Ca Phe Sua Da is the crack-cocaine of the coffee world. A few sips of this strong espresso mixed with sweetened condensed milk and your head will be buzzing, heart racing, and you’ll be walking back up to the counter to order more.
I think of Vietnamese coffee kind of like I do edibles: I want the baked goods but not the THC. In the case of Vietnamese coffee, I want the flavor but not the caffeine. Albeit, it’s so friggin’ creamy, sweet, and scrumptious that it’s worth the 200 bpm heart rate.
To break it down, Ca Phe Sua Da is made by combining strong espresso with sweetened condensed milk and a lot of ice; it may look like a lot when it’s served, but most of the volume’s actually ice. Ca Phe Sua Da espresso is made from French roasted coffee that’s mixed with chicory, which lends the drink its unique flavor. According to Kim, there’s only one coffee brand trusted by Vietnamese people: Cafe Du Monde, a French coffee brand that’s also known for serving up hot & doughy beignets out of their French Quarters restaurant in New Orleans, but that’s besides the point.
To brew up this espresso, a tool simply called a “Vietnamese Espresso Maker” or “Stainless Steel Coffee Filter” or “Vietnamese Coffee Filter” (they never quite figured out the marketing for this product) is what’s used for the occasion. But don’t worry, it’s not two hundred dollars and you don’t have to be a hipster with a patchy beard to operate it. Most Vietnamese Coffee Filters cost less than $10 at your local Oriental market or Amazon and are easier to use than pour overs. Instead of explaining how it works via words, here’s an easy pic-torial by Kim. Thanks, babe!
I know what you’re thinking, “how the hell are they gonna replace sweetened condensed milk? Like, you don’t eat milk or sugar!” Half of which is true – we do eat sugar, we just keep the guilty pleasures to ourselves ;)
To your point however, there are few sweetened condensed coconut milks out there that have a great consistency and flavor, which is a great option if you don’t care about sugar intake. If you do care about your sugar intake, there’s no good replacement for this on the market. You know what this means right? To the kitchen we go to experiment!
Hey guys, Ryan here. Just got back from the kitchen and I bare good news: you can replace whole milk with coconut milk and sugar with Swerve to make a darn good sugar-free & vegan sweetened condensed milk. Man, it sure does take a lot of creative energy to make these niche recipes!
Sarcasm aside, making sweetened condensed milk is as easy as combing granular Swerve and coconut milk together in a pot, reducing it by half, then blending it. The end result has a flavor and color akin to regular sweetened condensed coconut milk, albeit the one let down of this homemade variant is that it becomes grainy after resting in the fridge for a bit. Although, whenever it’s mixed with a hot liquid, blended, or baked those granules of sweetener dissolve anyways, which makes up for it.
Follow us down below and we’ll show you the deats on how to make Plant Paradox-friendly Ca Phe Sua Da, but first… here’s that part of the post where we highlight the most marketable parts about the dish. This drink is:
- Creamy, sweet & refreshing
- Full of robust coffee flavor
- Packed with caffeine
- A Vietnamese staple
- Easy to make
- Vegan, sugar-free, and Plant Paradox-friendly
If you had a good laugh or learned something new, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.
Go Forth & Feed Your Coffee Addiction,
Ca Phe Sua Da - Vietnamese Iced Coffee w/ Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk (sugar-free, vegan & Plant Paradox-friendly)
Stupid-strong espresso shaken with thick & sweet milk and served over ice for a refreshing drink that puts your heart into overdrive.
Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk
- 2 c (16 oz) full-fat coconut milk
- 2/3 c (5 oz) granular Swerve*
Ca Phe Sua Da
- 2 tbsp Cafe Du Monde’s “Coffee and Chicory” ground coffee*
- 6.5 oz water
- sweetened condensed milk to taste
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: Combine coconut milk and Swerve in a medium pot over medium heat and give it a quick stir to combine. Extra space in the pot is necessary as this will bubble up.
- Once a simmer is achieved, let it cook until it’s reduced by half; 60 minutes. Don’t stir it at all while it cooks as this promotes crystallization.
- Note: If the mixture bubbles up too much, reduce the heat just a little bit until it’s no longer overflowing.
- After 60 minutes, turn off the heat and transfer milk to a food processor or personal blender cup and blend on high for about 30 seconds.
- Use immediately or store in fridge for up to two weeks or until ready to use.
- Ca Phe Sua Da: Bring 6.5 oz of water to a boil in a small pot (the 0.5 is for evaporation).
- Remove the lid and top screen of a Vietnamese Coffee Filter. Add in Cafe Do Monde coffee grounds and lightly screw on the top screen.
- Add three tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk to a cup and place the coffee filter on top cup.
- Pour a small amount of water into the filter and wait 30 seconds. Pour in the rest of the water, place on the lid, and allow the water to pass through the coffee grounds; about 4 minutes.
- Remove filter from the cup and stir to incorporate the milk. It should be light in color and very sweet; if needed, add more sweetened condensed milk.
- Add ice up to the top of the cup and enjoy while cold! Keep in mind, this is enough coffee for two people and is heavily caffeinated.
*Swerve really is the best low-carb sweetener here because it actually caramelizes like sugar, which is key for sweetened condensed milk’s flavor.
*I was going to link to Cafe Du Monde on Amazon, but it’s so much more expensive online that it hurts my heart. BUT, it comes in a 15 ounce bright orange tin and can be found at most American markets as well as Oriental markets for five to six bucks.