How to Make Vietnamese coffee

By Arlinda Fasliu and Jake Nolan

Photo by  Fred Wissink

Photo by Fred Wissink

Coffee was introduced to Vietnam during French rule around 1857 and has since evolved into a staple drink and crop

There are several types of Vietnamese style coffee, but today we’ll focus on Cà phê sua dá. After the first sip, you’ll understand why it’s won over so many with its sweet and strong character.

First time drinkers will often be told that they will feel the difference when they drink local coffee and it’s true. You may feel the adrenaline racing through your veins with your morning coffee because it is packed with caffeine. Vietnamese coffee is made with 100% Robusta coffee which has many different characteristics from the commonly used Arabica; the only one you need to know is its caffeine content which is double that of Arabica. Coffee lovers everywhere, prepare yourselves.


Condensed milk (sweetened)

Robusta coffee (medium coarse grind)


The Tools:


2 glasses (one short, one tall)

Long spoon


A phin is similar to a french press. It is made of 3 parts: the pot, the press, and the lid. There’s a few differences on how you use it, that we’ll get to in the how to.

How To

  1. Take a tall glass cup and fill it up with 2 tablespoons of condensed milk

  2. Boil water

  3. Put 2 to 3 spoonfuls of ground coffee into the Phin. Spread it out evenly and press it down using the press.

  4. Put the phin over the short glass cup

  5. Pour hot water into the phin and fill it up to the top. Close the lid.

  6. Wait as the glass fills. If it is going too slow use a utensil to loosen the press. If it is dripping too fast, tighten the press.

  7. Wait a few minutes until the drip has finished or you think it’s enough.

  8. Put ice in the tall glass and pour the coffee into the cup

  9. Throw in the long spoon and straw for the last touch and you’ve made a vietnamese-style coffee

The coffee and milk will mix to create a milky caramel color that looks as smooth as it tastes. You can substitute the milk for sugar if you like but the coffee is quite bitter without a little sweet touch.