Vietnamese Cold Brew Coffee (Recipe + Tips)
Decadent frappé or frappuccino is the best way to cool down during hot summer days now and then. But what if you just want a nice back-to-basics kind of coffee?
Why not try a Vietnamese cold brew coffee? Keep reading to learn more about how to make one.
- 1-½ cups coarse ground dark roast coffee
- 6 cups of room-temperature water
- 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk
- Cold brew ice cubes
- Whipped cream, optional
- One 1.5-litre French press
- 1 large container or 1.5-litre pitcher
- 1 standard ice cube tray
- 475-ml tall glass
AT A GLANCE
16 h (cold brew), 5-10 min (Vietnamese cold brew), 16h10m in total
1.4 litres of cold-brew concentrate, one 475 ml drink
How to Make Vietnamese Cold Brew
Vietnamese cold brew coffee is very similar to Ca phe sua da recipe, and it incorporates sweetened condensed milk, uses dark roast coffee, and is an excellent treat during those hot summer days. But the similarities end there.
The Vietnamese recipe uses regular cold brew concentrate like this cold brew coffee with almond milk. Though the cold brew concentrate takes a while to make, it’s well worth the effort. Along with even more cold brew drink ideas, you can incorporate this deliciously smooth coffee concentrate into ice cream, popsicles, and baked goods.
Choosing Your Coffee Beans for Cold Brew Coffee
So, which coffee beans should you use for your cold-brew coffee concentrate? Well, that depends. Are you looking for a fruitier cold brew coffee or a smooth, chocolaty, and nutty cold brew?
If you’re looking for a sweet, chocolaty, and nutty cup, then a medium or dark roast from Central and South America is a good choice. There may even be notes of dried fruit, various types of chocolate, and toasted nuts in the aroma or palate.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a brighter, fruitier, or even floral cold brew coffee concentrate, then a light to medium roast from Africa will be your best choice.
Home Grounds uses a dark roast coffee for this recipe because we’re looking for a smooth chocolate cup with a medium to heavy body.
The Water Temperature for the Best Cold Brew Coffee
Despite its name, the best cold brew concentrate is made with room temperature water, between 20 and 23°C.
And while there will be less complexity in the final cup than cold-brewed coffee—chilled filtered coffee—this room-temperature water will extract more flavours than a cold brew coffee brewed in the fridge.
So, let’s make some Vietnamese cold-brew coffee.
1. Brew Your Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
In a large, 1.5-litre French press, combine 1-½ cups of coarse ground dark roast coffee with 6 cups of room temperature water. Gently stir to ensure all the grounds are well-incorporated.
Then, place the plunger and lid on the French press without pressing down and let it sit on the counter for 16 hours.
Pro Tip: Here, we’ve used a 1 to 4 ratio of coffee to room temperature water. This will produce a cold brew concentrate you’ll then dilute to your desired strength. However, if you want to make a cold brew that’s ready to drink, feel free to experiment with different ratios to reach the brew strength you like.
2. Make Your Cold Brew Ice Cubes
After your cold brew is done, press the water through the grounds and decant into a large container or 1.5-litre pitcher.
Then, pour the cold brew concentrate into a standard ice cube tray and chill overnight in the freezer.
Pro Tip: While plain cold brew coffee ice cubes are great, feel free to flavour your ice cubes. Before freezing, just ensure your flavourings are well-incorporated and completely dissolved in the cold brew.
3. Make Your Vietnamese Cold Brew Coffee
Finally, it’s time to assemble your drink. Fill the bottom of a 475-ml, tall glass with as many or as few cold brew coffee ice cubes as you prefer.
Then, fill the glass the rest of the way with equal parts water and cold brew coffee concentrate. Lastly, measure two tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk and stir to combine.
Pro Tip: The best way to measure sweetened condensed milk is to grease your measuring spoon with olive or avocado oil. This tip works for honey, peanut butter, or anything sticky.
This refreshing cold brew drink is an excellent accompaniment to traditional Vietnamese desserts, like tau hu nuoc or banh trung thu (1).
This Vietnamese cold brew is the ultimate refresher for those hot summer days. Pair it with traditional Vietnamese desserts for the ultimate summertime or anytime treat.
Have you made this Vietnamese cold-brew coffee? Got a question about single-origin beans, coffee brewing methods, or a recipe to share? Drop us a comment below.
Yes, you can make this drink hot. Simply prep your cold brew as usual, add in your sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream, and enjoy.
Yes, you can make this as a latte. Simply follow the steps above for the hot Vietnamese cold brew, adding no more than 120 ml of steamed and foamed milk.
The difference between cold-brewed coffee and the cold-brew concentrate is in the cup profile. Because cold-brewed coffee is filtered coffee that’s been chilled, it contains all the nuance you’d expect in hot-brewed coffee. On the other hand, cold brew coffee hasn’t been exposed to hot water, so the flavours are subtler. What’s more, the resulting coffee is less acidic and smoother.
- Rennick, L. We’re sweet on these Vietnamese desserts. Food. https://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2018/10/22/were-sweet-these-vietnamese-desserts