How to Make Delicious Vietnamese Cold Brew Coffee At Home


Typical Vietnamese coffee is brewed hot and poured over ice — but a trend is emerging that combines modern cold brewing with traditional Vietnamese iced coffee. Here’s how to make it yourself.

Cold brewing is a method of extracting only the more delicate, sweet-tasting components of coffee — leaving behind the heavy, astringent, and bitter elements.

The resulting coffee is smooth, refreshing, and highly caffeinated.

The main downside of this method is that it trades speed for flavor — you’ll need to set your coffee aside for about 24 hours to finish brewing.

Making Vietnamese cold-brew coffee is surprisingly simple — here’s how it works.

Vietnamese Coffee Cold Brewing Specs:

  • Brew time: 12 to 24 hours

  • Coffee/water ratio: 1 part coffee to 4 parts water

  • Grind: Coarse

  • Water temperature: Cold or room temperature

  • Recommended coffee: HaNoi coffee, SaiGon OG coffee

Tools & Ingredients: Vietnamese Cold Brew Coffee

To prepare Vietnamese coffee using the cold brew method, you’ll need the following tools and ingredients: 

  1. Cold or room temperature water — It’s for steeping coffee grounds and extracting their flavors while preventing bitterness and acidity that result from using hot water.

  2. Coarsely ground Vietnamese coffee beansAim for a consistency similar to sea salt for best results.

  3. A cold-brew coffee maker — You can also use a pitcher, a large mason jar, or a French press, whichever you have available. There’s no need for fancy equipment here.

  4. A spoon or spatula —For stirring and mixing the coffee grounds and water thoroughly for consistent extraction.

  5. Fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth — These tools help strain the coffee concentrate and separate it from the coffee grounds after the steeping process. You won’t need this if using a cold brew coffee maker or French press.

  6. Sweetened condensed milk — It's a traditional ingredient that adds creamy texture and sweetness to Vietnamese coffee.

  7. Fridge —You’ll use it to store the concentrated cold brew before serving to preserve its flavor and freshness. 

  8. Ice cubes (optional) — Important for chilling the cold brew when serving. 

Step-By-Step Instructions: Vietnamese Cold Brew Coffee

Here are the steps to follow when preparing Vietnamese coffee using the cold brew method:

Step 1: Measure Your Coarse Ground Coffee

You’re going to want to use roughly 4 times as much water as coffee. So measure the volume of the container you’re using and then divide by 4. This is how much coffee you should be using.

A good starting point if you’re not sure is to use about 1.5 cups of coffee and 6 cups of water.

Step 2: Combine Coffee With Water

Measure your water and mix it with your coffee grounds. Give everything a good stir to make sure it’s all saturated with water.

Step 3: Let It Sit Overnight

Cold brewing takes a lot of time. The lack of heat makes it hard to extract the coffee thoroughly, so more time is needed. Let it sit at least overnight. A full 24 hours is even better.

Keep your cold brew in the fridge, covered.

Step 4: Strain the Coffee Concentrate

After the steeping time elapses, remove your cold brew concentrate from the fridge. If your cold brew coffee maker has a filter, strain the cold brew concentratedirectly into a clean container. 

If you’re using a French press, use the plunger to separate the grounds from the water and pour the liquid into a new container.

If your coffee concentrate is in a pitcher or another container, you can use a fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid — you may need to do this in batches. Once you strain it all, discard the coffee grounds. 

Step 5: Serve With Sweetened Condensed Milk Over Ice

Pour about 4 ounces of your fresh cold brew coffee over some ice and mix in about 2 ounces of condensed milk. Use a spoon to stir everything in and you’re ready to drink!

The Benefits of Cold Brewing Vietnamese Coffee

Besides being easy to make and not requiring any special equipment, cold brewing your Vietnamese coffee has the following benefits:

1. Reduced Acidity

The low temperature used in cold brewing prevents chemical reactions that produce acidic compounds in coffee. As a result, cold-brewed coffee is easier on the stomach, reducing heartburn or acid influx some people experience after drinking coffee.

