Vietnamese Coffee

Get ready to indulge in the aromatic world of Vietnamese Coffee! This easy recipe guides you through the simple yet fascinating process of brewing coffee using the classic phin coffee filter. Experience the harmonious blend of robust coffee and creamy sweetened condensed milk. Whether you’re a seasoned coffee aficionado or a curious newbie, this is the perfect way to find out how to make the best Vietnamese coffee and elevate your coffee game. You’ll delight in every sip.

Vietnamese coffee in a mug on top of a coaster.


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What Makes Vietnamese Coffee So Good? 

Some of the best coffee isn’t served in coffeehouses in Seattle but on the streets of Vietnam. French colonialism significantly shaped many aspects of modern-day Vietnam, including food. Two of the biggest culinary influences are French-style baguettes used to make the famous banh mi sandwiches and coffee.

But the coffee in Vietnam is unlike any other coffee. It’s a dark roast coffee served in small portions and is super rich, creamy, and sweet. 

Why You Should Recreate This at Home 

Besides its deliciousness, there are many benefits to making and drinking Vietnamese-style drip coffee. The brewer is cheap, small, and portable, and you don’t need any electricity to make the coffee. That means you can brew fresh Vietnamese coffee anywhere you can access boiling water, whether at the office or on a camping trip.

And since unopened sweetened condensed milk doesn’t need refrigerating, you can stock up when there is a sale and keep it in your cupboard. 

Ingredients You Will Need

To prepare this Vietnamese coffee recipe, you’ll need:

  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Ground coffee
  • Water

Vietnamese coffee uses coarsely ground robusta coffee beans to achieve its high strength and rich flavor. You can find Vietnamese coffee brands at some grocery stores and online. Nguyen Coffee Supply is popular and sells authentic Vietnamese coffee, but it can be a little expensive.

Many people find Café du Monde coffee to be a decent substitute, although it contains chicory, which is not in traditional Vietnamese drip coffee.

Vietnamese coffee ingredients, kettle, and phin coffee filter.

Special Equipment You Will Need

Using Vietnamese coffee beans is nice, but the one thing you must have to make the best Vietnamese drip coffee is a ca phê phin filter. Most of the time in the US, it’s called a phin, and they are available online. 

A phin is a particular style of the pour-over coffee brewer that uses two permanent screens instead of a paper filter. The coffee is strong since it can take four or five minutes to brew a small amount of coffee using a Vietnamese coffee maker. 

You can also make strong coffee using another brewing method, like a French press, but it won’t have precisely the same flavor. 

How to Make Vietnamese Drip Coffee

To prepare Vietnamese hot coffee using a phin filter:

  1. Boil water in a kettle.
  2. Pour the sweetened condensed milk into the serving cup. You can use more or less depending on how you take your coffee, but Vietnamese coffee should be much sweeter than Western coffee. 
  3. Measure the coffee into the base of the phin filter and shake to level. 
  4. Place the base of the phin filter on the serving cup and put the top screen over the coffee grounds. Gently press down. 
Collage of first steps in making Vietnamese coffee with a phin filter.
  1. Bloom the coffee by pouring just a little boiling water into the brewer. After 30 seconds, fill the brewer and cover it with the lid.
  2. Let the coffee slowly drip into the serving cup. It will take about five minutes to finish brewing. 
Brewing coffee in a phin filter.
  1. Remove the brewer from the serving cup and serve with a spoon. Allow the guest to stir the coffee. 
Vietnamese coffee brewing with a phin coffee filter.

What to Serve It With the Best Vietnamese Coffee

In Vietnam, traditional coffee people typically drink coffee without any snacks. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a treat with your Vietnamese-style coffee. The one consideration is that since Vietnamese coffee is very sweet, there may be better choices than the typical pastries with Western coffee. Here are a few better ones:

  • Fresh fruit. Non-citrus fruits, like slices of mango or cantaloupe, are an excellent accompaniment to Vietnamese coffee. 
  • Toast with butter. Thick toast with butter and perhaps a bit of sweetened condensed milk spread on top. 
  • Spring roll. A thin rice wrapper stuffed with cooked shrimp, noodles, and vegetables is a great savory option. 
Vietnamese coffee in a mug and sweetened condensed milk in a small bowl.

Recipe Variations

Vietnamese hot coffee is most common in Vietnam, but the more popular way to enjoy this style of coffee in the US is iced. Luckily, it’s simple: Brew the coffee as above and stir well. Pour the hot coffee over a glass of ice and stir again. 

Another less well-known version of Vietnamese coffee is Cà Phê Trứng, also called Egg Coffee. This recipe may sound a little odd, but it’s delicious. However, it is worth noting that it does contain raw egg yolks, increasing your risk of foodborne illness:

  1. Start brewing the coffee using the phin filter.
  2. Whip one egg yolk into four tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk until smooth.
  3. Pour the coffee into a serving cup and top with the egg yolk and sweetened condensed milk mixture. The guest can choose to drink the coffee like a cappuccino or stir to combine. 
Vietnamese coffee in two mugs and a small bowl of sweetened condensed milk.

Favorite Coffee Recipes

Check out more of my easy coffee recipes and the best DIY recipes on CopyKat!

Vietnamese coffee in a mug on top of a coaster.

Vietnamese Coffee

Enjoy a cup of sweet and creamy Vietnamese coffee any time of the day.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: Coffee Recipes
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 128kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons Cafe du Monde coffee
  • 6 to 8 ounces boiling water

Instructions

  • Pour the sweetened condensed milk into the bottom of a glass. Use more or less sweetened condensed milk depending on how sweet you like your coffee.
  • Use a phin Vietnamese coffee filter (~6 ounces) or a French press to brew the coffee. If using a Vietnamese filter, remove the top screen and spread the coffee grounds evenly inside the filter. If your filter has a screw mechanism, screw down until the grounds are gently pressed, but not too tight.
  • Place the filter over the glass containing the condensed milk. Pour a little hot water (just enough to wet the coffee grounds) into the filter and let it sit for about 20 to 30 seconds. This allows the coffee to “bloom.”
  • After the bloom, fill the filter with hot water. The coffee will slowly drip into the glass over the sweetened condensed milk. This process might take 4 to 5 minutes. Be patient and enjoy the aroma!
  • Once all the coffee has dripped through, stir well to mix the coffee with the sweetened condensed milk until it’s smooth and creamy. Drink it hot, or if you prefer an iced version, fill another glass with ice cubes and pour the mixed coffee over the ice.

Nutrition

Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 148mg | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 107IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 0.1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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