Guide to Vietnamese iced milk coffee (Ca phe sua da) for first timers

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Last Updated on 2 years by Tam Le Van

Among all types of Vietnamese traditional coffee, Ca phe sua da (the iced milk coffee) has much loves from locals as well as tourists because of its easy-to-get-addicted taste. In this article, Hoi An Life outlines a travel guide to Vietnamese iced milk coffee for timers. Particularly, we help you answer the questions about which ingredients using to make it or how locals prepare it daily and of coure, where the best places to find&try in Hoi An are.

Should see also Hoi An’s local food specialties to know other delicacies in town, best places to try them and guided tours.

General information about Vietnamese coffee

First coffee beans were brought into Vietnam by French missionaries in 1857 and they belonged to Arabica variety. At the beginning, these were tested in the churches of Northern region prior to be spreaded widely all over the high mountains of Central highland (called as Tay Nguyen) later. Now, the area is recognized as the best place for Arabica cultivation nationwide, especially Da Lat surroundings because of its extremely appropriate climate&land conditions.

In 1908, another kind of coffee namely Robusta was introduced to local farmers. Like previously-existed Arabica, Tay Nguyen still is major production area for the new one with two specific varieties. While the original variety features small-sized and high quality beans plus its growing localities not too much, the high-yielding one has been anywhere and brings us lower rates of value. Currently, Robusta dominates over 90% of total Vietnam’s exporting coffee volume and becomes the main factor for every traditional coffees including addictive Ca phe sua da, unique Ca phe trung (egg coffee) or creamy Ca phe sua dua (coconut milk coffee).

Vietnamese iced milk coffee’s ingredients

Phin filter coffee: the core of Vietnamese iced milk coffee

How to make Phin filter coffee?

Vietnamese traditionally brews the coffee for making Ca phe sua da through a filter set called Phin what consists of a clear glass, lid, filter spanner, filter press and filter chamber. Depending on the needs, people will choose different sizes of this group of utensils suitable to their shops. Because drinking coffee in the morning is a daily habit, the brewers have to prepare by large-sized filters from the previous night to save time (Vietnamese often start working at around 8 a.m). However, many persons like to wait as a good way to make the time slower for reading book/news or chating with friends.

To make Phin filter coffee, first of all, the coffee powder is poured into filter chamber placed on the mouth of glass once it gets properly-filled by hot water. Then put filter press firmly (noo too tight) on the mixture to make the stability and availability to produce the largest amount of caffeine in your end-result later. Cover the chamber by lid and wait for 4-6 minutes. Coffee flows through holes at bottom of the chamber and again of filter spanner before drip slowly into the glass. When stop dripping, remove the Phin and enjoy.

Reasons why Vietnamese filter coffee is strong

First timers usually wonder what makes Vietnamese filter coffee strong. This strongness comes from usage of Robusta beans what has high caffeine content instead of Arabica ones due to its rich source of supply. Today, Vietnam is the largest producer of the type around the world. On the other hand, general price of Robusta beans always is cheaper than any others else making it become one of leading choices to local coffee makers.

Next, the habit of dark roasting is another reason, even the beans over-roasted at somewhere. There is a large number of Vietnamese believe that taste of the coffee created later will be better and more ‘flavourful’.  

Condensed milk

Sua dac (sweetened condensed milk) is another must-have element used to make Vietnamese traditional coffees. The main reason explaining for this practice belongs to the need of finding an ingredient to replace fresh milk. Historically, none of Vietnam producers were able to create it in the course of French colonial period causing its frequent shortage and its high cost. To deal with, people started selecting the condensed milk which is easier to look for and cheaper in price. When combine, it balances out the strongness of dark-roasted coffee as well.

Additionally, different proportions between condensed milk and coffee will give us a couple of results. Bac xiu is formed when the coffee amount just a little and if add it more, the mixture turns into Ca phe sua da receiving lots of love from coffeeholics.      

Authentic Vietnamese iced milk coffee’s cafeterias in Hoi An?

