How to make Vietnamese coffee like a local?

Vietnamese coffee is strong and flavorful, and it converts as quickly as it raises pulses. Although French colonists brought coffee to Vietnam, the morning cup of ca phe quickly became a local tradition. Vietnamese coffee has developed its own style, with variations that include yoghurt, eggs, and even fruit.


What is Vietnamese Coffee?

Everyone has heard of African and South American coffee. However, you may be surprised to learn that Vietnam is the world's second largest producer of coffee, trailing only Brazil.

The type of coffee beans grown in Vietnam are particularly distinctive. Vietnam primarily grows Robusta beans rather than the more commonly grown Arabica bean.

These beans are generally thought to be of lower quality, with far fewer desirable characteristics than the more expensive Arabica beans.

This, however, did not deter the Vietnamese from drinking coffee. Instead, they reinvented the way coffee is brewed.

The Vietnamese have created a delicious style of coffee not commonly found in the Western world by creating a slow, drip-brewed coffee and combining it with condensed milk.

Best Vietnamese Coffee Beans

Robusta beans should be used to make Vietnamese coffee. These beans are less difficult and less expensive to grow than Arabica beans. Robusta beans are more bitter, less acidic, and contain nearly twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans.

There is nothing stopping you from brewing your Vietnamese coffee with freshly ground Arabica beans; however, keep in mind that the flavor will be very different from what is typically sold in Vietnam.

If you want the best coffee possible, consider grinding your robusta beans fresh each time you brew a cup. A medium grind would be ideal to prevent grinds from falling through the holes while also being compact enough to prevent water from draining straight through.

We chose not to grind our own Robusta beans to make things easier. Unlike Arabica beans, pre-ground coffee beans will still produce excellent results. This is much easier and ensures a consistent brew every time, so we recommend purchasing your beans already ground.

Now, any Robusta coffee bean will suffice. However, we believe that if you want to make Vietnamese coffee, you should use Vietnamese coffee.

A quick disclaimer: we recommend avoiding most Vietnamese coffee brands sold by vendors in markets throughout Vietnam, including Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh city. They are frequently not as fresh as a reputable cafe. They will ask you to smell the beans to ensure their freshness, but smell is not a reliable indicator of coffee bean freshness. To determine how fresh the coffee is, you must taste it. Furthermore, they will undoubtedly attempt to defraud you.

Vietnamese Coffee Filter

Vietnamese coffee is traditionally brewed using a phin filter. They are simply coffee filters made of ceramic or stainless steel with holes punched in the bottom.

For brewing Vietnamese coffee, any drip coffee filter will suffice. You can use this if you already have a high-quality drip filter, such as a Hario V60 or a Kalita Wave.

If you want to buy one specifically for Vietnamese coffee, look for something reasonably priced. The most common material is metal, but we have a ceramic one that looks a little nicer and works just fine.

This filter can be purchased for a few dollars at any market in Vietnam. There's no need to overthink it because any phin filter will do the job.

Condensed Milk in Vietnamese Coffee

Robusta beans are notoriously bitter and strong. Because of these characteristics, Arabica coffee beans are preferred by the majority of Westerners.

The Vietnamese discovered that they could compensate for this by adding a generous helping of condensed milk to their coffees.

If you're watching your calories, you can omit the condensed milk. However, we believe that Vietnamese coffee may not be the best option for you because it is made with condensed milk, which is what makes it so delicious.

Condensed milk is typically sold in the form of a can. Any brand will do; just make sure you don't substitute a different product. Evaporated milk is NOT an acceptable substitute.

How to make Vietnamese coffee?

Making Vietnamese coffee is actually very simple once you have the beans, condensed milk, a Vietnamese coffee phin filter, a cup, a spoon, and hot water.


  • Rinse your cup and phin filter with boiling water.
  • Measure 1-3 tablespoons of ground coffee, and distribute it evenly into the filter (DO NOT shake the filters or compress the coffee, or the coffee grounds will drop into the holes of the coffee filter and plug up the holes! The result will be that the coffee takes forever to drip, or the grounds may clog the filter entirely. Place the metal filter gently on top of the coffee).
  • Pour 1-3 tablespoons of condensed milk into your coffee mug or heatproof glass.
  • Pour two tablespoons of hot water into the filter and wait for 5 seconds to “bloom” the coffee. This is the part of the brewing process when the water releases CO2 from the coffee and the grounds expand.
  • Next, press on the filter gently to compress the bloomed coffee. This helps slow down the drip rate when you use all of your water. It also makes for a more flavorful coffee.

With these steps, you’ll be able to achieve the optimum brewing time. Slowly pour the rest of the water into the filter. The coffee will begin dripping into your cup or glass.

Wait about 5 minutes for the coffee to finish drip brewing!

  • Remove the filter, and stir to mix in the condensed milk. The amount of condensed milk you use is a very personal decision but here are my personal recommendations:
  • 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk for a regular coffee
  • 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk for a sweet coffee
  • 3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk; your coffee will taste closer to a caramel coffee hard candy, and sometimes there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that!
Rating this post:
Share on socials network

0 Comment

Leave your comment here!

Comment Infomation