How Many Calories Are In Vietnamese Coffee? (& Other Nutrition Facts)

Some Vietnamese coffees contain loads of calories, while others are virtually calorie-free. Here's everything you need to know.

June 5, 2024
A cup of Vietnamese coffee surrounded by a tape measure.

If you’re trying to be more health conscious, calorie counting is something you will be looking at more closely. This doesn't just go for what you’re eating, but it also involves your favorite brew, too. 

So, how many calories are in your Vietnamese coffee? 

We’ll run down the caloric impact of some of your favorite Vietnamese coffee pairings, and give you some tips on how to cut the calories but keep the flavor. 

How Many Calories Are In Vietnamese Coffee?

There are many different ways to enjoy Vietnamese coffee, and each way of serving it has its own different calorie count depending on what additives are put in it. We’ll go through the calorie counts of each variation below. 

1. Black Vietnamese Coffee

Total Calories: 0–2.

A typical 4-oz cup of Vietnamese black coffee contains around two calories, making it one of the best low-calorie brews available. 

The only downside is that a properly brewed Vietnamese coffee without anything in it could be a bit too strong if you are not used to it! 

This is why, typically, various additives are incorporated, which start to alter the calorie count. 

2. Vietnamese Coffee with Condensed Milk

Total Calories: 150–180.

The most popular way to drink Vietnamese coffee is with sweetened condensed milk, and this is where the calories can start to go up. 

This style of coffee is made by combining about 4 ounces of fresh-brewed black coffee with sweetened condensed milk. 

This type of sweetener is very calorically-dense by nature. The high amount of sugar and milk solids contribute to the total calorie content of this coffee. 

Typically, people add around 3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk to their Vietnamese coffee, which at 60 calories works out to around 180 calories total. 

3. Vietnamese Coffee with Coconut Cream

Total Calories: 70–100.

You may choose to add a dairy-free option to your Vietnamese coffee, such as coconut cream or milk. This natural sweetener also contains about half the calories as the same volume of sweetened condensed milk.

Coconut milk has 34 calories per tablespoon. A typical Vietnamese coconut coffee recipe calls for about 2–3 tablespoons total — which works out to a total calorie count of around 70–100. 

4. Vietnamese Coffee with Whole Milk

Total Calories: 30–60.

Although not as common, you could make your Vietnamese coffee with whole milk instead of condensed milk. This recipe will be less sweet than typical Vietnamese coffee, but also cuts back the calorie count significantly. Skim milk can also be used but doesn’t do a great job of rounding out the strong bitter edges of high-quality Vietnamese robusta.

This style is recommended for those using an arabica coffee bean instead of typical robusta (try our DaLat, 100% arabica coffee). 

One cup of whole milk is the equivalent of 152 calories, while skim milk is 85 calories. Most people use between 3 and 6 tablespoons of whole milk to flavor their coffee. This works out to around 30–60 calories in total.

5. Vietnamese Coffee with Cream

Total Calories: 90–100.

Containing more fat than whole milk, cream also has more calories. Heavy dairy cream contains around 52 calories, while light cream has around 28 calories per tablespoon. Non-dairy creams like oat, soy, and almond vary in calorific content by brand but typically range between 30 and 50 calories per tablespoon.

Related: Vegan Vietnamese Coffee Recipe

6. Vietnamese Coffee with Sugar

Total Calories: 30–60.

If you choose to sweeten your coffee, you'll likely be adding sugar, which will add extra calories. Although a teaspoon of sugar is only 16 calories, you should still be wary about adding too much sugar to your diet.

Typical users add about 2–4 tablespoons of sugar for every 4 ounces of Vietnamese phin coffee — but some people prefer a little more.