Olivier Coffee

Address: 6 Hoang Dieu street (near Banh mi Phuong)
Opening time: 6:30 a.m to 9 p.m everyday
Telephone number: (+84) 911275252
Facebook: Olivier Coffee
Coffee prices: Ca phe sua da (Ca phe sua Sai Gon), Bac xiu (coffee with much condensed milk) and Espresso-35.000 VND (1.5 USD)  (1.5 USD), black coffee (traditional Phin filter coffee)-22.000 VND (1 USD), black coffee with condensed milk-26.000 VND (1.1 USD), Ca phe trung (egg coffee)-50.000 VND (2.2 USD) (2.2 USD).

Phin Coffee

Address: 132/7 Tran Phu street
Opening time: 8 a.m to 5 p.m daily
Telephone number: (+84) 919882783
Facebook:  Phin Coffee
Coffee prices: Ca phe sua da and Ca phe trung (egg coffee)40.000 VND (1.7 USD) VND (1.7 USD), black coffee (traditional Phin filter coffee), Ca phe vot (cloth filter coffee), coconut milk coffee, peanut butter coffee, coffee with chocolate-50.000 VND (2.2 USD).

Passion Fruit Coffee

Address: 9 Hoang Van Thu street
Opening time: 9:30 a.m to 8 p.m daily
Telephone number: (+84) 945190905
Facebook: Passion Fruit Coffee  
Coffee prices: Ca phe sua da-18.000 VND (0.8 USD), black coffee (traditional Phin filter coffee)-15.000 VND (0.65 USD), Espresson-25.000 VND (1.1 USD), Americano-30.000 VND (1.3 USD) (1.3 USD), Capuchino-35.000 VND (1.5 USD) , Latte and Ca phe trung (egg coffee)-40.000 VND (1.7 USD).

The Espresso Station

Address: 6 Hoang Dieu street
Opening time: 7:30 a.m to 5 p.m everyday
Telephone number: (+84) 905691164
Facebook: The Espresso Station
Coffee prices: Ca phe sua da, black coffee (traditional Phin filter coffee), Espresso and Americano-40.000 VND (1.7 USD), Latte and Capuchino-50.000 VND (2.2 USD), coconut milk coffee-55.000 VND (2.4 USD).

Faifoo Coffee

Address: 130 Tran Phu street
Opening time: 8 a.m to 9:30 p.m daily
Telephone number: (+84) 905466300
Facebook: Faifoo Coffee
Coffee prices: Ca phe sua da-45.000 VND (1.9 USD), black coffee (traditional Phin filter coffee, Espresso and Americano-39.000 VND (1.7 USD), Flat White, Mocha Late and Matcha Late-52.000 VND (2.27 USD).

Mia Coffee

Address: 20 Phan Boi Chau street
Opening time: 7 a.m to 11 p.m everyday
Telephone number: (+84) 905552061
Facebook: Mia Coffee
Coffee prices: Ca phe sua da and black coffee (traditional Phin filter coffee)-30.000 VND (1.3 USD), Capuchino-37.000 VND, Flat White and Latte-40.000 VND (1.7 USD) VND.

Cong Caphe

Address: 64 Cong Nu Ngoc Hoa street (near Japanese Covered Bridge)
Opening time: 7 a.m to 11 p.m daily
Telephone number: (+84) 911866493
Facebook: Cong Caphe  
Coffee prices: Ca phe sua da,coffee with condensed milk and Bac xiu (black coffee with much condensed milk)-35.000 VND (1.5 USD) , black coffee (traditional Phin filter coffee) and Espresso-30.000 VND (1.3 USD), Americano-39.000 VND (1.7 USD), Latte, coconut milk coffee and Capuchino-45.000 VND (1.95 USD).

Blue Lotus Coffee Shop

Address: 98 Hung Vuong street (near Blue Lotus Leather workshop)
Opening time: 8 a.m to 7 p.m everyday
Telephone number: (+84) 9161832789
Facebook: Blue Lotus Coffee
Coffee prices: Ca phe sua da-30.000 VND (1.3 USD), black coffee (traditional Phin filter coffee)-25.000 VND (1.1 USD), Bac xiu (black coffee with much condensed milk)-35.000 VND (1.5 USD) , Ca phe trung (egg coffee)-40.000 VND (1.7 USD) VND.

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Tam Le Van

Tam is a tour leader and passionate traveler who has beautiful memories over 50 provinces of Vietnam. During the time Corona virus spreads out globally, he decides to become a blogger to share his experiences.
Contacts for work: or (+84) 968009827

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