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Vietnam drip coffee: Guide to exploring a melody of aromas and tastes

26/01/2024 7.179

Vietnam drip coffee symbolizes the country's rich cultural heritage and love for coffee. From the traditional Phin brewing method to the diverse flavors across different regions, it offers a unique and delightful experience for coffee enthusiasts.

Vietnam drip coffee

Welcome to the captivating world of Vietnam drip coffee, where each aromatic cup tells a tale of rich cultural heritage and passion for this beloved beverage. Embracing a French-style brewing method with the iconic "phin", this unique coffee captivates locals and travelers alike. Join us to fill your Vietnam travel with the diverse flavors and traditions of Vietnamese coffee.

1. A glance at Vietnam drip coffee in the local culture

Vietnamese people enjoy coffee at various times of the day - morning, noon, and evening, no matter the mood or occasion. The coffee culture in Vietnam is primarily influenced by French-style brewing, using a drip filter known as "phin".

Vietnamese people savor their Vietnam drip coffee slowly, much like how the Scots enjoy whiskey, to fully relish its flavors while engaging in conversations or having a smoke. Sitting by a cup of coffee, people take small sips while reading, listening to music, chatting with friends or business partners, working, etc.

The taste of Vietnamese coffee is typically robust and bitter, carrying hints of nutty and earthy aromas. People in the southern region often prefer iced coffee over hot. On the other hand, those in the north primarily enjoy coffee brewed with a drip, either black or brown, but always with a strong and concentrated flavor.

Vietnam drip coffee

>>> Read more about Vietnam culture before coming to this awe-inspiring country!

2. Ingredients and utensils needed to make Vietnam drip coffee

To make Vietnam drip coffee, you will need the following ingredients and utensils:

Ingredients:

  • Coarsely ground Vietnamese coffee beans: Use high-quality Robusta or Arabica coffee beans for the best flavor.
  • Sweetened condensed milk (optional): If you prefer sweet coffee, you can add condensed milk to taste.

Utensils:

  • Vietnam coffee drip filter (phin): This is essential for brewing Vietnamese coffee. It consists of four parts: the base filter, the brew chamber, the press filter, and the lid. 
  • Kettle of hot water
  • Coffee cup or glass

To achieve delicious coffee through the traditional phin brewing method, it's essential to have a Vietnam coffee dripper made of stainless steel or aluminum with evenly distributed and appropriately sized holes. This technique is widely used in numerous renowned Vietnam drip coffee shops.

Vietnam drip coffee

>>> Try egg coffee, a signature coffee in Vietnam! 

3. The art of how to make Vietnam drip coffee

Brewing a cup of Vietnam drip coffee is a refined pleasure, perfect for coffee connoisseurs who appreciate the tranquil moments of waiting for each drop of coffee. If you want to make a cup of phin coffee at home, follow the Vietnamese drip coffee instructions below:

  • Step 1: Rinse the phin and coffee cup with hot water to evenly heat the phin. This is a crucial step of how to use Vietnamese coffee drip.
  • Step 2: Add 25 grams of coffee to the phin. Gently shake the phin to level the coffee grounds. Use the press with moderate force. 
  • Step 3: Pour about 20 milliliters of freshly boiled water into the phin and let the coffee steep for about 2 minutes. The water should be enough to let the coffee bloom evenly without overflowing.
  • Step 4: Add approximately 60-80 more milliliters of water into the phin once the coffee has bloomed and absorbed the water. Cover the phin with the lid and wait about 3-5 minutes for the finished coffee.

The key to the best Vietnamese drip coffee is to complete the brewing process within 5-7 minutes, starting from the water pouring. If the coffee flows too quickly (short brewing time), it will taste sour (under-extracted). If the water flows too slowly, the coffee will be bitter (over-extracted).

To avoid sediments in the coffee cup when drinking, you can place the lid underneath the phin while steeping the coffee. After it's done, add the coffee to the phin. You can add milk, sugar, and ice according to your preference.

Vietnam drip coffee

>>> Read more about Dalat coffee and get yourself ready to start your new day with this brew! 

4. Recommended places to enjoy Vietnam drip coffee

In Vietnam, coffee is a beloved social drink not to be rushed. Visitors can enjoy leisurely conversations over a cup at trendy coffee shops, cozy cafes, or street vendors. Whether in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, make sure to try some authentic Vietnam drip coffee on your trip to Vietnam, notably at these establishments:

4.1. Trung Nguyen Legend

  • Price: 30,000 - 60,000 VND 

Trung Nguyen Coffee is an immensely popular coffee brand in Vietnam, with numerous branches scattered across various provinces. Tourists can find vendors of Trung Nguyen Legend in Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, the Central Highlands, and several other major areas and cities.

