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How to make Vietnamese Coffee (Cafe Sua Nong) with a phin filter (traditional method)
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5 from 1 vote

Vietnamese Coffee (Cafe Sua Nong)

Vietnamese Coffee (Cafe Sua Nong) is delicious yet simple to make. The blending of strong coffee and sweetened condensed milk makes it so aromatic and intense that a sip can wake up all your senses.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time7 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: authentic Vietnamese coffee, traditional coffee
Servings: 1 people
Calories: 64kcal
Author: Sophie


  • 2 tablespoons Vietnamese ground coffee
  • 1-2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water, divided (about 190-200F)


  • Add ground coffee to the filter chamber, try to spread them evenly inside the chamber. Look underneath to see if there is any loose coffee particles, use your finger to wipe them away (otherwise, they may fall into your cup of coffee). Then gently place the filter chamber over the cup spanner. Do not shake.
  • Add sweetened condensed milk to the serving glass you will be brewing coffee into. Place the chamber and spanner over the glass. Place the filter press on top of the coffee inside the chamber and press gently.
    Brewing Vietnamese coffee step-by-step
  • Add 1 tablespoon of hot water to the chamber and wait for about 20-30 seconds to let the coffee bloom and settle.
    Brewing Vietnamese Coffee (Cafe Sua Nong) step-by-step
  • Add the remaining hot water and cover the chamber with the filter cap. Wait for the coffee liquid to drip into the serving glass through the holes at the bottom of the filter chamber and cup spanner.
    Brewing Vietnamese Coffee step-by-step: pouring hot water into the filter and let the coffee drip into the glass.
  • It is best to control the amount of coffee and dripping speed so that the brewing process lasts for about 4 minutes. You can adjust the speed by pressing the filter press. Once the filter chamber is empty, place the cap upside down, remove the filter from the glass and place on the cap. 
  • Use a spoon to stir to dissolve sweetened condensed milk with the coffee. Serve immediately.



Feel free to tweak the ratio of coffee, sweetened condensed milk and water to your desired strength and sweetness of your coffee. Our recipe will result in pretty strong coffee which is not very sweet.
You can find the video we made to show all the steps to brew Vietnamese Coffee at the top of this post.
The filter press helps control the density of ground coffee below it.  A gentle press on the filter press usually provides enough pressure. If you don’t apply enough pressure, the coffee liquid will drip very quickly into the glass. In that case, you need to press it a little more. And vice versa, if there is too much pressure, you might see no coffee drops coming out of phin. If so, you may want to loosen the wet ground coffee with a small spoon. To get the best result, you need to control the dripping speed to make sure the brewing lasts about 4-5 minutes.


Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 74mg | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Calcium: 57mg