vietnames iced coffee
Food and Drink

A simple guide to making the perfect Vietnamese iced coffee

Not ready to let go of your iced coffee habit as we had into autumn? You need to learn how to make Vietnamese iced coffee.

Welcome to The Curiosity Academy, Stylist’s new learning hub where you can access workshops, how-to guides, new research and learn the most up-to-date skills from the UK’s most in-the-know people.

Iced coffee has become TikTok’s favourite drink and this summer, the Vietnamese take on the drink has proven particularly popular on the app. If you’re not ready to let go of iced coffee just yet as we move into the colder months, Vietnamese iced coffee could be the perfect way to hold on to it offering a richer, silkier take on the drink.

“Traditionally, Vietnamese iced coffee is made using a more robust coffee and a darker roast,” says Celeste Wong, a barista and influencer.

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The main thing that differentiates Vietnamese iced coffee from other varieties is that it’s made with condensed milk. This was initially because regular dairy milk was hard to come by in Vietnam when coffee was first introduced to the country in 1857. But many people have come to love the extra sweetness the condensed milk adds.

Here, Celeste shares her Vietnamese iced coffee recipe and her tips for perfecting it from home.

What you will need to make Vietnamese iced coffee

Serves three people.

Ingredients

  • 60ml ground coffee
  • 100ml condensed milk
  • 50ml dairy/plant milk
  • Boiling water

Equipment

  • Pot
  • Filter paper
  • Filter cone

How to make Vietnamese iced coffee

  1. Add some boiling water to a pot and add your coffee.
  2. Allow the coffee to sit for a few minutes until it’s extracted.
  3. Use filter paper to filter your coffee through your cone into a glass.
  4. Allow it to cool to room temperature or, if you have time, leave it in the fridge.
  5. Pour your coffee over ice and add your condensed milk and dairy/plant milk and mix it together with a metal spoon.

Celeste’s expert tips

Dairy or plant milk helps to modernise the drink

Although condensed milk gives Vietnamese iced coffee a twist, the sweetness of the drink can be overwhelming. “I recommend adding some regular milk, whether that’s dairy or plant-based, to enhance the flavour and texture of the drink,” Celeste says.

You can play around with the amount of regular milk you add to the condensed milk, as long as the overall volume of liquid added to the drink sits somewhere between 100-150ml.

Use coconut milk to make the drink vegan

If you’re dairy free, Celeste says that coconut milk is the perfect alternative to condensed milk. “If you don’t like coconut milk, there are also lots of other plant-based condensed milk alternatives available now,” she adds.

You can find more expert tips and guides on The Curiosity Academy’s Instagram page.

  • Celeste Wong, barista and influencer

    Celeste Wong barista and coffee influencer
    Celeste Wong of The Girl in the Cafe.

    Celeste has held top positions in leading artisan cafes all over the world for over a decade. Since migrating to the UK, she has been listed as one of London’s top five baristas in The Financial Times.

Images: Getty, Celeste Wong