Ginger Coffee

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Ginger coffee is an intriguing hot beverage with intensity and aroma from coffee as well as mild fragrance and heat from ginger.

pouring milk into ginger coffee

We first tried ginger coffee two years ago when we just moved back to Vietnam. The Vietnamese name is cà phê gừng, and it is one of the signature drinks of a popular local coffee chain. It is intense, aromatic with a gentle warmth slowly spreading throughout your body when you drink it.


This interesting drink requires the following main ingredients:

  • strongly brewed coffee
  • ginger syrup
  • milk

We usually make the drink with Vietnamese coffee, but you can just use very strong espresso. In order to brew Vietnamese coffee, you will need medium-ground dark roast coffee and a phin coffee filter. Think of it like pourover brewing. You can find all the tips in my ultimate guide to Vietnamese coffee. Again, strong espresso will work fine.

Ingredients and tools to make Vietnamese coffee (cafe sua nong): phin filter, ground coffee and sweetened condensed milk.
Vietnamese ground coffee and phin filter

The ginger aspects of the drink come from ginger syrup, which you can easily make by simmering sugar and ginger with water. You can find my ginger syrup recipe here. This syrup can also be used to make my favorite orange ginger tea.

I have tried using ginger tea bags but it didn’t work very well. It watered down the drink, and the ginger flavor wasn’t as strong as I wanted. I may give it a try again if I can find some high-quality ginger tea bags.

The milk adds richness and smoothness to the drink. To heat the milk and create foam, I use a Bialetti electric milk frother. If you don’t have a milk frother at home, you can heat the milk on the stovetop and whisk vigorously to create foam.

How to Prepare Ginger Coffee

Putting this ginger coffee together is easy. I recommend adding a small piece of smashed ginger to the serving glass first. Then add ginger syrup, brewed coffee and milk.

Since we like to make the drink with Vietnamese coffee, we place the phin filter over the glass and let the extracted coffee drip directly into the glass like in the photo below. Please feel free to brew some strong coffee however you like. 

brewing Vietnamese coffee into the serving glass

I know coffee with ginger may sound like a strange idea, but I hope you will give it a try. It’s been in our coffee rotation at home for quite a while now.

pouring milk into ginger coffee

Ginger Coffee

Ginger coffee is a hot beverage with intensity and aroma of coffee as well as mild fragrance and heat of ginger.
Author: Sophie
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 person


  • 1 small piece of ginger, smashed
  • 1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee (like Vietnamese coffee or espresso)
  • 1-1½ tablespoons ginger syrup (to taste)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup steamed milk

To brew Vietnamese coffee

  • 2 tablespoons medium-ground dark roast coffee
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water (about 190-200°F)


If using strong espresso

  • In a serving glass, add the small piece of ginger, ginger syrup and freshly brewed coffee.
  • Pour steamed milk into the glass. You can use a milk frother to heat the milk and create froth, or gently heat it on the stovetop and whisk vigorously to create foam (do not let the milk boil). 

If using Vietnamese coffee

  • In a serving glass, add the small piece of ginger and ginger syrup. Add Vietnamese ground coffee to the phin filter chamber and place the filter press on top, press gently.
  • Place the filter over the serving glass and then add 1 tablespoon of hot water. Wait for about 10-20 seconds to let the ground coffee swell and settle.
  • Add the remaining hot water and cover the chamber with the filter cap. Let the coffee liquid drip into the glass. This should take 4 minutes. You can adjust the dripping speed by pressing the filter press.
  • Once the filter chamber is empty, remove the filter from the glass. Add steamed milk to the glass. Serve immediately.


You can find my recipe for homemade ginger syrup here. Basically, it is made by simmering 2 parts sugar, 2 parts water and 1 part ginger for about 30 minutes. If the ginger syrup has been stored in the refrigerator, briefly microwave to warm it.
You can tweak the ratio of coffee, ginger syrup and milk to your liking.


Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 58mg | Potassium: 217mg | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Calcium: 69mg
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: ca phe gung
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⭐️ I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment and a rating if you have tried it. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on FacebookYoutubePinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.

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  1. 5 stars
    Your blog is really interesting. I’m from Vietnam but this is the first time I have tried this drink. Thanks for this recipe 🙂

    1. Hi Ginny,
      Thank you so much for your kind words! Ginger coffee is one of the more special drinks at Cộng cà phê. That was where I first tried it 😊.

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