Summertime Pleasures: Iced Coffee


Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Iced coffee on a hot day is a special treat. But, I’ll tell you a secret, I’ve never like the taste of iced coffee from coffeehouses. They tend to be bitter or watery (sometimes I think they hate coffee).

Making it at home is so easy, and it’s cheaper, tastes greats, and I only have to walk into my kitchen to get some!

The easy way to make iced coffee is to make a double pot of your morning coffee. Pour your morning coffee, then put the rest in a pitcher in the fridge. It works for me, but it can take time to build up. You can always just make a pot of coffee and then chill it, but cold-brewed coffee will make a batch of coffee concentrate. I’ve not tried making the cold brew. Have you?

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Vietnamese Coffee



A sweet, but not sweet, thicker iced coffee. To start, sweetened condensed milk is added to the bottom of a glass. Then the coffee is brewed right into the cup using a phin, a special coffee maker. The beans used are dark (dark, dark) roasted robusta beans*, which makes for a strong coffee. Once brewed ice is added.

You can achieve a similar effect by making a cup of espresso and pouring it over the condensed milk. You can make espresso at home using an AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker, which runs about 20 bucks and makes a pretty decent espresso. You could also pick up a phin, which is about $7. I have not used a phin yet, but they are used in the Vietnamese restaurants.

Thai Coffee
Very similar to Vietnamese coffee, but less strong, less sweet, and has spices, such as cardamom and cinnamon, added to the coffee.

German Coffee



Or Eiskaffee — basically a coffee float made with brewed coffee and vanilla ice cream then topped off with whipped cream.

Have you tried any of these fun coffee drinks? Do you have a special iced coffee drink?


*Many sites call for using coffee with chicory, but that is the Americanized version, Vietnamese coffee does not use chicory. Vietnamese immigrants missed the dark, rich flavor of their homeland’s coffee and added chicory to beef up the weaker American coffee. Now, we have dark, rich coffee available.

images: Vietnamese coffee by Clarin, coffee with phin by Mike Verdone, Eiskaffee by Eigenes Werk (all from

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Updated: November 23, 2016 — 7:31 pm


  1. Hi Holly – I’ve never really fancied iced coffee – we used to have it as kids … but it was made with milk and Camp Coffee – that is an extract … so not coffee as we make hot today … we used the Camp Coffee for flavouring desserts etc If it wasn’t so calorific … I’d have that! Your iced tea has come back into my mind … cheers Hilary

    1. I looked up Camp Coffee, interesting stuff.

  2. Sorry, not a coffee drinker. But I can’t imagine anyone wanting hot coffee in the summer.

  3. We’re huge coffee drinkers and especially love dark roasted coffee beans to grind for our coffee. I have to have my coffee in the morning. When it’s hot, I’ll drink a cup of cold coffee during the day sometimes. I haven’t tried making iced coffee, but I might give it a try this summer.

  4. I love iced coffee and will just make a cup to put in the fridge for later. I wish I could try those recipes but I don’t drink milk.

    1. Yeah and I don’t think soy milk would taste the same.

      1. Ooo, I found a vegan sweetened condensed milk recipe here: I bet these recipes would be good with almond milk.

  5. I love dark roast, robust coffee – it’s what we use. Just plain, black coffee with no additives. But I’ve never tried iced coffee. Maybe one day 🙂

  6. Iced coffee is one of my favorite treats and my tongue is hanging out after reading this post! Yum!! Honestly one sounds better than the next. I think I know what I will be busy doing this week. 😀

    1. I don’t have it everyday, but when I do it’s I savor it!

  7. Sorry, not a coffee drinker and I only like my hot drinks hot but I enjoyed reading about all the different variants!

    1. I’m fascinated by how coffee and tea is enjoyed in different countries, even the various regions of the USA.

  8. we have a number of instant ice coffees here, in lil’ sachets that you just mixed with cold water and ice, with coconut, banana, irish cream taste…. I don’t drink coffee, but I drink ice tea all summer long, black in the morning, green in the afternoon with lemon 🙂

    1. Oo, I like the black to green idea.

  9. For a while I got into a habit of going to McDonald’s nearly every day for a mocha frappe–love those! But they also are kind of expensive. I’ve started making a reasonable substitute at home with my leftover morning coffee. Now instead of blowing $4 on a frappe, I fix myself my own brew for a refreshing afternoon sip. Good stuff!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  10. Mmm, that German Coffee sounds delicious. I like cold coffee, although I normally drink it hot.

    1. I tend to prefer hot coffee, so when it’s cold it needs to be special.

  11. My local cafe makes the best iced coffee in the world, according to moi, and I’ve drunk a cup or two. They pour real espresso (or you do, you make it yourself at the table) over iced cubes, and add 2 large scoops of their home made vanilla ice cream. Oh, lordy! (I’ve tried Vietnamese Coffee. Far too sweet for me as I take my plain flat whites without sugar! 🙂

    1. Oh yeah, it’s sweet, but it goes so well with a hot curry. :p

  12. When I lived in Southeast Asia, I was addicted to Ice Coffee. What a way to cool off. I may have to indulge myself and make some this summer. Thanks for the recipes.

  13. I love my coffee.
    The one with whipped cream on top looks deliciously decadent. I love a good cappuccino.
    Have to say that I haven’t tasted Vietnamese Iced Coffee. Wouldn’t it be very sweet with condensed milk?

    1. Yes it is, but due to the milk’s density it sinks quickly so you can adjust the sweetness by how much you stir it.

  14. Now I feel like going to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. This is a sweet and cold treat.

    1. Dunkin’s makes a pretty good iced coffee.

  15. All those sound delicious, but it’d also make me sick unless I took something for lactose intolerance prior to drinking it. I think I like iced coffee with a bit of sweetener, like your extra pot + refrigerator style. I’ve only had it a couple times, but I remember enjoying it when I had it.

  16. My husband is drooling over the Eiskaffee! I like coffee taste in a few things, but I don’t drink coffee, hot or cold. I like a chilled Coffee Crisp chocolate bar on a hot day. Mmm….

    1. I’ve never had a Coffee Crisp.

  17. You had me at ‘sweetened condensed milk.’ 🙂

    I like to ice my coffee in the summer, too. I made coffee ice cubes by freezing regular coffee in ice trays, then dumping them into a zipper freezer bag. This way, I can make fresh coffee and then add ice cubes that cool it down without diluting it.

  18. i <3 iced coffee – and i usually make it at home, it's cheaper.
    i liked learning about the other kinds of coffee, coffee is just a great thing to talk about!

  19. Hi Holly. Back when I was able to drink coffee, I enjoyed making it at home and turning it into iced coffee too. And I agree, at the coffee houses, I dunno. Burnt and watery at the same time. Yuck.

    1. YES! How do they burn it and water it down at the same time!

      1. I dunno. It’s so odd, but I recall that taste back when I drank it.

        It’s Sunday now as I post this comment. We have another tea brewing outside. I accidentally grabbed loose Earl Gray instead of Tim’s usually, Irish Breakfast. So, since we don’t know if he’ll like it, I just put one jar in the sun.

        But I’m inside sipping throat coat tea. No sore throat, just love the taste.

        1. I don’t think I’ve ever had throat coat tea.

  20. Not a coffee person but cool drinks in summer is IT for me 🙂

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