of Little Saigon in OC, it’s hard to find good Asian coffee even at the little Vietnamese markets in suburban Detroit.

    We now make a big batch of Cafe du Monde using Pioneer Woman’s cold-pressed method. I loved introducing my fiance to Vietnamese Coffee but we work different hours for me to make him coffee (and coffee machines? Gasp! euww!) every morning. Stir in some condensed milk and top it off w/ a bit of heavy cream/half and half (my mom’s new technique). And we’re perky!

  4. sergey

    If you want to get a real taste of real Vietnamese coffee do not choose coffee with chicory. I have been staying in Vietnam for several years, professional in coffee industry and very surprised reading about chicory as component of Vietnamese coffee at western forums.What they use really here in Vietnam is 100% coffee, robusta or robusta/arabika blend, dark roast. No chicory.

  5. Ash- foodfashionparty

    Love coffee anytime of the day and the Vietnamese version looks interesting. I might have to get my hand on the coffee filter, it’s for coffee parties..love it.

  6. Donald @ Tea Time

    Yeah, some vietnamse iced coffee never too much. I always drink that without so many ice cubes.

  7. Alex @ Delicious-Knowledge

    I love vietnamese iced coffee! If I see it on a menu, I definitely get it. Never thought about making my own though! Going to pin to save later 🙂

  8. Lizthechef

    I remember sipping Vietnamese iced coffee in a San Diego restaurant with both my mom and grandmother, during my grandma’s only visit here. My absolute favorite coffee drink. Say, you want to fix that typo in your title, right?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Thanks for the heads up Liz! That’s what we get for finishing up a post at midnight.

  9. Row

    I love Vietnamese coffee, either iced or hot. You must have read my mind… I had an open tin of condensed milk, so for the last couple of days, it’s been Vietnamese coffee, all the time! So far, I’ve been drinking it hot, so I really should try it on ice. 🙂

  10. Kathrynn

    I could never get the Vietnamese coffee filter to work properly. I always end up with grounds in my coffee. How course do the grinds need to be?

    BTW – longtime fan of your blog!

    1. charlotte

      Just my $.02. I got grinds in my coffee when I used a course grind. When I switched to a finer grind (not quite espresso fine, but I have used that too), I get less. What I do is pack the grinds by squishing them between the two pieces – not too firmly or it will clog – and then dripping about a tablespoon of boiling water on first. Once the initial tablespoon has soaked in, I fill the coffee chamber. No grinds will seep through.

      When I do pack the coffee too tightly, I’ll remove the top filter, and use a fork to poke to the bottom to let the steeped coffee through. Works.

    2. White on Rice Couple

      The grind will depend on your filter but usually it is somewhere between medium to coarse. We have 3 different brands at home and they each need a slightly different grind. There is usually a touch of grinds which passes through w the individual filters.

  11. JulieD

    ahhh love this!

  12. Belinda @themoonblushbaker

    Thai coffee and tea are always on the menu at my place. I think my love for condensed milk draws me to this! Think of the icy desserts your could make with this, stunning.

  13. Norma @ Allspice and Nutmeg

    Love this! What a treat this is.

  14. Tieghan

    I think I need to start drinking coffee! Your ice coffee have been making me drool lately!

  15. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Dang, this IS easy!! Lovely way to start the day!

  16. hahaha, I’ve just made a Thai tee for my blog. But I will try your recipe for a vietnamese coffee as well. I loooove coffee.

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