How to Make ‘ca phe sua da’ (Vietnamese Coffee)

Vietnamese Coffee with condensed milk coffee

Have you ever ate at a Vietnamese restaurant (ie. Pho), and wondered what that dripper drink was? Well it’s actually a very traditional Vietnamese way of making coffee. Made freshest when grinding the beans fresh, choose a medium to coarse ground dark roast for ultimate flavour. Here’s a quick DIY on how to make ca phe sua da.

vietnamese coffee ingredients

What you need

  • Phin coffee filter (or if you have time)
  • Coffee cup
  • Grounded coffee (best ground medium coarse)
  • Ice cubes
  • Sweetened condensed milk (optional)
  • Sugar (optional)


phin filter
  1. Clean your phin filter apparatus (filter, press & lid)
  2. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of grounded coffee into the filter and give a little shake to flatten out the coffee
  3. Use the provided press and pack down the coffee (or just lightly screw on)
phin filter on glass
  1. Pour some sweetened condensed milk into a mug/tall glass (about a teaspoon or more depending on how sweet you want your coffee to be)
  2. Put the phin filter over the mug, pour about 1-2 tablespoon of hot water into the filter and wait about a minute to let the water absorb into the coffee
coffee dripping from phin filter
  1. Now pour more hot water to fill the filter to about 70-80% level and then cover it with the lid
  2. Wait until the coffee finishes dripping into the cup
mix condensed milk with phin filtered coffee
  1. Ca Phe Sua Da: You can now add ice cubes to your coffee. Stir and mix the condensed milk.
    Ca Phe Den: If you didn’t add the condensed milk (step 4), you can go ahead and add ice cubes and sugar (to your liking) as an alternative to the traditional Sua Da recipe
  2. Remember to use your filter lid as a plate when you are done to prevent leaks/spills.

Over time, we hope to share some of our favourite recipes and Kitchen tricks we’ve learned over the years. But for now, enjoy your coffee!

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