A quick guide to Vietnamese coffee and 8 popular types of Vietnamese coffee you should taste in Vietnam
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VIETNAMESE COFFEE TYPES TO TREAT YOURSELF IN VIETNAM
In the 19th century, French colonists introduced coffee to Vietnam planting the first coffee trees in Vietnam. Modern Vietnam is the second largest coffee producer in the World, following Brasil.
Coffee in Vietnam is primarily made of strong Robusta beans. On that account, Vietnam is the largest producer and exporter of robusta coffee in the World. Robusta coffee beans are more bitter, hold less acidity, more caffeine, and more antioxidants than Arabica coffee beans. Vietnamese coffee caffeine is two times as strong as Arabica coffee. Coffee lovers who enjoy a strong coffee often find their delight in Robusta coffee.
Traditional Vietnamese coffee is strong coffee of an intense and rich flavor. But what makes Vietnamese coffee one of the most popular coffees in the World is the way how it is prepared, brewed and consumed.
People in Vietnam traditionally drink coffee slowly while socializing over a cup of joe in casual Vietnamese cafes with small plastic chairs that sprawl onto the sidewalks while watching people and motorbikes passing by.
Hanoi is undoubtedly the Vietnamese coffee capital. The number of Vietnamese coffee shops you can find in historic Hai Ba Trung district in Hanoi is unparalleled to any other place in Vietnam. If you are in Hanoi and want to taste world-renowned Vietnam drip coffee and different types of Vietnamese coffee you should head to Hai Ba Trung district.
I was touring Vietnam independently for a month and sipping Vietnamese coffee along the way. But if you are visiting only Hanoi, you might enjoy sampling some of the best street food in Hanoi while sipping Vietnamese coffee, or learning about Vietnam’s coffee and tea culture:
Or if you are visiting Ho Chi Minh, you should consider joining one of these awesome tours:
But even if you are not into taking tours, you shouldn’t worry where you can taste authentic Vietnamese coffee types in Vietnam. My all-time favorite Vietnamese coffee shop ‘Cong Caphe’ you can find on several addresses in Vietnam: from Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh to Sapa. On Cong Caphe’s coffee menu you can find a great number of common Vietnamese coffee types.
Read here about Cong Caphe coffee shops in Vietnam: Best Vietnamese café in Vietnam
Types of Vietnamese coffee to expand your coffee palate while in Vietnam:
1. VIETNAMESE DRIP COFFEE – Cà Phê Sữa Nóng
Ca Phe Sua Nong in Vietnam is basically hot Vietnamese drip coffee with milk.
While coffee with milk is called Ca Phe Sua in the south of Vietnam, in the north of Vietnam it is called Ca Phe Nau.
Typical Vietnamese drip coffee is prepared and served in a single cup-filter called Phin. Traditionally Vietnamese drip coffee is mixed with sweetened condensed milk. Lack of fresh milk in Vietnam, as much as difficultness of storing fresh milk in a tropical climate resulted in the use of canned condensed milk. Adding canned condensed milk to coffee in Vietnam happened to perfectly balance strong and bitter robusta coffee beans. In Vietnam, canned condensed milk serves as a sweetener and as a creamer for Vietnamese drip coffee.
How to make Vietnamese coffee? How to use Vietnamese coffee filter?
It is easy to make traditional Vietnamese drip coffee but you need Vietnamese Phin (or Vietnamese drip coffee maker, also called Vietnamese coffee dripper) that is made of a cup, a drip filter and a cap (cover). Just put sweetened condensed milk in the cup and coffee grounds in the cover on the top of the cup. Pour hot water over the coffee grounds and the coffee will slowly drop from the top through the filter into the cup. As it drops, the coffee will slowly mix with condensed milk in the cup. And there it is – Phin Coffee! Or in Vietnamese ‘Phin Cà Phê‘!
How to drink Vietnamese coffee?
When the coffee brewing (dripping) is over, you just need to remove the ‘phin cover’ and you can immediately sip your delicious hot Vietnam coffee. If you would like to have an iced Vietnamese coffee, just pour your coffee into a tall glass with lots of ice and your Vietnamese iced coffee is done.
Where you can buy a Vietnamese coffee filter if you want to make Vietnamese drip coffee at home?
Amazon has it all. You can find a Vietnamese coffee filter set on Amazon.com. Treat yourself with Vietnam coffee cup.