Renowned for its commitment to preserving the traditional coffee taste, Trung Nguyen Legend stands out by not using milk powder like other brands, opting instead for spray-dried condensed milk, specially chosen for Vietnam drip coffee. This ensures that the coffee's structure and nutritional value remain intact.

Vietnam drip coffee

4.2. Lam Cafe (Hanoi)

  • Address: 60 Nguyen Huu Huan Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
  • Price: 25,000 - 55,000 VND

Lam Cafe, one of oldest coffee shops in Hanoi, has served Vietnam drip coffee for over 60 years. Mr. Lam, the owner, used to provide coffee for struggling artists during the war in the past. Thus, this cafe is renowned as the "painting coffee shop", where patrons can admire artworks depicting the people and streets of Hanoi.

Lam Cafe has preserved its simple beauty with weathered walls, distinctive signboards, and green windows. It serves as both a place of business and a space to cherish the legacy of Mr. Lam.

The coffee aroma at this coffee shop is distinctively alluring. It boasts a uniquely enchanting flavor with a slightly pungent note that perfectly hits the right balance. The coffee beans at Lam Cafe are carefully selected and 100% naturally roasted and ground (without any additives or flavorings), maintaining their characteristic flavor over the past 60 years.

4.3. Nang Cafe (Hanoi)

  • Address: 1 Hang Bac Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi 
  • Price: 30,000 - 55,000 VND 

Nang Coffee, with a history of over 60 years, stands as one of the oldest and most renowned Hanoi coffee shops. To mention Nang Cafe is to mention a bold and robust cup of Vietnam drip coffee that never fails to impress.

This coffee shop stood out from the rest by using large aluminum filters instead of teapots for their freshly brewed coffee. Today, Nang Cafe still serves the same intoxicating flavor that has captivated coffee enthusiasts for generations. Their traditional roasting and grinding method creates a distinctive aroma and a smooth taste, appealing to all coffee lovers. 

In addition to iced black coffee with milk, Nang Coffee also offers the delightful egg coffee.

Vietnam drip coffee

4.4. Chieu Cafe (Ho Chi Minh City)

  • Address: 126 Cao Thang Street, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City 
  • Price: 30,000 - 50,000 VND

Chieu Cafe boasts a rich history, once serving as a beloved gathering spot for students before 1975. Remarkably, it continues to attract the younger generation, making it one of the few cafes that have stood the test of time since 1975. This cherished establishment holds abundant precious memories for the people of Ho Chi Minh City.

Officially opened in 1969, Chieu Cafe has witnessed half a century of global changes and the passing of different generations. Here, visitors can not only indulge in the authentic taste of Vietnam drip coffee but also immerse themselves in nostalgia, reliving the indigenous culture of Saigon in the past.

4.5. Phin Xanh Vietnamese Coffee & Tea (Ho Chi Minh City)

  • Address: 47 Phan Chu Trinh Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Price: 20,000 – 50,000 VND

Phin Xanh Vietnamese Coffee & Tea is a coffee shop that appeals predominantly to foreign customers. Their extensive coffee menu offers a wide range of Vietnam drip coffee, including phin coffee with milk, black coffee, coconut coffee, and more.

Among their delightful offerings, the hot egg coffee stands out. With each sip, you'll be enchanted by the lovely aroma of egg atop the cup, harmonizing perfectly with the bitterness of Vietnam drip coffee underneath, resulting in an exquisite taste that will captivate you right from the first sip.

Vietnam drip coffee

>>> Explore 8 recommended coffee shops in Vietnam to get your caffeine hit!

Vietnam is rich in culture and cuisine. Even for Vietnam drip coffee, each region offers a unique flavor for travelers to relish. When visiting Vietnam, tourists should include alluring destinations like Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Ha Long in their itinerary and indulge in the distinctive taste of Vietnam drip coffee at every stop.

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Vietnam drip coffee

 

Vietnam drip coffee

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Vietnam drip coffee is not just a beverage; it's a cultural icon and a way of life for Vietnamese people. The unique brewing process using the phin creates a distinct and flavorful cup of coffee that is cherished and enjoyed throughout the day. From the bustling streets of Hanoi to the vibrant markets of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam drip coffee offers a taste of tradition, history, and genuine Vietnamese hospitality. Make sure to embrace the charm of Vietnam's coffee culture and savor every sip of this aromatic delight on your journey through this captivating country.

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