Cà Phê Sữa Đá

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

Lastest Updated January 5, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
  • Street Drink
  • Traditional
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Fact: It is easy to buy a cup of cà phê sữa đá on the street with a very affordable price, which is from 15,000 to 20,000 VND (around 0.6 to 0.8 USD).

Basic Information

Cà Phê Sữa Đá: Basic Information

Pronunciation

Kah-feh soo-ah dah

Alternative Name(s)

Nâu đá (in the Northern region)

Drink Type

Cold non-alcoholic beverages

Mealtime

Anytime

Popular Variations

No
Origin and Region

Cà Phê Sữa Đá: Origin and Region

Origin

Vietnam

Continent’s Region

Southeast Asia

Country’s Region

Nationwide Origin

Associated Region

Unspecified
Vietnam Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Cà Phê Sữa Đá: Ingredients and Preparation

Main Ingredients

Coffee, condensed milk, ice

Main Preparing Method

Brewing

Preparation Process

Brewing coffee, mixing it with condensed milk, then add ice
A Deep Dive

Cà Phê Sữa Đá: A Deep Dive

Cultural Significance

A staple Vietnamese coffee beverage

Taste

Bitter, sweet

Texture

Smooth

Aroma

Strong coffee aroma

Color

Brown

Serving Style

In a glass

Serving Temperature

Cold

Accompaniment

Often enjoyed on its own or with traditional Vietnamese foods

Occasions

On any occasions

Calories

310 calories, according to data of MyFitnessPal for 473ml (16 oz) of Cafe Sua Da.

Popularity

Vietnam

Popular Similar Drinks

  1. Cà Phê Đá
  2. Bạc Xỉu
  3. Cà Phê Trứng
  4. Cà phê Cốt Dừa
  5. Cà Phê Muối
  6. Cà Phê Bơ
  7. Cà Phê Lá Dứa
  8. Sinh Tố Cà Phê
  9. Sữa Chua Cà Phê

Popular Dining Area

Street vendors, eateries, restaurants, households in Vietnam

Cà phê sữa đá is a popular beverage in Vietnam, traditionally made by brewing coffee in a phin filter (a Vietnamese-style filter) and condensed milk, served with ice.

Ca Phe Sua Da Overview

This drink is common in Saigon because of the hot and humid climate in Southern Vietnam. As a sign of hospitality, coffee shops in Saigon often offer complimentary iced tea (trà đá) with unlimited refills.

Cà phê sữa đá popularity has spread to the Northern region, where it is called nâu đá. The term “nâu đá” describes the color of this drink, which is brown (as “nâu” in Vietnamese), and đá is ice.

Besides cà phê sữa đá, cà phê đá (iced coffee) is also a common choice across the country.

Besides, I’ll offer you information about cà phê sữa đá history, guide you through the steps to prepare it and discuss its benefits and drawbacks.

You’ll learn how to differentiate cà phê sữa đá from bạc xỉu to ensure your coffee order is correct. Finally, don’t miss the FAQs and a list of beverages similar to cà phê sữa đá. Check it out now!

Key Points

  • Cà phê sữa đá is one of the most popular beverages in Vietnam, especially in Saigon, due to the hot climate.
  • It is known as “nâu đá” in the North.
  • It can be served without ice.
  • This Vietnamese coffee has a strong coffee flavor with a sweet condensed milk taste.
  • Introduced by the French in 1857, cà phê sữa đá has adapted to Vietnamese tastes with condensed milk due to the scarcity of fresh milk.

Cà Phê Sữa Đá Images

What Is the History of Cà Phê Sữa Đá?

Cà phê sữa đá has a history that is associated with Vietnam’s coffee culture and colonial past. Coffee was first introduced to Vietnam in 1857 by the French during their colonization.

Initially, the French and Vietnamese drank hot coffee, but over time, especially in the hotter southern regions, the iced variation became popular. What makes cà phê sữa đá stand out is the use of sweetened condensed milk, which was a substitute for fresh milk that was scarce and expensive in Vietnam in the past.