Vietnamese coffee maker:
2. VIETNAMESE BLACK ICED COFFEE – Cà Phê Đá
If you want a hot black coffee in Vietnam, order Cà Phê Đen.
Black coffee in Vietnam is commonly sipped with ice because of the hot tropical climate. To order pure black coffee with ice and without sweetened condensed milk you need to ask for Cà Phê Đá. Cafe Da is a typical Vietnamese coffee. Please remember, you need to specify Ca Phe Da when ordering not to get coffee with condensed milk which comes almost compulsory with traditional Vietnam coffee.
3. VIETNAMESE ICED COFFEE WITH CONDENSED MILK – Cà Phê Sữa Đá
Ca Phe Sua Da is another type of traditional coffee in Vietnam and the most popular coffee drink in Vietnam. Cafe Sua Da is a Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed sweetened milk. Iced Vietnamese coffee is a perfect refreshment on hot and humid Vietnamese days.
In Cafe Su Da goes equal amount of milk and coffee. But if you prefer more milk than coffee in your Vietnamese cup of joe, ask for Bạc Xỉu.
4. VIETNAMESE EGG COFFEE – Cà Phê Trứng
Ca Phe Trung is egg coffee in Vietnam made of Vietnamese drip coffee and a layer of whipped chicken egg yolks with condensed milk, and sugar on the top.
This Vietnamese coffee with creamy texture is often voted to be the best Vietnam coffee. Please don’t have prejudice to Vietnamese egg coffee. When you taste it, you are going to be surprised how CAFE TRUNG delicious is! If you like the taste of Tiramisu or egg nog, you will love the egg coffee in Vietnam too!
There are a few versions of Vietnamese egg coffee: hot, cold and with cacao (Cà Phê Trứng Cacao)
From a short history lesson, let me just add here that egg coffee was invented in Hanoi in the 1940s. Egg yolks were added to coffee to substitute fresh milk which was in shortage.
5. VIETNAMESE COCONUT COFFEE – Cà Phê Dừa
Mix coffee with coconut milk, a little bit of condensed milk, lots of ice and, Voilà! You get one of the best Vietnamese coffee you will ever taste! Cafe Dua is less sweet than traditional Vietnamese coffee with only condensed milk. Coconut coffee in Vietnam can be made with coconut milk or coconut yogurt. In each case, it’s doubtlessly delicious. And you can drink it, hot or iced! If you want hot coconut coffee, just put away the ice. No-brainer.
6. COFFEE YOGURT – Cà Phê Sữa Chua
Yogurt coffee or Sua Chua Ca Phe is another type of coffee in Vietnam introduced by French. Creamy yogurt blends divinely with black Vietnamese coffee. If you prefer creamy textures in your coffee, please add coffee yogurt to your list of Vietnam coffee types to try in Vietnam!
7. FRUITY COFFEE – Sinh To Cà Phê
If you prefer flavored coffees and you love smoothies, you should opt for smoothie coffee in Vietnam. Ca Phe Sinh To is made of fresh tropical fruits (such as banana, avocado or a rare fruit called sapodilla) with only a few drops of Vietnamese coffee. Exotic fresh fruits and Vietnamese coffee are an exceptional mix to whet your palette!
8. VIETNAMESE WEASEL COFFEE – Cà Phê Chon
Weasel coffee in Vietnam, called Ca phe chon, cafe chon, chon nau coffee in Vietnam, is one of the most expensive coffees in the World and a rare coffee you can taste in Vietnam. Although I haven’t tried weasel poop coffee in Vietnam, I have tasted kopi luwak in Bali. Indonesian kopi luwak and Vietnamese weasel coffee are not the same but very similar as they are two species. There are only a few countries in the World you can try authentic cat poop coffee: Indonesia, Vietnam, East Timor, and the Philippines. You might be surprised, but civet coffee is not yuck! Please take away your prejudgements and keep your mind open for new experiences. Of course, always behave responsibly and search for ‘certified wild weasel coffee’ keeping in mind the wellbeing of animals. You can find wild weasel coffee in coffee plantations in Dak Lak and Lam Dong province in Vietnam. Read here about Kopi Luwak Coffee in Bali.
Have you been to Vietnam? Have you tried Vietnamese coffee? What do you think of Vietnam coffee filter?
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