2. You Don’t Need to Use as Much Sweetener 

Low acidity and bitter taste give cold-brewed Vietnamese coffee a smooth flavor that doesn't need much sweetener. Cold brewing can be an ideal alternative for preparing your Vietnamese coffee if you're looking to reduce your sugar intake or calorie consumption.

Related: How many calories are in Vietnamese coffee?

3. Quick Prep Time

While it takes about 24 hours to make the initial cold brew, you can make it in bulk and portion it out in seconds over the course of several days. This means your morning coffee takes less than a minute to prepare, compared to the 5 or 10 required to brew fresh coffee.

The Downsides of Cold Brewing Vietnamese Coffee

While cold brewing Vietnamese coffee offers several advantages, it also has some downsides to be aware of: 

1. Initial Brewing Time is Slow

Steeping cold brew coffee requires a very long time. If you want to prepare a quick cup of coffee from scratch, cold brew is not a good option. It’s better if you have time to plan ahead, brewing several batches of cold brew at once to keep in the fridge for when you need it.

2. It Requires More Coffee

Cold brewing demands a high coffee-water ratio to get the required flavor. The need to use for more coffee for cold brew than you would use with conventional hot brewing methods. If you’re trying to get the maximum value out of your coffee, cold brew is probably not the best way to do it.

3. High Caffeine Content

Some people don't mind large amounts of caffeine; many even prefer it. However, if you’re sensitive to caffeine and don’t want anything too strong, avoid cold brew. This is true for both arabica-based and robusta-based cold brews. The slow, cold extraction pulls out more of the active caffeine over time than a quick 2–5 minute steep in hot water.

Related: How much caffeine is in a Vietnamese coffee?

FAQs: Vietnamese Cold Brew

Here are some of the most common questions we get asked about cold-brewing Vietnamese coffee.

1. Does cold brew Vietnamese coffee taste the same as iced?

No, cold brew is different than iced coffee. Cold brew is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for 8-24 hours, then straining the liquid. Iced Vietnamese coffee is traditionally made with the phin filter using hot water, which is then cooled by mixing with ice.

In terms of taste, cold brew is smoother, less acidic, and more strongly caffeinated — while regular Vietnamese coffee has a much more intensely bold and roasted flavor.

2. What coffee works best for cold brew Vietnamese coffee?

Vietnamese coffee is characterized by the use of high-grade robusta coffee. It’s much stronger, bolder, and punchier, which pairs perfectly with the intensely sweet condensed milk.

When preparing Vietnamese coffee using a cold brew system, opt for something with at least 50% robusta.

Our HaNoi blend uses 100% robusta coffee grown in Vietnam and works great as a cold brew.

If you want something a little less caffeinated, try our SaiGon OG instead, which uses a blend of robusta and arabica for a more balanced flavor.

3. Can I turn my cold brew into a hot drink?

You can heat up a cup of cold brew coffee if you want, but remember that it tastes different from a regular cup of coffee, and we wouldn’t recommend it. Hot or cold, you can add sugar and cream or milk if you prefer, or try a coffee syrup if you want a touch of flavor.

4. What is the ideal coffee-to-water ratio for Vietnamese cold brew?

The recommended ratio is 1 part coffee to 4 parts water, providing a balanced flavor and strength for Vietnamese cold brew coffee.

5. How long does it take to cold brew Vietnamese coffee?

Cold brewing Vietnamese coffee typically requires 12 to 24 hours, allowing time for the coffee flavors to be fully extracted without the bitterness.

6. Do I need special equipment to make Vietnamese cold-brew coffee at home?

No special equipment is needed. You can buy specialized cold-brew coffee makers that work great, but a typical mason jar or French press works wellt, too.

7. What are the benefits of making Vietnamese coffee using the cold brew method?

Cold brewing reduces acidity, making the coffee smoother and easier on the stomach, and it doesn't require as much sweetener due to its naturally sweet flavor profile. You can also brew cold brew coffee in bulk and portion it out as needed in the morning.

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