How To Make A Healthy Vietnamese Coffee

Few brunch menu items get me to question my food conscience like Vietnamese coffee. It's unique, creamy and delicious. But it can be as heavy as a meal, and it's full of sugar. The same sweetened condensed milk that tickles my tastebuds can also make me feel a little sick, 20 minutes later.

So What Do You Do?

Sometimes you indulge. Pair it with a veggie heavy light brunch and you're in the clear. Or you can remix the Vietnamese coffee recipe and make it healthy.

I do both.

Traditional Vietnamese Iced Coffee

The recipe that I'm aware of is filtered coffee and condensed milk. Usually, the coffee is filtered with a wicked looking Vietnamese coffee press. It's the all-time food prop.

Caucasian Remix

If I really wanted to impress guests, I'd get down to an Asian supermarket or hospitality store and get my hands on a cool Vietnamese press. But since I already have an excellent cold brew coffee maker I just use that. The recipe and ratio is in the recipe below.

The challenge is mimicking the condensed milk.

We use canned coconut cream for it's thickness and sweetened it up with dates, cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla.

Healthy Vietnamese Iced Coffee 

  • Takes 5 minutes
  • Makes 4 cups


  • Grounded coffee - 1/2 cup
  • Filtered water - 1 litre (1 quart)
  • Coconut cream - 1 can
  • Dates - 4
  • Vanilla paste / powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Cardamon - 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon - 1/2 teaspoon


  1. Grind your coffee to the coarsest setting (or buy ground coffee) - you should have 150g (5 oz)
  2. Add your coffee and water to a cold brew coffee maker or french press and leave for 10-24 hours (I just leave mine overnight)
  3. Then make your 'condensed' coconut milk' by blending all the remaining ingredients in a blender
  4. Fill a tall glass with ice and add 40% milk to 60% coffee


image credit: Leite's Culinaria

About James

I co-founded Green Press in 2013. I grew up in Alice Springs, the Australian outback, with absolutely no understanding of what healthy food is. Mum...

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