Vietnamese coffee, or cà phê đá, is adored all around the world for so many reasons. It’s the perfect balance of smoky and sweet, and it tastes amazing as either a hot or iced beverage. Plus, it’s stronger than most coffee drinks - a plus for anyone looking to get that extra jolt in the morning.
Traditional Vietnamese coffee is made with a cà phê phin, or phin filter. Dark-roasted coffee grounds are packed within its chamber, and hot water is poured into it, dripping slowly into a sweet pool of condensed milk. When served cold, the coffee is poured over a mound of crushed ice - creating a bold, syrupy, and refreshing concoction.
First, place the cylindrical body of your cà phê phin on top of the cup you’ll be brewing your coffee into. This is where your coffee grounds will go.
If your phin filter also comes with a round disk filter (it looks like a plate), place that under the cylindrical body.
Place your coffee grounds into the body of your phin filter, making sure the grounds are level.
Tamper your coffee grounds with the filter disk that has a handle. Make sure it’s pressed on top of the coffee grounds tightly enough to keep them down, but not tight enough that you’re flattening the coffee bed too much.
Pour your hot water in, then place the lid of your filter on top - this will help the hot water maintain its temperature.
If all of the water doesn’t fit into the filter, wait until some of the coffee has dripped before pouring the rest.
After your coffee has finished brewing, add your condensed milk.
If you’re making hot coffee, you're all done! If you want to turn it into an iced drink, add crushed ice. Don’t worry about the ice melting - the coffee is strong enough that it won’t taste diluted.