Last updated: 16/10/2022

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When you think of coffee, Brazil, Colombia or Ethiopia come to mind? You are not alone! Many other people feel the same way. But have you ever heard of Vietnamese coffee? Very few people know that this caffeinated beverage has a special significance in Vietnam. Yet the country has a strong coffee culture.

We have compared different types of Vietnamese coffee for you and will explain what you need to bear in mind. In addition, we would like to answer frequently asked questions in this article so that you are well informed and can make a good purchase decision.




Summary

  • Vietnam is second only to Brazil as the world’s coffee exporter. Although many people are unaware of it, the country is considered one of the most important coffee-growing regions.
  • Vietnamese coffee is known for its intense flavour. Despite its strength, however, it is not bitter. Chocolatey, full-bodied aromas characterise it.
  • Vietnamese coffee is typically prepared with a phin and sweetened condensed milk. It is also very often served cold with ice cubes or as an egg coffee.

The best Vietnamese Coffee: Our Picks

This section contains the editors’ favourites. From Vietnamese fragrant lovers to complete newcomers to the field, everyone is sure to find a product that suits their personal needs and tastes.

Buying and evaluation criteria for Vietnamese coffee

In this section you will find relevant buying and evaluation criteria. They will help you in your decision to find the right Vietnamese coffee. We look at the following topics:

In order to give you a good insight into the individual topics, we will now look at all 4 criteria in detail.

Taste

Vietnamese coffee is known for its particularly intense flavour. Light nutty and chocolate notes characterise it. It is also very dark, but, contrary to what one might expect, not bitter.

Roasting

As a rule, coffee beans are roasted using the drum roasting method. In this process, the beans are roasted at a low temperature for a long time. As Vietnamese coffee is very strong, it takes about 20 minutes for the initially greenish coffee cherries to turn into black coffee beans. Even though it is much more time-consuming, this process is much gentler.

Not only does the coffee aroma develop much better in terms of taste, but the tolerance also increases. This is because acids that cause stomach problems, for example, are broken down during long-term roasting. So you should definitely pay attention to a drip roast if the quality of the coffee is important to you.

Grinding degree

Of course, the grind is a personal preference. Whether you choose whole or finely ground beans is up to you. In Vietnam, however, a special grind is preferred to get the best taste experience.

Traditionally, coffee is coarsely ground because it is prepared with the Phin, the Vietnamese coffee filter. This is also the reason why the coffee tastes so strong but not bitter. Because the finer the grind of coffee, the more bitter it tastes.

Growing conditions

Nowadays it is very important that coffee is traded under fair prices and growing conditions. Some companies therefore avoid contact with large intermediary buyers and work directly with smaller coffee farmers. This guarantees consistently good quality and fair wages. When buying coffee, you should therefore pay attention to how the coffee is produced.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about Vietnamese coffee answered in detail

To make sure you are well informed, we have listed and briefly and concisely summarised questions worth knowing about Vietnamese coffee in this section.

What is Vietnamese coffee?

Although it is not very well known, Vietnamese coffee has a long tradition. In 1857, the French imported the caffeinated drink to Vietnam during the colonial period.

It quickly developed into a big business, as the country has the best conditions for growing coffee. The coffee is particularly strong and flavourful and has a special brewing process. A strong coffee culture has been established in Vietnam over the years.

What types of Vietnamese coffee are there?

Vietnam mainly grows Robusta coffee beans, which are stronger than Arabica. It is also cheaper to grow and contains less acid, which makes it more digestible for sensitive stomachs. However, other types of beans are also grown, such as Excelsa, Chari, Liberica, Culi or Catimor.

Typically, Vietnamese coffee is coarsely ground. This makes it taste strong, but not bitter. (Image source: Anastasia Eremina/ Unsplash)

A special type of coffee is Kopi Luwak, also known as Weasel coffee. It is one of the most expensive coffees in the world. The coffee cherries are eaten by creeping cats, but are excreted undigested. They are then washed and roasted a little. It is said to have a mild earthy aroma.

How is Vietnamese coffee prepared?

In the traditional method of preparation with sweetened condensed milk, you prepare a glass with some condensed milk. Place the Phin, the Vietnamese metal filter, on top of your glass.

Now pour the coarse coffee powder into the phin. You can use a coffee measuring spoon or a simple tablespoon for this. Then press the powder into the bottom of the coffee filter and pour in hot water. When the water has dripped completely, your coffee is ready to serve.

In addition to this preparation method, coffee is also enjoyed cold with ice cubes. Furthermore, the preparation with an egg is very popular, even if it sounds a bit unusual.

Conclusion

Vietnamese coffee is hardly known in this country, although Vietnam is one of the most important coffee exporters. Its strong, intense flavour, which is not bitter but characterised by chocolate and nutty aromas, is very special and distinctive.

If you want to bring a piece of Vietnam home to yourself, or if you are simply a Frahling lover and would like to try out new flavours, you should definitely get to know Vietnamese coffee culture. Even if some of the preparation methods seem a little unusual at first glance, they can be very tasty.

(Cover photo: Tina Guina/ Unsplash)

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