Drinking Vietnamese Coffee in Vietnam

Enjoying Vietnamese Coffee in Vietnam

During our November 2016 trip to Vietnam, I enjoyed cà phê sữa nóng, or Vietnamese coffee, at least twice a day. I’ve always loved coffee, and have over half a dozen ways to make coffee in our house. But there was something really special about enjoying it while in Vietnam. I was introduced to cà phê sữa nóng a long time ago while frequenting many of the Vietnamese restaurants and cafes in and around around Eden Center in Falls Church, Virginia – an anchor for the region’s Vietnamese population – and the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington when it was considered Little Saigon before the renovations of the early 2000. Many meals began or ended with a cup.

Simply put, Vietnamese coffee is an espresso strength pour-over with sweetened condensed milk, a cousin of espresso con panna. But there is an intangible quality to Vietnamese coffee that comes from the brewing process. It’s best served when brewed at your table, where you become invested in your own cup of coffee. The slow steady drip can be mesmerizing and the anticipation makes that first sip all the sweeter.


Ca Phe Sua Nong (Hot Vietnamese Coffee) Recipe


  • Vietnamese Coffee Filter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (25ml) coarse ground coffee (use Vietnamese or an espresso roast, ground for a french press)
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) sweetened condensed milk )
  • Approximately 1/2 cup hot water (almost to a boil)


  • Add sweetened condensed milk to a small, clear glass cup.
  • Place ground coffee in filter and place on top of cup.
  • Fill the filter with near-boiling water then place the lid on top. The water will slowly trickle through the filter into the glass for about 3-5 minutes.
  • Once the filter is empty and your cup is full, it’s time to stir and enjoy.
About Chris

Chris is a travel enthusiast and avid photographer. He is usually seen palling around with En Route Traveler’s founding editor Lara. He has been all over the world, from America’s National Parks to some the most dangerous places on earth, and prides himself on being adaptable and prepared for whatever comes his way. In his free time, Chris enjoys coaching CrossFit, learning about the American Civil War, making coffee, or dabbling in any number of nerdy hobbies.




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