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Jun 27, 2007 12:52 PM

Vietnamese Coffee [Split from Manhattan board]

Y'all should try a Vietnamese iced coffee. They use condensed milk... sweet and decadent!

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  1. I agree with Liquid Sky, I love my viet coffee. I like both hot and iced but for some reason the iced coffee seems stronger. Sometimes I make it at home, my dad is from Vietnam and he makes the perfect cup.

    10 Replies
    1. re: itstangy

      tangy: What brand coffee does your dad use? Does he use a French press to brew it?

      1. re: Liquid Sky

        I doubt that I make as good coffee as itstangy's dad but, for vietnamese coffee, I use Cafe DuMonde -- it's in an orange can -- and use a metal filter that sits on a mug/cup (i've heard someone call it a gravity filter). I've gotten both in a Chinatown supermarket on Canal.

        There's also a corner shop in Chinatown that serves Vietnamese coffee on Lafayette, about a block south of Canal. During the summer, they also serve it iced. .. The shop also has sandwiches, snacks and random odds and ends. This was the shop that introduced me to Vietnamese coffee!

        1. re: pinkp

          pinkp, my dad uses the same coffee! It is in a circular orange tin can.
          In regards to your question Liquid Sky, he also uses the drip filter that you put over your cup. We have a couple of those and he would make a cup for everyone who drinks coffee. If we need to make a big batch then he will use a french press. We have a 32oz. stainless steel Bodum one. He makes it very strong though. I have to dilute it sometimes.

          1. re: itstangy

            Thanks to you both! Aside from the Cafe du Monde and the condensed milk, is there anything else in a Vietnamese Coffee?

            Also, I wonder if a Vietnamese Iced Coffee and Thai Iced Coffee are the same?

            1. re: Liquid Sky

              I've had both, and they tasted distinctly different to me. I think Thai Iced Coffee is made with simple syrup and cream, rather than the condensed milk in Vietnamese Iced Coffee.

              1. re: Liquid Sky

                Note that Cafe du Monde is coffee with chicory added. You can also find French Market brand coffee which has chicory added. In some stores, you can a box of just chicory to add to your own ground coffee. I'm not advocating one over the other, I've found all three work well for strong drip coffee as well as Vietnamense cofee. You can also get sweetened condensed milk in a squeeze bottle at many Latin markets now....this stuff was life changing for us as we didn't have to keep track of open cans of the stuff anymore.

                1. re: ccbweb

                  I find that an empty honey-bear squeeze-bottle filled with the canned milk is a handy way to dispense it and store it.

                  1. re: ccbweb

                    The canned milk is cheaper than the squeeze bottle, so I keep refilling my bottle.


                    1. re: ccbweb

                      I have one of those handled/pull a flat plate on the top of the container/ pancake syrup dispenser thingys (think IHop if you must)it "cuts" the sweetened condensed milk immediately and no sticky stringy leftovers.

                      1. re: Cathy

                        Great ideas all! I've gone the paulj route and refill the squeeze bottle from the cans. Makes it easy when we have house sitters to tell them what's where in the fridge. I do like the syrup dispenser idea though...might have to consider that one.

          2. i also agree on the vietnamese iced coffee. nothing compares imho. i'll drink a large glass in 3-4 gulps.

            1. We drink it all the time our brand is Trung Nguyen I think this is a high end coffee
              In Vietnam they have Coffee shops named after the brand.
              I think it is the Starbucks of Vietnam and by the way Starbucks has nothing on Vietnamese coffee. Our filters are the stainless drip type but they are a large filter not the small ones they use when you order the cafe sodah ( ice coffee ).
              we have not been able to find the large ones here. we got them in Vietnam

              1. I think the key to Viet coffee is that flimsy tin four-piece coffee maker that sits atop a cup. The filter is tin with holes punched in it. Somehow the strength of the coffee using one of these is just right--and using Robusta instead of Arabica beans when in Vietnam.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  Yes those filters work great
                  What about the weasel poop coffee

                    1. re: lexnrena

                      i've tried it...couldn't believe it was a true story! it was very good.

                      1. re: lexnrena

                        Cafe Sua Da is not going to use $70/lb "weasel poop" beans. They use cheap Viet robusta that is roasted to death, and man, it is good.

                        Steer clear from Viet places that use an espresso machine instead of the metal filters! For Cafe Sua Da, a $15,000 La Marzocco is CRAP next to a $1 filter!

                      2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                        Do you have any tips on using those Vietnamese coffee brewing gadgets? I never know what quantity of grounds I should put in, how tightly I should screw down the piece that presses the grounds down, and how long the process should take. Also, is the amount of liquid it holds really supposed to be enough for an entire cup of coffee (it seems like such a skimpy serving)?

                        1. re: Humbucker

                          In theory, you add enough grounds so that you're only able to screw the filter a few turns. Turn it tight but not too tight - yes, I know that was useless but, short of measuring it in terms of pressure, I can't help further than that; it's sort of the firm-but-not-hard theory. It should be about 2 spoonfuls. The entire process won't take that long, no more than 10 minutes at most, but of course, coffee being such a social thing in Vietnamese culture, I've never actually had occasion to pay enough attention to know how long the dripping process takes.

                          The amount it holds is perfect for a cup of coffee. The flavour ends up so intense that one is more than enough for most people, but of course, the filter comes in a larger version, which is sold in the US but is extremely difficult to find. (Think of it as the Vietnamese version of espresso, and you'll understand why the portion seems so skimpy.)

                      3. Do I have to go out and buy a Vietnamese coffee filter or can I use a French press? Is there a difference in taste?