Hot-Brewed Vietnamese Iced Coffee

To make a single cup of iced coffee, use the Vietnamese single-cup filter brewer follow the instructions and the picture shown on the previous page.

If you need instructions on brewing with the single cup filter, look here.

Dilution is important to watch

When you hot brew coffee, unless you want to wait hours while it cools, you will have to have some way to predictably dilute the hot brew to the proper strength for drinking. It's easy to brew one cup, pour it over ice, then drink it reasonably soon, and enjoy it as it goes from being rather strong to rather weak. But in larger quantities you can really make a mistake and find out the mix is just not right.

Some people cool the coffee with non-melting ice, others freeze coffee in an ice cube tray in order to have coffee ice cubes, which works well, but also takes time.

Here are some guidelines for making and/or strong larger quantities of iced coffee:

When you want to serve the coffee soon after brewing:

Assuming you haven't created "coffee ice cubes", you need to figure how much coffee to use and how much ice to pour it over.

Rules to follow:

  • Brew the coffee at 150% strength. This means if your pot holds 10 cups and you normally use 2.5 oz. of grounds, then add 50% more grounds, or about 3.75 oz.
  • Have MORE ice on hand than you need. The more ice you have, the quicker the coffee cools, and the less dilution there is.
  • Try to use ice that is not too small or too large. Large cubes do not contact the coffee fast enough, the coffee stays hot longer and melts more ice. If the ice is crushed or small pieces, the ice cubes will all melt and create weak coffee. Cracked ice or small cubes are best.
  • Fill two containers with ice. Each container should be large enough to hold all the coffee and the ice.

First pack your two empty containers with the ice. Then pour all the brewed coffee into one container and stir it quickly. After about ten seconds, pour the coffee (not the ice) into the second container and again stir the coffee. Empty half the ice out of the original container, pour the coffee back into the first container, and serve as is.

Add cream and/or sugar after the coffee at the time of serving. But if you are using sweetened condensed milk or powdered creamer, add that to the HOT coffee before icing it. Most people want to sweeten the coffee themselves, so I usually add the cream but serve it with sugar and sugar substitutes on the side.

If you will cool the coffee before serving:

The only difference here is that if you have time to refrigerate the coffee before icing it, use about 25% more grounds than normal, not 50% more grounds.


Do NOT add cream or creamer to coffee before storing it in the fridge. If you do, the life will be short, maybe 12-24 hours. If you store just the coffee without cream in it, it usually retains good flavor for 2 days or so, depending on the coffee.

If using stored coffee from the fridge, add the ice just before serving. It is best to add about 50% volume of ice to coffee, as about half of it will melt while being sipped, and thus the mixture will be about the right concentration.

Cold-brewing to make iced coffee

Best iced coffees to try:

The Trung Nguyen Legendee coffee is possibly the world's best iced coffee. I personally have seen many people who were NOT coffee drinkers become coffee drinkers because they tried Legendee iced. Think of it as the Chai Tea of coffee. Incredibly complex, rich and satisfying in flavor.

Other great coffees to try iced are the Culi Robusta (Creation #1), the Creation #3 (Arabica SE) and the Culi Arabica (Creation #5). If you are making a special drink that involves any sort of chocolate flavor, use the Creation #2 Robusta Arabica. It's chocolatey tones are a perfect base for frozen coffee mochas, etc.