The Ideal Roast You Should Use When Making Vietnamese Iced Coffee

If you're unfamiliar, Vietnamese iced coffee is a freshly brewed coffee served with sweetened condensed milk over ice. It's a simple recipe, so you can definitely make it right at home for your morning coffee or for an afternoon pick-me-up. But before you make it at home, there's an important detail that you need to know first: what kind of roast to use.

Vietnamese iced coffee calls for a dark roast, specifically. In general, Vietnamese coffee is darker than coffee made in other regions of the world. This is because the bulk of Vietnamese coffee uses robusta coffee beans, which are known for having a bolder, stronger taste overall, with nutty and earthy flavor notes. The deep, robust flavor of the robusta beans is then contrasted by the sweetness of the condensed milk, making for a perfectly balanced cup of iced coffee.

There's a lot to know about the different types of coffee roasts, but if you want to make Vietnamese iced coffee, you'll make the most authentic version of it if you use a dark roast. To go a step further, you can even seek out a Vietnamese coffee brand, such as Nguyen Coffee Supply or ChestBrew Coffee.

Can you customize Vietnamese iced coffee?

Of course, you don't want to customize Vietnamese iced coffee too much so that you experience an authentic version of it. However, there are a couple of things you can do to adjust the coffee to your taste. For example, you can control the amount of sweetened condensed milk that goes into your drink. A Vietnamese iced coffee is perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth, but maybe you don't find it quite sweet enough — in this case, you can add a little extra. Tasting Table's recipe for Vietnamese iced coffee calls for ¾ cup of sweetened condensed milk, so maybe add an extra tablespoon or two. Or, if you have the opposite problem and want it a bit less sweet — so that you can taste the dark roast better — then you can lessen the amount to, say, ½ cup.

Otherwise, the best way to customize the drink is to choose a dark roast that you really like. The first time you make Vietnamese iced coffee, stick with a dark roast you already know that you like. Then, as you continue to make the drink, you can start trying Vietnamese roasts to find another favorite roast that better fits the specific drink.