Bạc Xỉu

Bạc xỉu is a sweet Vietnamese coffee due to it contains more milk than coffee.

Lastest Updated May 27, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
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Home » Beverages A-Z » Bạc Xỉu

Fact: The full name of ‘bạc xỉu’ is ‘bạc tẩy xỉu phé,’ stemming from Cantonese.

Basic Information

Bạc Xỉu: Basic Information



Alternative Name(s)

Bạc Sỉu

Drink Type

Hot non-alcoholic beverages, Cold non-alcoholic beverages



Popular Variations

  1. Iced Bạc Xỉu
  2. Hot Bạc Xỉu
Origin and Region

Bạc Xỉu: Origin and Region



Continent’s Region

Southeast Asia

Country’s Region

Southern Vietnam

Associated Region

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
Vietnam Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Bạc Xỉu: Ingredients and Preparation

Main Ingredients

Coffee, condensed milk

Main Preparing Method


Preparation Process

Brewing coffee, mix condensed milk with coffee (for the hot version), or combine condensed milk and ice, then add frothed coffee on the top (for the cold version).
A Deep Dive

Bạc Xỉu: A Deep Dive

Cultural Significance

A well-loved Saigon-style coffee beverage


Bitter, sweet


Smooth and creamy


Mild coffee aroma


Light brown

Serving Style

In a glass

Serving Temperature

Hot or cold


Often enjoyed on its own or with Vietnamese pastries and light snacks


On any occasions


110 to 133 calories per 100 ml of bạc xỉu.


Vietnam, especially in the Southern part

Popular Similar Drinks

  1. Cà Phê Sữa Đá
  2. Latte
  3. Cappuccino
  4. Flat White
  5. Ipoh White Coffee
  6. Café au Lait

Popular Dining Area

Coffee shops, street vendors, restaurants, or households in Vietnam

Bạc xỉu is a Vietnamese coffee beverage made of coffee and condensed milk, and the ratio of milk is higher than the coffee. That’s why bạc xỉu has a creamy and smoother texture.

Bac Xiu Overview

Bạc xỉu is a distinctive Saigon creation with an interesting history. Thanks to the sweeter taste, it is a perfect choice for those who don’t prefer the strong, robust flavor of traditional coffee.

Bạc xỉu’s other names are white coffee or Saigon-style coffee. Whether it is served hot or cold, bạc xỉu is a delightful treat that complements the bustling streets of Vietnam.

Locals often enjoy it with traditional snacks like fried dough sticks and doughnuts.

In general, bạc xỉu’s history and the story behind its name are worth exploring, which will be explained shortly.

It is not a difficult beverage, so everyone can make and enjoy it at home with the guidance below.

Conversely, bạc xỉu has its merits and drawbacks. In case it is not your ideal beverage, let’s compare it with cà phê sữa đá, another Vietnamese traditional drink that you might love.

Lastly, don’t miss exploring the FAQs about this unique Saigon coffee specialty.

Key Points

  • Bạc xỉu primarily includes condensed milk with a smaller proportion of coffee.
  • Originating in Saigon, bạc xỉu blends Chinese, French, and Vietnamese influences.
  • Bạc xỉu is also known as bạc sỉu, or white coffee, or Saigon-style coffee.
  • “Bạc xỉu” is from Cantonese, meaning a drink with a little bit of coffee.
  • It is enjoyable both hot and cold, often paired with snacks like fried dough sticks.

What Is the Origin of Bạc Xỉu?

Bạc xỉu root combines the influences of Chinese, French, and Vietnamese cultures and originated in Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City) during the French colonial period in Vietnam (1858-1954).

Initially, coffee was considered too bitter for women and children, leading to the use of sweetened condensed milk as a sweeter and more palatable drink. And that’s how bạc xỉu was created, with a higher milk-to-coffee ratio.

Now that you’ve uncovered the roots of bạc xỉu, let’s find out why it’s named as such.

Why Is It Called Bạc Xỉu?

The name “bac xỉu” hails from the Cantonese language, which is widely used among the Chinese community in Saigon’s Chợ Lớn area. The full name is “bạc tẩy xỉu phé”, in which “bạc” means white, “tẩy” refers to the empty glass, “xỉu” means a little bit, and “phé” is coffee.

Combining these words, it describes a beverage made with hot milk and a small amount of coffee added.

How To Make Bạc Xỉu?

There are two ways to prepare bạc xỉu, such as cold and hot versions. Here are some key steps for each style.

Cold Bạc Xỉu

Step 1: Brewing the Coffee

Use a phin filter to brew strong coffee, allowing it to drip slowly.

Step 2: Combine Ingredients

Add ice cubes, and condensed milk, then add fresh milk (optional) in a glass.

Step 3: Whisk Coffee

In a separate glass, whisk coffee to create foam, then pour it over the milk and ice mixture.

Meanwhile, making hot bạc xỉu is pretty similar, with fewer steps.

Hot Bạc Xỉu

Step 1: Brewing the Coffee

Similar to the way of making an iced version

Step 2: Combine Ingredients

Mix condensed milk and brewed coffee. Stir well.

However, it is also important to weigh the good sides and drawbacks of this Saigon-style coffee before consuming it.

Pros and Cons of Drinking Bạc Xỉu

Here are some common pros and cons of enjoying bạc xỉu.


  • Less Bitterness: Bạc xỉu with a higher milk level is less bitter than traditional Vietnamese coffee.
  • Versatile Serving: It can be enjoyed both hot and iced, catering to different preferences.


  • High in Calories: It often contains condensed milk, which can be high in sugar and calories.

After examining these positive and negative facts, you can consider another option for Vietnamese coffee, which is cà phê sữa đá. But how are they different from each other?

Bạc Xỉu Vs. Cà Phê Sữa Đá, What Are Differences?

Here, I’ll analyze various aspects to compare bạc xỉu and cà phê sữa đá. Here are six comparison features shown in a table.

Finally, don’t miss other common concerns about bạc xỉu that others want to know about it.

Bạc Xỉu FAQs

It contains less caffeine compared to regular coffee due to its higher milk-to-coffee ratio.

Yes, while bạc xỉu is already sweet due to the condensed milk, additional sweeteners can be added according to taste.

Yes, its mild flavor and low caffeine content make Bạc Xỉu a suitable choice for children.

Similar Beverages of Bạc Xỉu

Ca Phe Sua Da

Cà phê sữa đá is a traditional Vietnamese iced coffee sweetened with condensed milk and served over ice.

Adam Sam

Adam Sam

Senior Food and Drink Editor


Food Writer & Recipe Developer, Recipe Tester, Bartender, Cooking-video Maker, Editor In Chief


  • University of Gastronomic Sciences – Pollenzo (Italy) (MA Food Culture, Communication & Marketing)
  • Johnson & Wales University (US) (Baking and Pastry Arts)
  • Professional Bartender at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Adam Sam, an experienced food writer and recipe developer, is passionate about blending diverse culinary traditions, national dishes, and innovative beverages, showcasing his proficiency in both traditional and modern recipe testing.

As the Editor-in-Chief, he elevates culinary content from street food to fine dining, focusing on Western cuisine and types of drinks at azcuisines.com, and is professional in creating engaging cooking videos that simplify complex dishes and ingredients.

His passion for food is evident in his writing, where he uniquely merges various cultures, traditions, and contemporary trends, skillfully combining classic recipes with modern cooking methods.

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