Why Everyone Loves Coffee in Vietnam

The country of Vietnam has been my home for the past two years now. I’ve learned so much about life here. I can now drive a motorbike on a road with hundreds of other bikes, I can speak (a bit) of Vietnamese, and I’ve grown an admiration for the Vietnamese countryside. One of my biggest loves I’ve acquired, is my addiction coffee in Vietnam.

Coffee Facts in Vietnam

  • Vietnam is one of the largest coffee producers in the world, second only to Brazil. With so many coffee beans, the Vietnamese have masted the coffee industry here, and I have fallen madly in love.
  • Coffee was actually introduced to the Vietnamese by France in the 19th century. The government implemented a massive coffee production program and BOOM! They now big players in the coffee game.
  • Coffee in Vietnamese is “Cà Phê”
  • Vietnamese coffee is almost always drip coffee, made with small aluminum filters called a “phin”
  • Coffee shops are LITERALLY on every street corner in Vietnam. You can find coffee available at extravagant coffee shops, sold from the bottom of someone’s house, or from a little street cart on the corner. It’s all over the place.

Types of Vietnamese Coffee

There are lots of Vietnamese coffee types to try, and I’ve had the marvelous chance to sample all of them. Here are some of my favorites.

  1. Cà Phê Sữa Đá: The coffee champion that’s probably the most commonly consumed coffee form. It’s all over pins and postcards in the tourist areas, and is absolutely delicious. It’s basically an iced coffee with condensed milk to make it sweeter; my personal fave.
  2. Cà phê đen đá: The same as above, but without the sweet milk. If you appreciate the bitter, bold taste of the natural coffee, this is the one for you. I personally can’t handle it, but it’s still quite common to drink.
  3. Cà Phê Trứng: This is a super touristy drink to have in the northern capital Hanoi. It’s Vietnamese coffee made with egg yolk. It’s super sweet and quite a treat.
  4. Cà phê dừa: This one offers a twist on your favorite sweet coffee. Instead of sweetening it with condensed milk, you can also sweeten it with coconut. It’s a special taste, and sooooo delicious.
  5. Cà Phê Sữa Nóng: Your basic milk coffee, but hot, hot, hot!
  6. Sinh To Cà Phê: For those looking for more texture to their coffee, this is a good alternative. It’s a coffee smoothie, very sweet and very cold.
  7. Cà Phê Chon: A specialty item not typically consumed on a daily basis that’s still worth putting on the list. This is “Weasel Coffee” because it’s made using the remains of weasels. What kind of remains? I’ll let you use your imagination for that one. Still tastes good though so it’s a bucket list drink while you’re here.
coffee in vietnam mentor travel

How to Make Vietnamese Coffee

Vietnamese coffee is not for the impatient. It’s made using a phin and drip method, so it can take a while to get it ready to actually drink. But, I think that’s what makes it so special. You have to wait for it, so you know it’s really worth it.

I’m walking you through the steps to make my favorite coffee in Vietnam, the Cà Phê Sữa Đá.

What you Need:

  • A coffee of your choice. I recommend a Vietnamese brand, like Coffee House or Trung Nguyen. If you’re in the States, you can use almost any medium grind coffee. Cafe Du Monde is quite popular as well.
  • Ca Phe Phin, or a Vietnam coffee press. They’re super cheap and make one cup of coffee perfectly.
  • Sweetened Condense Milk. You can pick this up at any grocery store.
  • Hot water. Boil your kettle ahead of time so the water isn’t boiling when you use it.
coffee in vietnam mentor travel

Let’s Make the Coffee!

Step 1: Add about three table spoons of your coffee into the base of the phin. You can wet the ground a bit with some of the hot water.

Step 2: Add about two to three table spoons of condensed milk to the bottom of your coffee glass. Add or deduct depending on how sweet you like your coffee.

Step 3: Press the coffee grounds down with the phin attachment. Place the entire phin on top of your glass.

Step 4: Add the hot water to the ca phe phin, and then close it with the lid on top.

Step 5: Wait for the coffee to complete the dripping process. This takes four to six minutes usually. While this is happening, get a separate glass and fill it with ice. This will turn it from a hot coffee to an iced coffee.

Step 6: Once it’s finished, stir the coffee and milk until it’s one nice caramel brown mixture. Then, pour the coffee over the iced glass. Voila! Enjoy your cup of Vietnamese Joe.

coffee in vietnam mentor travel

Have you had Vietnamese Coffee? You don’t have to be in Vietnam to try it, Amazon has it ALL. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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