How to make Vietnamese coffee (video)

[Video Link] My friend Andrea James sent me this video. She said, " I thought it was nicely shot, and I like the music!" I agree. The song is called "Ding Ding Dong," and it is by Waipod Phetsuphan (Thailad). It's on a compilation album called "The Sound of Siam: Leftfield Luk Thung, Jazz & Molam from Thailand 1964 -1975."


  1. Aw yeah, more awesome Southeast Asian pop sounds for my burgeoning catalog!

    Anyone interested in that sort of thing would be wise to check out Sublime Frequencies. They’re a record label entirely devoted to harvesting and publishing interesting world music from SE Asia and Africa (and a few other areas; notably, Syria) for Western consumption. They’re one of the coolest world music labels out there, and not just because of their Omar Souleyman compilations. 

  2. I wish Andrea James posted here more.  Always liked her stuff, esp on transgender issues.  Can you bring her back?

  3. What a good video. I kept wondering how it was going to turn out. ;-) I don’t like sweetened condensed milk but the little coffee making gizmo was VERY interesting. Sort of like the cone thing but more functionally shaped.

  4. The missus and I make this from time to time- though we tend to eschew the milk. It’s easy, tasty and relatively quick.
    Being the coffee-idiot that I am, I’ve just settled for normally mixing some instant coffee instead. It’s quicker and cheaper, and I drink massive amounts, all the time.
    (A kilo of powder per month.)

  5. Take this hot milky coffee goodness and pour it over a glass of ice and you have delicious iced Viet Milk Coffee… The kettle is boiling and I am digging out my viet coffee thingos…

  6. The video labels this as “Ca-Fe Sua”, but my Viet friends actually refer to it as “Ca-Fe Sua Dah” (Coffee with Milk). If you ever eat Pho (“fuh”, not “foh”) at a Viet restaurant and order Cafe Sua Da, this is how it is served, right on your table with your own little press and cup of ice. Meant to be served as Jon stated above. Viet Cafe Sua Da is the best coffee, just like Thai red tea is the best tea. :)

    1.  Cafe Sua is coffee with milk. Cafe Sua Da is iced! The “da” part is the ice.
      You can also get Cafe Den (black coffee) and if you want it hot, instead of adding “da” you add “nong” for hot instead. You didn’t ask for a Vietnamese lesson, but here it is! :)

    2. hi
      ca phe sua is hot coffee with condensesed milk
      ca phe sua da is iced coffee.  (da means “rock”. nuoc is “water” so, nuoc da is “ice”–rock water)

  7. Reminds me of the time I took the train from Danang north towards Hanoi. The strongest and best coffee I’ve ever had. They cut me off though, as they said they needed some coffee to serve to the other passengers on the train as well.

  8. Okay, I hate to say this, but I don’t understand why Starbucks hasn’t capitalized on the milky, sweet deliciousness that is Vietnamese coffee. Okay, it’s not really fast, but mmmmmmm, SO GOOD!!!

  9. This is one of my fave coffee-making methods!  We use these at home ever since our french press broke. For those who haven’t yet tried it, it makes a nice, rich brew that rivals espresso for flavor.  It even improves the taste of those crap coffee grounds they have at the office. I don’t use the condensed milk though, just black. Totally delicious.

    I find it amusing that this is labelled “Vietnamese Coffee”.. because, like Pho, Bahn Mi, and Peugeots, this coffee format was essentially introduced to Indochina by the French, who have since abandoned this method to drink “un petit cafe noir” espresso.

  10. I was certain the thread was about Viennese coffee until the video started.

    How would this single-serving filter work with cool water instead of hot?  (I think BBers know where I’m going with this question.)

  11. If you live in SoCal or any place with Lee’s Sandwiches, they sell these coffee filters for about $3 (they are a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich chain – try the sandwiches while you’re there, they’re good – and their iced coffee). I’m sure you can find them elsewhere, but they’re not necessarily that easy to find (even at Asian grocery stores) so if you’re near a Lee’s that’s the place to go.

    I lived and spent a lot of time in Little Saigon in Westminster/Garden Grove (in Orange County) last year and have Vietnamese friends. I can’t stomach a lot of the food, but the coffee is amazing and addictive (and cheap if you get it at a Vietnamese place). 

    @boingboing-e83e5c9eedd1e6e8c6e1db0d75c169d1:disqus where do you live that you have Vietnamese friends but where the Vietnamese restaurants serve iced coffee with the press on your table? In Little Saigon they always serve it in a plastic cup with a straw, even at the “nice” restaurants.

    By the way I thought this was a great video, kind of reminds me of the ones Gordon Ramsey did that go through the recipe step by step very quickly, set to music. And the music was great – I always meant to pick up some of that kind of stuff (you can get compilations and original albums at every shop that sells music) when I was spending a lot of time in Thailand but I was never sure which to get and I ultimately never got any. I’ll check out this compilation and see what it leads to and if I’m ever back in Thailand I’ll know what to pick up.

  12. “Ding Ding Dong” is by the same Thai artist that appeared on the 1987 Butthole Surfers album “Locust Abortion Technician”.  The song title is “Kuntz” and it is basically unchanged from the original track, but does have Surferisms layered in.  If you like this “Ding Ding Dong” track, you should check that one out as well.  It has remained a rather mysterious favorite of mine over the years.

  13. so is the coffee in the video actually chicory coffee? they only describe the roast, and then the chicory thing comes as an anecdote later in the video…

  14. One of my favorite treats in life. First had some at Pho Bak years ago. That day, I went and got my own drip coffee maker and have been treating myself with it ever since.

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