After learning the history of cà phê sữa đá, you might want to know how Vietnamese make this iconic drink, right? So continue reading for more details.

How To Prepare Cà Phê Sữa Đá Like Locals?

With four simple steps as below, cà phê sữa đá will be your new favorite beverage because of its simplicity.

Step 1: Preparing Ingredients and Filter

Pour condensed milk into a glass. Then place a coffee filter on the top of the glass.

Step 2: Adding Coffee

Add ground coffee to the filter, then pour a bit of hot water to let it brew. Let the coffee slowly drip into the glass.

Step 3: Mixing Coffee and Condensed Milk

Once the coffee is fully dropped, remove the filter and stir well to mix the milk and coffee.

Step 4: Add Ice

Add ice to the glass and enjoy. You can skip this step if you prefer to enjoy the beverage hot.

Next, let’s explore the advantages and drawbacks of this Vietnamese coffee drink with condensed milk.

Pros and Cons of Drinking Cà Phê Sữa Đá

Refer to the table to have a comprehensive view of cà phê sữa đá in terms of its pros and cons.

Pros

  • Tastiness: Cà phê sữa đá offers a balanced taste of strong coffee and sweet condensed milk.
  • Energy Boost: It is ideal for improving focus and alertness due to its caffeine.
  • Cultural Experience: Sipping a cup of cà phê sữa đá is a way to experience Vietnamese coffee culture.

Cons

  • Not Ideal for Lactose Intolerant: The condensed milk contains lactose, which can cause discomfort for people with lactose intolerance.

Though it is a class coffee drink in Vietnamese, many foreigners might mistake cà phê sữa đá for another famous coffee in the country, which is bạc xỉu. So how do they differ from each other?

What Are the Differences between Cà Phê Sữa Đá and Bạc Xỉu?

In fact, it is easy to distinguish cà phê sữa đá and bạc xỉu, which are both loved coffee choices in Vietnam. Here are five main features to compare these two.

Next, don’t miss out on the upcoming section where I’ll cover frequently asked questions about cà phê sữa đá.

Cà Phê Sữa Đá FAQs

It is typically inexpensive due to the local availability and affordability of robusta coffee beans, which are commonly grown in Vietnam.

Yes, you can use instant coffee to make cà phê sữa đá, though it might slightly alter the traditional flavor.

Yes, dairy-free versions of cà phê sữa đá can be made by substituting the sweetened condensed milk with plant-based alternatives like coconut milk, almond milk, or soy milk.

Similar Beverages of Cà Phê Sữa Đá

Ca Phe Da

Cà phê đá is a strong Vietnamese iced coffee known for its robust and bitter flavor due to Robusta beans.

Bac Xiu

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

Ca Phe Trung

Cà phê trứng is a Vietnamese coffee topped with a creamy, sweet blend of egg yolk and condensed milk froth.

Ca Phe Cot Dua

Cà phê cốt dừa is a Vietnamese beverage made with coffee, coconut milk, and condensed milk.

Ca Phe Muoi

Cà phê muối is a special Vietnamese coffee-based beverage with salted cream froth topping.

Ca Phe Bo

Cà phê bơ is a creamy Vietnamese beverage made with ripe avocado and coffee and sweetened with condensed milk.

Ca Phe La Dua

Cà phê lá dứa is a Vietnamese beverage consisting of coffee and pandan flavor.

Sinh To Ca Phe

Sinh tố cà phê is a blended drink of Vietnam made with coffee, condensed milk, ice, and optional components like ice cream.

Sua Chua Ca Phe

Sữa chua cà phê is a Vietnamese creamy and tart beverage made with coffee, yogurt, and condensed milk.

Adam Sam

Adam Sam

Senior Food and Drink Editor

Expertise

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

Education

  • 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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