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I’ve always had an obsession with coffee. When I became bored with choosing between a flat white or a latte every morning I decided that it was time for me to branch out into other types of espressos, coffee treats, and coffee cultures.
One of my favorites that I’ve come into contact with is café sua da, or Vietnamese iced coffee, a delightful treat.
While it is made with a variety of sweetening options, the most common combination is coffee and sweetened condensed milk.
You can make this type of coffee from your own home, with the tools you already have in your kitchen.
However, if you’re looking to make café sua da the way Vietnamese locals do, you will want to invest in a Vietnamese coffee maker.
While I won’t say that it’s as easy as pushing a button on your Keurig, pretty soon you’ll be making café sua da like a Vietnamese barista.
Read this article to discover what tools you need to reach that level of café sua da preparation. As an extra bonus, find a recipe for Vietnamese coffee at the end of this piece too.
How the Vietnamese View Coffee – A Background
For the Vietnamese, coffee is an integral part of daily life. In fact, the country is actually the world’s second-largest producer of fresh coffee beans. Not unlike other nations, coffee affords people in Vietnam the opportunity to interact with friends and family in a calm and low-stress environment.
Considering just how fast-paced life in Vietnam can be, the act of sustaining a coffee buzz helps people to wind down while also winding up with a bit more energy to handle their busy days. There are a ton of coffee shops both available to the public and tucked into the fabric of individual businesses to accommodate the nation’s need for liquid energy.
To add to their coffee fixation, the Vietnamese also roast their coffee beans with ample helpings of butter and brandy to fully round out its complex and delicious flavor profile without drowning out the original taste of the coffee.
Vietnamese Coffee Maker and Coffee Filter
Trung Nguyen Coffee is a company that makes Vietnamese coffee, coffee makers, and coffee filters. You may think these pieces would be similar to the coffee makers used in the West, but these tools are actually quite different.
With the Trung Nguyen coffee filter (or phin), you won’t need to buy paper filters anymore. These are the filters used in Vietnamese coffee shops.
Trung Nguyen features stainless-steel filters that give an incomparable and inexpensive flavor unlike what you would normally get from any other filter.
There is a wide variety of size options, from single cup size to a filter large enough to fill a tall travel mug or a full pitcher of iced coffee. You can find very thorough directions in using your phin on the Trung Nguyen website. Using a phin is very easy, so don’t be alarmed by the extensive list of directions.
How to Make Vietnamese Coffee
Cafe sua da is just one way to prepare Vietnamese coffee.
Other methods unique to the region of Vietnam include adding an egg yolk and whipping the mixture with condensed milk, creating a tiramisu type of flavoring.
Another exciting way to drink coffee in Vietnam is with yogurt – simply add a drizzle of black coffee on top of your yogurt and enjoy!
Vietnamese cafes even offer coffee smoothies, something that is recently picking up in the U.S. Different areas of Vietnam make coffee smoothies with different add-ins. In the north, they tend to add banana and avocado, while the south adds more tropical fruit.
The most common way remains café sua da, or Vietnamese iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk. If you have coffee and sweetened condensed milk, you are already set to begin making your very own café sua da.
Café Sua Da Recipe
This sweet coffee drink is best enjoyed on a steamy summer afternoon, which mimics the conditions of Vietnam most days.
However, you can always enjoy this treat to satisfy that early morning sweet tooth while also getting your caffeine fix. Use this recipe to start learning how to make Vietnamese iced coffee (makes four servings).
Directions for Café Sua Da
Pour the brewed coffee into four coffee cups, and then spoon two tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk into each cup. Stir the milk into your coffee, taking care to fully dissolve the milk.
If you are serving this drink to guests, have some fun with your presentation. Give each guest a long-handled spoon, a cup of coffee, and a tall glass with ice cubes.
Instruct your guests to pour the hot coffee and milk mixture into a tall glass and to stir quickly. If your guests have never had Vietnamese iced coffee before, they will likely be pleasantly surprised by the ease of preparing this delicious recipe.
This quick, easy 10-minute recipe lets you create a drink your guests will never forget. They too can prepare this sweet treat on a hot afternoon, imagining themselves in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Rain or shine, this drink is always great to enjoy, no matter the conditions.
Vietnamese Delights in Your Comfortable Home
Whether you choose to make the small investment into a Vietnamese coffee maker or not, you can continue to make enjoyable Vietnamese coffee drinks in your own home.
Once you master cafe sua da, try out the egg yolk or yogurt combinations. If you were pleasantly surprised by this treat, you might enjoy those mixtures too! All of these drinks have unique flavors, both surprising and pleasing.
While you might not end up in Vietnam anytime soon there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a bit of Vietnamese iced coffee at home. And, if you do end up visiting Vietname, you’ll feel right at home at a coffee house.