At its simplest, Ca phe da is made with finely ground Vietnamese-grown dark roast coffee individually brewed with a small metal French drip filter (cà phê phin) into a cup containing about a quarter to a half as much sweetened condensed milk, stirred and poured over ice.
Coffee was introduced into Vietnam by French colonists in the late 19th century. Vietnam quickly became a strong exporter of coffee with many plantations in the central highlands. The beverage was adopted with regional variations. Because of limitations on the availability of fresh milk, the French and Vietnamese began to use sweetened condensed milk with a dark roast coffee.
This is part of a video series I am shooting and directing for the Publix Aprons Cooking School. You can see these videos online at Publix Super Markets and in-stores at the Aprons Cooking School kiosks. Each video is accompanied by a printed recipe card with a full recipe and cooking instructions.