Vietnamese coffee has become increasingly popular in the US over the last few years, with the iced version especially capturing the imagination of every coffee drinker who likes their coffee extra bold, sweet, and creamy. As a drink, Vietnamese coffee (whether iced or hot) usually refers to dark roast coffee brewed in a small metal pour over device called a phin and then combined with ingredients like sweetened condensed milk for a creamy consistency.
In traditional Vietnamese culture, freshly brewed hot coffee is enjoyed during the morning while iced coffee (known as Cà Phê Sữa Đá) is saved for warm afternoons and evenings. Vietnamese coffee drinks are a staple in Vietnamese culture and can typically be found in any traditional or modern Vietnamese coffee shop. Interestingly, while many Vietnamese coffee shops and baristas in the US serve a coffee and chicory combo, that seems to be a Vietnamese-American trend, not a traditional Vietnamese one. If you have a phin, making Vietnamese iced coffee is as simple as any other pour over. Whether utilizing chicory flavor notes, straight Vietnamese coffee, or any other kinds of roast, brewing them in a phin (ideally as a double-strength concentrate), pouring that over ice, and then pouring in some sweetened condensed milk will get you a super-rich, sweet and creamy cold beverage, more or less the opposite of a flash-brewed coffee in taste, but delightful in its own way (especially as a delicious summer treat!).