Vietnamese coffee is on the menu at most San Diego CA Bobba bars. They use freshly extracted espresso, but then, instead of sweetened condensed milk, they appear to use a combination of flavors like hazelnut and vanilla.

How would one approach changing a regular Vietnamese bubble coffee recipe into a flavored version?

  • Welcome! The SE site I have a lot more experience in is Seasoned Advice (Cooking SE). Over there, recipe requests are off topic, partly because they are opinion-based (How would an answer with recipe A be more or less correct than an answer with recipe B?), which is generally discouraged for SE sites. While recipe requests are not explicitly off topic here, the problem of them being opinion-based remains.
    – Stephie
    Jun 3 '20 at 10:53
  • In accordance with the Meta discussion I have edited your post to focus on the methods and substitutions (on topic) instead of a plain recipe request (off topic, because opinion based).
    – Stephie
    Jun 5 '20 at 6:54

A bubble tea (or in this case, coffee) drink consists of roughly these parts:

  • a liquid (in this case, coffee or espresso)
  • sugar and / or a flavoring ingredient
  • tapioca pearls
  • ice to dilute and chill it

In your case, the use of sweetened condensed milk make it “Vietnamese coffee”.

If you want to get some additional flavor into the drink, use the coffee shop staple flavor syrup - the same product that is used to flavor other espresso-based drinks. They should be readily available in your local supermarket (Monin being a well-known brand for example), online at the usual retailers, or your nearest coffee chain may be selling their own product. If you are so inclined, a websearch will also lead to lots of home-made recipes, especially for flavors like caramel or vanilla.

So how would a substitution work?
In short, you can either

  • use the syrup in addition to the sweetened condensed milk (will be extra sweet as you have two sugar sources)
  • use it instead of the sweetened condensed milk (if you are not interested in the milky component)
  • use it with unsweetened milk, condensed or regular, or coffee cream for the creamier mouthfeel.

For a large drink, a splash of syrup should be intense enough, although it depends a bit on the chosen brand. Start with a teaspoon or two, add more to your liking.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.