With its distinctive and unique flavor, Vietnamese coffee has become a favorite of coffee-lovers across the globe. The coffee is made with Robusta beans, which are used to create several different drinks, but the most popular and iconic of these is Ca phe sua da, a cold coffee served with sweetened condensed milk. This refreshing drink is best experienced in Vietnam.
|Bread and coffee are the perfect breakfast for many Vietnamese people. Photo: Bao Quan|
TasteAtlas, the renowned website dubbed “the world’s culinary map”, has recently unveiled a list of the best coffee from around the globe. This list is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to enjoy a great cup of joe while travelling to their destination country. With reviews and ratings from experienced coffee connoisseurs, you can be sure to find the perfect cup to suit your tastes. Whether you’re in search of a classic espresso or a rich, creamy cappuccino, TasteAtlas has you covered! So why not take a look and find out which of the world’s finest coffees awaits your next visit?
Along with Italian ristretto, Vietnamese iced coffee was ranked number one on TasteAtlas’s list of “10 Best Rated Coffees in the World”.
Cà phê sữa đá, or Vietnamese Iced Coffee, tops the list of most highly-rated beverages, having earned five stars from the culinary experts at TasteAtlas. This score is based on votes from people who have tasted it, those who would like to try it, and those who have put the drink on their list of beverages to enjoy when the opportunity arises.
Iced coffee is a unique and refreshing treat that has caught the attention of culinary experts from TasteAtlas. What makes it so special? From its smooth flavor to its ability to be blended with other ingredients, iced coffee has a lot to offer. Its versatility and complexity of flavor make it a favorite among coffee connoisseurs. Iced coffee can be made with both hot or cold brewed coffee, adding to its appeal. Additionally, it can be blended with syrups, creams, and other ingredients to create unique and delicious flavor combinations. With its refreshing taste and wide range of potential flavor combinations, iced coffee is a surefire favorite among culinary experts from TasteAtlas.
Vietnamese iced coffee is a delicious, unique drink that combines robust coffee, sweet condensed milk, and ice. It is traditionally made using medium or coarse ground Vietnamese coffee, typically Robusta varieties, brewed with a phin filter – a method of dripping the coffee slowly into the cup.
The refreshing ca phe sua da is a popular Vietnamese iced coffee that is made with strong coffee, poured over ice and mixed with sweetened condensed milk. It is typically served in a tall glass and is an excellent way to cool off on a hot day. There is also a version of this coffee that is made without the condensed milk, known as ca phe da, which is just coffee and ice. Whichever way you prefer, both are delicious and provide a great pick-me-up.
Previously, Ca phe sua da was also ranked second in the Australian magazine Traveller’s list of the “10 best cafes in the world”.
According to traveller.com.au, “Coffee in Vietnam is unlike any other. It doesn’t require an expensive machine or any special barista skills – all you need is a mini percolator of dark, intense beans and some hot water, poured over a glass.”
|Ca phe sua da is served in an old-style cafeteria in Hanoi. Photo: Cafe 1986|
The ebony liquid slowly trickles through the percolator, creating a puddle of creamy, sweet condensed milk. For those who enjoy a chillier beverage, add a few ice cubes, give it a stir, and you have an invigorating and tasty pick-me-up.
The culture of drinking coffee has become deeply ingrained in Vietnam. Along with tea, coffee has become an essential part of the daily lives of city-dwellers.
Popularized by the French in the mid-19th century, Vietnam quickly became the world’s leading coffee producer. In 2022, it remains the second-largest coffee exporter after Brazil, with its main markets in Europe, the United States, Russia, Japan, and the United Kingdom. In Europe, it holds a 16.1% market share, behind Brazil’s 22.2%.
The country is also the world’s largest producer of Robusta coffee, which is exported to more than 80 countries and territories across the globe. This agricultural specialty has helped to bolster the country’s economy and has become a widely sought-after commodity in the international market.
Countries with some of the best-rated coffees in the world include Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Spain. Italy is well-known for its ristretto, cappuccino, macchiato, and espresso. Greece is famous for its frappe, freddo cappuccino, and espresso freddo. Meanwhile, Turkey is known for its Turkish coffee, and Spain is renowned for its cortado.
|The tasty portion of Hanoi’s ca phe sua da. Photo: Pham Thinh|
The Hanoi Times recommends the following as the top cafes in Hanoi serving delicious ca phe sua da: Cafe Pho Co, Cafe Giang, Cong Caphe, Ca Phe Ngon, and Cafe Phuc Long.
Nhan Coffee is a beloved Hanoi institution that has been serving the people of the city since 1946. It was founded by the heroic couple Nguyen Van Thi and Tran Thi Thanh Ky in an area that was a refuge for patriots during the war of resistance against the French. The shop has provided a sense of comfort and familiarity to the people of Hanoi for generations.
Today, Thi and Ky’s children and grandchildren have opened nearly a dozen coffee shops under the Nhan Cafe brand in Hanoi, on streets including Hang Hanh, Lang Ha, Nguyen Thai Hoc, and De La Thanh. This business has evolved from an ordinary coffee shop into a production company that supplies coffee to restaurants and supermarkets, yet the quality and taste of the brand’s coffee remain unchanged.
Set in a wonderful little space in an alley of Quan Thanh street, Ba Dinh district, Yen Café is the perfect spot for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. This coffee shop boasts its own unique recipe for iced coffee, using freshly-roasted Robusta and Arabica coffee beans from the central highland city of Dalat. The drink is a delightful blend of sweet and tangy flavors that can’t be found anywhere else.
|The nostalgic ambience of Café Lam in Hanoi’s Old Quarter Area. Photo: Thinh Nguyen|
Café Lam opened its doors in 1949, when Nguyen Van Lam, a former art collector from Hanoi, decided to open a café and share his passion for the masterpieces of the renowned Vietnamese painter Bui Xuan Phai. More than seven decades later, the café is still renowned for its exquisite coffee. Lam’s recipe is a family secret passed down from his father and the coffee is served hot or cold with ice and a layer of sweetened condensed milk. Café Lam’s special iced coffee is a perfect balance between French and Vietnamese tastes, delighting customers from both cultures.
The retro ambiance of Café Lam is a unique and quirky feature. Nestled in Lam’s house on Nguyen Huu Huan Street, it is one of the last places where you can get a glimpse of old Hanoi and bask in the romance and sleepiness of a bygone era. When you step through its doors, you are transported to a simpler time, surrounded by the nostalgia and charm of a classic Hanoi establishment.
This is a typical tea-making style in Vietnam.
Stepping into Nhi Cafe on No.2 Hang Ca Street, people unfamiliar with the stuffiness of the environment will initially feel a little out of place, but then quickly recognize the comforting and robust aroma of freshly-brewed coffee. Nhi Cafe has crafted its own unique feature with pre-made filter coffee contained in traditional Chinese teapots, usually used to store green tea. This coffee-making method requires two cups of coffee to be poured into a glass cup, and then mixed with sugar and milk, before adding ice for a refreshing beverage. This is a popular tea-making style in Vietnam.