Today, there’re many delicious coffees out there. Among them, Vietnamese coffee attracts a huge following among coffee lovers. It’s loved for its sweetness and intense strength. Its strength is sufficient to give you a mood and energy boost that can last an entire day. Brewing Vietnamese coffee requires using dark roasted coffee beans and condensed milk. These ingredients are brewed using a metallic filter known as a phin.
In Vietnam, restaurants and coffee lovers brew coffee leisurely. The brewing process is not as intense as that of brewing pour-over coffee. In Vietnam, Café Sua Nong (Vietnamese hot coffee) is taken after waking up. On the other hand, Café Sua Da (Vietnamese iced coffee) is taken during the daytime, especially when hot.
Vietnamese coffee is typically brewed using a device known as a phin. It features a small metallic cup that’s placed over a cup or mug. It brews coffee quite slowly but gives a small amount of strong coffee that resembles a more caffeinated and thicker espresso. In fact, the phin brews stronger coffee than the French press or typical drip machines.
The metallic filter used in brewing Vietnamese coffee makes the brew unique. The phin is also known as the Vietnamese dripper or Vietnamese press.
How Vietnamese Coffee Was Invented
While the ingredients used to make Vietnamese coffee got into the country during the French colonial period, the innovation behind this coffee is purely Vietnamese. The brew is prepared with dark roasted coffee using a phin and mixed with a few spoons of condensed milk.
Sometimes, the brew is served with crushed ice for a more refreshing taste, especially during hot days. You can also take it while hot, especially during cold mornings.
How Is Vietnamese Coffee Made?
To make Vietnamese coffee, you’ll need a phin, condensed milk, water, and dark roasted ground coffee. Here’s a standard recipe for making Vietnamese coffee.
- Boiling water (1 cup)
- Condensed milk (2 teaspoons)
- Trung Nguyen or Café du Monde coffee (4 teaspoons)
- Coffee mug (preferably an insulated type)
- Gooseneck kettle (preferably an electric type)
Step 1- First, boil water using a gooseneck kettle. If you can get an electric kettle, it’ll get the job done faster than boiling water with a stovetop.
Step 2- Next, preheat the phin and mug by pouring some little boiling water into them. Pour the water after preheating them.
Step 3- Next, remove the metallic filter. Add 1 heaped tablespoon or 4 teaspoons of Café Du Monde into the phin.
Step 4- Replace the metallic filter in place.
Step 6- Pour a little amount of water through the filter. Doing so will wet the ground coffee. Allow the grounds to expand a little bit. That way, smaller grounds that may pass through the phin into your cup will be removed. Toss away any such grounds.
Step 7- Place the phin over the mug.
Step 8- Next, fill the phin with hot water. Allow it to drip. It’s recommended to allow it to brew for about 3-5 minutes. Thus, adjust the metallic filter accordingly. If the filter is too loose, you’ll get a brown, runny brew. If it’s too tight, the brew won’t drip through. You can adjust it with a fork as it’ll be quite hot.
Step 9- Once you’re done brewing, add condensed milk (1 teaspoon) into the brew. If you want a sweeter brew, then add 2 or 3 teaspoons of the condensed milk. You can use any brand of condensed milk.
You may add the condensed milk either before or after brewing. However, adding the condensed milk into the mug before brewing will affect the flavor as the hot water will cook it a little bit. Adding the condensed milk after brewing will allow you to know the right amount of condensed milk to add.
Step 10- If you prefer taking Vietnamese iced coffee, allow the brew to cool a little. Next, add ice into a glass and add over the brew.
Nutrients in Vietnamese Coffee
According to this recipe, the brew will contain the following nutrients:
- Calories- 32 kilocalories
- Sugar- 5 grams
- Sodium- 24 milligrams
- Carbohydrates- 5 grams
- Cholesterol- 3 milligrams
- Protein- 1 gram
- Calcium- 28 milligrams
- Saturated fat- 1 gram
- Potassium- 24 milligrams
- Fat- 1 gram
What Makes Vietnamese Coffee Sweet?
Vietnamese coffee is extremely sweet. The reason behind its sweetness is the added condensed milk. Traditionally, Vietnamese coffee boasts of extreme strength. Thus, this concentrate becomes very sweet when mixed with condensed milk. Condensed milk is affordable and is typically packed in cans. You can reduce the sweetness by using a lower amount of condensed when making Vietnamese coffee, especially if you want to feel a more intense coffee flavor.
How to Brew Vietnamese Coffee without a Phin
What if you don’t have a phin but you still want to brew Vietnamese coffee? Luckily, it’s possible to make tasty Vietnamese coffee without a Vietnamese phin. Here’s how to go about it.
- Clean cloth
- Hot water
Step 1- First, add water to a cup and heat it in a microwave. You can also boil the water in a kettle.
Step 2- Next, add enough coffee grounds to a clean cloth. Carefully wrap the piece of cloth to make a coffee bag out of it. Clamp the cloth coffee bag with a fork to make it flatten out for a wider brewing surface area.
Step 3- Insert the cloth into a mug or cup containing hot water. Allow it to sit in the hot water for about 3-5 minutes. Press the cloth against the walls of the cup with a spoon to extract more coffee flavors. You can now remove the cloth from the cup.
Step 4- Add milk or sugar to taste and enjoy the drink.
How to Make Vietnamese Egg Coffee
A famous alternative to traditional Vietnamese coffee is the Vietnamese egg coffee. Sounds strange right? Well, Vietnamese egg coffee, locally known as Ca Phe Trung or Café Trung, is prepared by mixing sweetened condensed milk with an egg yolk for 10 minutes or so until the mixture becomes creamy, fluffy, and airy. The mixture is then poured over iced coffee or hot espresso. Here’s how to make this coffee brew.
- Espresso (12-ounce shot)
- Egg yolk
- Sweetened condensed milk (4 tablespoons)
Step 1- Gather the required ingredients and supplies. Make a strong 12-ounce espresso shot. That’s enough for two servings.
Step 2- Add sweetened condensed milk and the egg yolk into a pitcher. Whip them with a whisk or hand blender.
Step 3- Whip the mixture until it forms soft peaks. Also, the volume of the mixture will double.
Step 4- Pour the espresso into 2 coffee mugs. Spoon the whipped mixture over the espresso servings and enjoy.