Homemade Vietnamese Coffee

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Vietnamese coffee is a perfect balance of sweet and strong. This recipe shows how to make it at home, step-by-step, using a traditional phin filter and 3 ingredients.

Vietnamese coffee dripping down from a phin filter.

Vietnamese Coffee

Vietnamese coffee is a popular and common style of coffee in Vietnam.

The flavor is sweet and creamy with a bold caffeine boost. The strong taste comes from the use of Robusta beans, which contains more caffeine than Arabica beans.

The traditional way to brew Vietnamese coffee is with a phin filter, a traditional Vietnamese coffee maker.

The phin filter lets coffee grounds steep in hot water to develop the deep flavor that Vietnamese coffee is known for. It’s also better for the environment because there is no need for paper filters.

Vietnamese coffee is traditionally served with sweetened condensed milk to balance the bitter flavor of dark roast beans.

Recipe Highlights

  • Hot water, ground coffee, and sweetened condensed milk are the only 3 ingredients needed to make Vietnamese coffee.
  • The use of a Phin filter, the traditional Vietnamese coffee maker, makes the brewing process fast and easy.
  • This recipe makes 8 ounces (1 cup) of coffee.

RELATED: Vietnamese Coffee Boba

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients for Vietnamese coffee measured in bowls and cups.
  • Ground Coffee – Cafe Du Monde is the most popular brand for Vietnamese coffee but any dark roast coffee will work.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – A traditional ingredient, this adds both sweetness and creaminess to the coffee.
  • Water – Use hot filtered water. If you’re using an electric kettle to boil the water, set the temperature to 200°F.

For full ingredients and detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Pouring sweetened condensed milk into a cup.

Step 1: Pour sweetened condensed milk into a glass.

Adding a scoop of ground coffee into a Phin filter.

Step 2: Set the phin filter on top of the glass and add ground coffee.

Setting up a Phin filter on top of a cup.

Step 3: Place the gravity insert (flat disc with holes) down on top of the coffee. Press down to even out the grind.

Pouring hot water into a Phin filter.

Step 4: Add a little hot water first to allow the coffee to “bloom” for about 30 seconds. (Blooming releases gas from coffee beans.)

Slowly pour the rest of the water into the phin.

A phin filter dripping Vietnamese coffee into a cup.

Step 5: Cover the phin. Let the rest of the coffee drip until it stops.

Stirring Vietnamese coffee using a wooden spoon.

Step 6: Remove the phin. Stir the coffee and sweetened condensed milk until combined.

My Phin Filter Pick
An 8 ounce traditional phin filter in stainless steel.
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Recipe Notes

Cafe Du Monde coffee is a popular choice.

Vietnamese coffee is commonly made with Cafe Du Monde, a ground coffee blended with chicory. Chicory is roasted and ground with their coffee beans and the flavor is close to Robusta coffee.

If you want to get a Vietnamese coffee, I recommend Nguyen Coffee Supply’s Loyalty, which is half Robusta and half Arabica.

Use a fine grind size.

If you’re grinding your own coffee for the phin, set it to a fine grind size. With a Baratza Encore coffee grinder, use 14-16 grind setting.

Don’t skip blooming the coffee.

Coffee grinds release gas from the roasting process. Add a little hot water, then wait 20 seconds before pouring in the rest of the hot water. This allows the coffee to de-gas.

If you don’t do this, the gas can make your coffee taste sour.

Customize the flavor and strength of your coffee.

After you make the first one using the recipe, feel free to adjust the sweetened condensed milk to taste.

Expert Tips

  • The 8 ounce phin was used to make the Vietnamese coffee for this step-by-step, but they come in a range of sizes, ranging from 4 oz to 24 ounces.
  • Vietnamese coffee is stronger than regular coffee because it is traditionally made with Robusta beans, which is more caffeinated and stronger in taste than Arabica beans. If you want a less strong coffee, go with a blend of Robusta and Arabica.
  • You can adjust the caffeine content by adding less ground coffee or more hot water but that will affect the flavor of the coffee.
  • Vietnamese hot coffee is made the same way as Vietnamese iced coffee. Just add ice to make it iced.

Questions You May Have

What makes Vietnamese coffee different than regular coffee?

Vietnamese coffee is different than regular coffee because it is made using a phin filter, dark roasted Robusta beans, and sweetened condensed milk. Regular coffee is brewed in a coffee drip machines, usually with Arabica coffee beans.

What kind of coffee can I use to make Vietnamese coffee?

Vietnamese coffee is traditionally made with Robusta beans, but you can use any dark roast coffee.

Is Vietnamese coffee bitter?

Vietnamese coffee can taste bitter because it’s made with dark roasted coffee beans like Robusta. That is why it also contains condensed milk, which adds sweetness and creaminess.

Vietnamese coffee in a glass.

More Coffee Recipes

If you tried this Homemade Vietnamese Coffee recipe, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ star rating and let me know how you like it in the comments below.

Vietnamese Coffee

Author: Jee Choe
Start your day with bold, sweet, and hot Vietnamese coffee that's ready in minutes using 3 ingredients.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 minutes
Brew Time 2 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Yield1 (8 ounces)

INGREDIENTS
 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Pour sweetened condensed milk into a cup.
  • Set the phin filter on top of the glass.
    Add the ground coffee.
  • Place the gravity insert down.
    Press it on top of the coffee to even out the grind.
  • Add 1 ounce hot water and wait 20 seconds to let the coffee bloom. Slowly pour in the rest of the hot water.
    If you're using an electric kettle to boil water, set the temperature to 200°F.
  • Cover the filter.
    Let the rest of the coffee drip into the glass until it stops.
  • Remove the phin.
    Stir the coffee and sweetened condensed milk until combined.

NOTES

  • For this recipe, use an 8 ounce phin filter.
  • Gently shake the filter over a sink before you add hot water to prevent loose grinds from getting into your cup.
  • Don’t skip blooming the coffee. If you do, the gas trapped inside the ground coffee can make your coffee taste sour.

NUTRITION

Calories: 128 | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 60mg | Potassium: 148mg | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 107IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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