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On the Menu: Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Imagine you’re in Ho Chi Minh, one of Vietnam’s big & bustling cities. You find yourself walking the streets, sizzling in the heat. You are sweating and feel thirsty. You want to rehydrate, refresh and relax so you take a seat on one of the plastic stools of a local coffee spot nearest to you.

Seated in the shade, happy to give your legs a rest, you ask yourself “What should I drink?”. You look around and see locals ordering "Ca phe sua da", an iced coffee drink that seems to have some milk too.

Looking at the shop owner, you point at this drink. He nods in agreement. A few moments later, he places a "phin" (a small, stainless filter through which the coffee slowly drips into a cup) onto your table. While the coffee is dripping onto the ice cubes and milk in the glass underneath, you’re wondering whether you made a good decision ordering this “iced-latte-looking-drink”.

You take a sip and … you are in awe. You understand instantly why all locals have ordered this! The coffee gives you the kick that you need, the condensed milk makes it sweet, gives a bit of sustenance and the ice ensures you’re feeling refreshed.

Congrats, you have just tasted your first authentic Vietnamese iced coffee!

Essentials of "Ca phe sua da"

Vietnamese Iced Coffee, or "Ca phe sua da", is a coffee poured over a glass of ice cubes with sweetened condensed milk.

The magic ingredient of Vietnamese iced coffee? Without a doubt: the coffee beans! Vietnamese iced coffee needs to be brewed with Vietnamese robusta coffee. Its bold, nutty flavours complement the sweetness of condensed milk perfectly.

Grown in the Vietnamese Highlands by local farmers, Belvico coffee beans are the perfect fit to make your Vietnamese iced coffee at home. They are easy to order online in just a few clicks so you can have them delivered to your doorstep.

The other crucial ingredient of Vietnamese iced coffee? Condensed milk.

The choice for this type of milk dates back from when the French colonised Vietnam and dairy was scarce. There were no cows in Vietnam back then, so there wasn’t any fresh milk. Therefore the French didn’t know better than to add canned condensed milk to their coffee. The long shelf life, even outside the fridge, made it an excellent milk substitute. Plus, the sweetness created a perfect balance with the bitter robusta flavour.

How to make Vietnamese iced coffee at home

Who doesn’t like a refreshing iced coffee to cool off when it’s hot outside?

Traditionally, "Ca phe sua da" is prepared with a phin. But even without it, you can enjoy a great tasting, Vietnamese iced coffee at home. This is what you need:

Ingredients (1 serving)

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