Thai Iced Coffee vs Vietnamese Iced Coffee: Here are the Differences

thai iced coffee vs vietnamese iced coffee

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Although the countries are located close to each other, there are quite a few differences between Thai iced coffee vs Vietnamese iced coffee.

However, one thing is for sure, they are both absolutely delicious! There’s no better way to spend a summer’s day than with an iced coffee in your hand.

So, let’s get right into the nitty-gritty of the subject.

Thai Iced Coffee vs Vietnamese Iced Coffee: The Quick Answer

The main difference between the two is the taste.

Vietnamese iced coffee uses a lot more sweetened condensed milk. This creates a less bitter taste compared to its Thai counterpart.

What’s more, they are both brewed using different methods.

Vietnamese iced coffee is made using robusta beans and a drip brewing apparatus called a phin filter to make the coffee and then with sweetened condensed milk and ice cubes.

On the other hand, Thai iced coffee uses the same ingredients but with a different brewing filter called a tungdtom.

Also, a mix of other ingredients is also included in the drink, such as soybeans, sesame, and cardamom spices for example.

thai iced coffee

What Is Thai Iced Coffee?

Thai iced coffee, also known as Oliang, is becoming extremely popular as of late, and with the hot weather causing our need for refreshments, it’s no wonder.

It’s a strong, creamy, and overall delicious iced coffee.

What’s more, it allows you to add all kinds of spices and extras to give it that additional kick.

What is a Tungdtom?

In short, the tungdtom is a Thai coffee filter that is made from a muslin bag and often has a metal ring and a handle for ease of use. It’s often known as a coffee sock.

By first pouring ground robusta coffee beans in the sock and then boiling water, it will steep and perfectly filter your coffee in around 10 minutes.


How to Make a Thai Iced Coffee

Making Thai iced coffee is easy and can be made in no time at all.

Here are the ingredients you need to make it:

  • Coffee granules
  • Oliang
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Evaporated milk/heavy cream
  • Ice cubes
  • A nice glass
  • Optional: Extras such as cardamom, vanilla extract, soybeans, sesame, etc.

So, let’s start making some refreshing Thai iced coffee!

1. Get the ingredients all together.

2. Then make the coffee. Using the Oliang first you should add the coffee granules and then slowly pour the boiling water and wait for it to steep. It should take 10 minutes for the coffee to filter all the way through.

3. After this, add the sweetened condensed milk into the coffee. Mix it well until it has dissolved into the coffee completely.

4. Once this is done, grab one of your favorite glasses and pour ice cubes into it.

5. Slowly pour the mixture into the glass.

6. Finally, add the evaporated milk/heavy cream onto the top, and you have yourself a fantastically refreshing Thai iced coffee.

So there you have it. Why not add a sprinkling of cardamom for a spicier taste. Or even go one step further by adding vanilla extract, Irish liquor, or Kahlúa to provide a more distinctive flavor.

Is Thai Iced Coffee Strong?

Thai iced coffee isn’t as strong as many other iced coffees due to the condensed and evaporated milk that reduces the intense coffee flavors and makes it sweeter.

However, you can customize the drink to your liking by reducing the amount of milk or adding an extra shot of espresso to make it stronger, more intense, and less sweet.

What Is Vietnamese Iced Coffee?

Vietnamese iced coffee, also known as cafe sua da, is another great iced coffee drink for the summer months.

Like Thai iced coffee, it’s a combination of coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk and lots of ice.

However, there are a few extra things that make it different, noticeably the way it’s brewed.

So, let’s take you through this unique way of brewing coffee before we give you the Vietnamese iced coffee recipe.

How to Brew Coffee the Vietnamese Way

Before brewing the coffee, you need good robusta coffee beans. After they have been ground down finely, it’s time to filter the coffee.

The vast majority of cafés use traditional Vietnamese coffee filters to ensure perfection. Known as ‘phin’ filters, they differ from western filters due to the fact that they use no paper.

Instead, a phin filter is a metal device used for filtering the coffee to ensure it is as smooth to drink as possible.

They come in different sizes, from the single serving four-ounce size to the 8-ounce double serving. They can even come in the whopping 40-ounce family serving version!

Here’s how you brew a coffee using the phin filter:

1. First of all, put around two tablespoons of coffee (ground) into the filter.

2. After this, put the phin filter on top of a cup.

3. Now it’s time to boil the water.

4. When this is done, add around 0.8 ounces of water into the filter.

5. Wait half a minute after this for the hot water and coffee grounds to sit.

6. Then fill the filter with the rest of the water to the very top.

7. The coffee should then slowly drip down into the cup. The first drip should appear at around the 2-minute mark (so don’t get worried if nothing happens before then).

8. After 5 minutes, you should have all the delicious filtered coffee in the cup.

So, now that you know how to make authentic Vietnamese coffee, now is the perfect time to teach you how to make some heavenly Vietnamese iced coffee.

How to Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee

What are the ingredients for Vietnamese iced coffee? Well, it has most of the same ingredients as Thai iced coffee. Take a look at them here:

  • Coffee granules
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Hot water
  • Ice cubes
  • Phin coffee filter
  • A nice glass/cup

Without any further ado, let’s make some Vietnamese iced coffee shall we?

1. Grab all the necessary ingredients.

2. Make the coffee using the phin coffee filter instructions above.

3. When this is done, add sweetened condensed milk to the mixture and stir it well.

4. Add some ice cubes, and you have yourself a nice refreshing drink!

Thai Iced Coffee vs Vietnamese Iced Coffee: Which Do You Prefer?

Now that you know the difference between the two, why not try them both? We’d love to know your thoughts on your coffee preferences in the comments below.

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