How Vietnamese Coffee Calories Compare to Other Drinks

When it comes to calories in coffee, here’s how the calories of Vietnamese coffee stack up against some popular drink orders:

  • Starbucks Caramel Macchiato: 250kcal
  • Starbucks Vanilla Latte: 127kcal
  • Starbucks Caffe Mocha: 233kcal
  • Dunkin’ Original Blend Coffee: 2.4kcal
  • Dunkin’ French Vanilla Swirl: 220kcal
  • Panera Bread Chai Latte: 290kcal
  • Panera Bread Madagascan Vanilla Cream Cold Brew: 200kcal
  • Vietnamese Coffee with 3 Tablespoons Sweetened Condensed Milk: 182kcal

Next to other coffee drinks, Vietnamese coffee stacks up slightly lower in calories than a lot of things you may typically order. That’s not to say it’s a low-calorie option completely, but it can be added sensibly into a healthy diet when used in moderation.

How to Enjoy Vietnamese Coffee with Fewer Calories

If you want to reduce the calories of your Vietnamese coffee even further without sacrificing too much of the rich flavors, try some of these suggestions:

  • Switch out the sugar for a lower calorie alternative — Examples include stevia or monk fruit, like in our Cafely instant coffee range
  • Reduce the amount of condensed milk — For example, if you normally use three tablespoons of condensed milk, try using two. You will likely not notice the difference. 
  • Try using evaporated milk — This style of shelf-stable milk provides the familiar concentrated milk flavor but has no added sugar, decreasing the calorie count. 
  • Use dairy-free alternatives — Popular examples include coconut cream and coconut milk are slightly lower in calories than condensed milk, and add a unique nuttiness to your coffee. 
  • Add a small amount of salt to your Vietnamese coffee — This can help to offset the bitterness and allows you to achieve similar flavor with less added sugar.
  • Use a blend of Vietnamese robusta and arabica beans — We recommend our flagship coffee, SaiGon OG. This blend has a natural creaminess and smooth texture even before adding any sweetener. You can easily get away with less condensed milk or sugar for these beans.

FAQs: Vietnamese Coffee Calories

Further calorie conundrums about Vietnamese coffee? Hopefully, we’ve got you covered. 

1. Is Vietnamese coffee high in calories?

On its own, Vietnamese coffee has virtually no calories, with just 2 calories in a cup of black coffee. It’s when you follow the traditional serving suggestion of sweetened condensed milk where the calories can rack up, although there are ways to limit this, like using a different sweetener like monk fruit, or a different milk like coconut. 

2. How can I reduce calories in my Vietnamese coffee without losing flavor?

Try using less condensed milk, for example, cutting your usual amount by a tablespoon. Alternatively, different sweeteners can work well and be good low-calorie options, so it's worth experimenting to see what works for you. 

Related: What Does Vietnamese Coffee Taste Like?

3. What is the best coffee blend for a low-calorie Vietnamese coffee?

Cafely’s SaiGon OG is highly recommended for its balanced flavor and compatibility with low-calorie adaptations. Alternatively, our full-arabica DaLat works well with dairy and non-dairy milk.

4. Can I drink Vietnamese coffee daily without gaining weight?

As with all things, moderation is key. Consider both the amount of Vietnamese coffee you are drinking as well as the additives you are using to be able to work out a balance that works well with you and your diet. 

Related: Does Coffee Break a Fast?

5. What are the best times to enjoy Vietnamese coffee?

Post-breakfast is ideal, as consuming it on an empty stomach may lead to increased acidity. Vietnamese coffee is also high in caffeine, meaning that it's a great way to kickstart your day, but it could lead to trouble sleeping if you drink it too late in the day

6. Why is sweetened condensed milk so high in calories?

There are two reasons why sweetened condensed milk packs such a calorie-laden punch. The first is that much of the water from the milk used is evaporated, meaning that the end product is highly concentrated, containing around 3 times as much milk (and its resulting calories). The second is that sweetened condensed milk is made with added sugar, upping the calorie content.

7. What is the best lower-calorie alternative to sweetened condensed milk?

Some of the best things to substitute for condensed milk are evaporated milk, which is essentially the same minus the added sugar, or coconut cream for its richness and complementary flavors.