How to Make Vietnamese Coffee: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Make Vietnamese Coffee: 12 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Make Vietnamese Coffee: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

Vietnamese coffee is a strong, sweet drink usually served over ice. Traditionally, it is made with a phin, a metal coffee filter that brews one cup at a time. Unlike other types, Vietnamese is made with condensed milk. The strong, sweet and thick ingredient neutralizes the bitter taste of strong coffee, resulting in a refreshing and delicious drink.


  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of condensed milk;
  • 2 tablespoons (10 g) of medium ground coffee and dark roast;
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of water;
  • 5 to 10 ice cubes.


Part 1 of 3: Assembling the filter

Step 1. Place the condensed milk in a clear, heat-resistant glass cup

This ingredient is thicker, sweeter and stickier than regular milk. Measure it and add it to a 355 ml beaker. The clear cup will allow you to monitor the drip of coffee.

You can also use evaporated milk, which is unsweetened condensed milk. Combine a can of the ingredient with a cup and a half (340 g) of sugar in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and whisk constantly to dissolve the sugar. Then remove the milk from the heat and set aside to cool

Step 2. Place the base and strainer over the cup

The Vietnamese coffee filter is made up of four parts: the base, the filter that looks like a mini-pot, the insert and the lid. Remove the cover, remove the filter insert and the filter from the base. Place the base in the mouth of the cup, then position the filter on top.

Step 3. Add the coffee to the filter

After adding the coffee, lightly tap the filter to settle the beans. The best roasts for Vietnamese coffee are medium or dark, depending on your preference. These types produce a stronger flavor that is not reduced by condensed milk. The types of grind range from medium to coarse, but a finer one leaves the drink with a slightly gritty texture.

  • You can buy any brand of coffee, but Vietnamese must be made with Robusta beans.
  • The use of chicory is not strictly necessary in the drink, but it is a very popular addition. Add half a teaspoon (1 g) of chicory root if you don't have a flavored coffee.

Step 4. Place the insert inside the filter

Use the filter screen to pack the coffee. Tighten the screw in the center of the screen in a clockwise direction so that it is snug, but don't overtighten as the coffee needs room to expand.

Some filters do not have the screw to tighten them. Instead, gravity and the weight of water are used to prepare the drink. Skip this Step if your filter does not have the screw

Part 2 of 3: Making coffee

Step 1. Boil the water

Put the water in an electric kettle or stove, let it come to a boil and turn it off. Set aside for 30 seconds to a minute. The ideal temperature for preparing coffee is between 90 and 95 °C.

In the absence of a kettle, boil water over medium heat in a pot on the stove

Step 2. Add a small amount of water to the mini pot on the utensil

Add enough to fill a quarter of the container. Allow the beans to expand or absorb water for 20 seconds. Monitor the drip time during this time. When the water starts to drip, it should be at a very slow rate.

If water is draining too quickly or slowly, adjust the speed by tightening or loosening the screw

Step 3. Adjust the tension screw if necessary

If water has quickly passed through the filter, turn the screw clockwise, making one full turn to tighten the filter insert. If water has not dripped in 20 seconds, turn the screw counterclockwise to loosen the insert.

Step 4. Add the remaining water

When the coffee doesn't seem to be expanding and you've adjusted the dripping speed, refill the filter with hot water and cover to trap the heat.

If water is dripping slowly or quickly, adjust the speed by turning the screw

Step 5. Leave the coffee to brew for three to five minutes

When the filter insert is tight, it takes approximately four minutes to brew the coffee. The drink will be ready when it stops dripping and the filter is empty. Hold the entire utensil by the base and carefully remove it from the mouth of the cup.

Part 3 of 3: Drinking Vietnamese Coffee

Step 1. If desired, leave the condensed milk separated at the bottom of the glass

Some people like to take it without mixing. In this way, you drink the black coffee first and finish the drink with the coffee-flavored sweet condensed milk left behind.

When taken in this way, it is like the fruit at the bottom of the yogurt that has not been mixed, leaving the sweet fruit for last

Step 2. Mix the drink to combine the condensed milk with the coffee, if you prefer

Many people prefer to mix the two. This way, the bitter coffee is sweetened and not too strong. You can also add sugar to taste.

Step 3. Serve hot or cold

The coffee is ready to be consumed as soon as it has finished brewing. If you don't want to have ice cream, enjoy it right away while it's still hot. Otherwise, fill the cup with ice and let the coffee cool for a few minutes before enjoying it.


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