Today we go with one of those curiosities that we like so much in these parts. And there is nothing more exciting for a coffee grower than discovering new methods of preparing his favourite drink, isn’t there? In today’s article, we’re going to talk about the Vietnamese coffee maker and Vietnamese coffee, an elaboration that although it comes from an Asian country, it is entirely accepted in Europe because the result is very much to our taste.
Before we begin, and by way of reference, we will tell you that the Vietnamese coffee machine is closely related to the French piston or press coffee machines, which are very popular in our country. However, the Vietnamese coffee maker is characterized by one detail: it uses paper filters. We will explain it in detail later.
For now, keep these exciting options to buy a Vietnamese coffee maker in Amazon, which, as you can see, are usually quite cheap because they do not have any electrical components.
- Thang Long Vietnamese Coffee Filter Set. Also known as a Vietnamese Coffee Maker
- Size 8 Vietnamese Coffee Filter, Stainless Steel, Screw Filter
The Vietnamese coffee maker: History
We said earlier that Vietnamese coffee machines look like those in the French press, don’t they? It has all the logic of the world because its origin comes precisely from there: from the French and Dutch settlers who occupied the lands of Vietnam during the 18th century.
Vietnamese coffee is also known as phin, or cà phê phin, and has several peculiarities:
- It is an individual coffeemaker: that is, with a coffee maker, you can always prepare a single cup of coffee.
- The coffeemaker is placed on top of the cup, so if you want to make several cups at the same time, you will have to buy several Vietnamese coffeemakers for your home.
- It has four elements: the container, the filter, the plunger and the lid.
- The coffee is brewed by infusion and strained directly into the cup in which it is to be drunk.
Vietnamese coffee makers can be a hybrid between the plunger and drip coffee makers.
What Is a Vietnamese coffee maker like?
As we’ve advanced before, an authentic Vietnamese coffee maker consists of four parts: the container, the filter, the plunger inside the container, and the lid. Also, they usually have a thermo-insulating handle, which allows us to take the container or remove it without burning our hands.
The container where the ground coffee is served and the filter are usually stainless steel of higher or less quality depending on the product’s final price.
The price of a Vietnamese coffee machine? You can get the most basic ones for 10 pounds/dollars or less. The highest quality stainless steel ones with the most careful design can be up to 20 or 25 pounds/dollars.
Whatever the case, this type of Vietnamese coffee maker is one of the cheapest in the industry due to two factors:
- They have no electrical components (just like Mokas or plunger coffeemakers).
- They are always tiny, so there are no different prices depending on the size of the model. There is still one coffee maker for each cup, so if you drink Vietnamese coffee often at home, you’d better make yourself 2 or 3 cups.
Because of its peculiar configuration, it is also known as a Vietnamese coffee filter. However, technically, this name is not correct because the coffee maker itself, as we have said, has several components, and just the filter is only one of them.
How to use the Vietnamese coffee maker
If you want to know how a Vietnamese coffee maker works, just read the following section about how Vietnamese coffee is made because it’s the same thing. However, you can save time by watching the next video:
Best Vietnamese coffee maker 2023: Kikkerland
The Kikkerland Vietnamese coffee maker is probably the most representative and most popular model in Europe, at least commercially, of Vietnamese type coffee machines. It has several virtues, among them two that stand out very much:
- It’s a fixed price for what it offers.
- The inclusion of its glass cup, which is already integrated and adapted to the design of the rest of the components.
You can buy the Vietnamese coffee maker Kikkerland in Amazon for a price that usually does not exceed 15 pounds/dollars. Its dimensions are 11.5 x 11 x 9 cms, and its weight is 400 grams.
In short, a Vietnamese coffee maker with an excellent price-quality ratio, a meticulous design, and its cup for tasting coffee.
Vietnamese coffee filters
All Vietnamese coffee machines include their own perforated stainless steel filter. The size of these holes (usually, the higher the quality of manufacture, the smaller the perforations will be) will depend on whether the coffee is brewed with greater or lesser speed, therefore, whether the final result has one taste or another.
Typically, the longer the infusion, the more intense the taste of your Vietnamese coffee, but if you spend time, the intensity will turn to bitterness.
You can also use your Vietnamese coffee filters, made of thick paper and very similar (though smaller) to those used by drip coffee machines. You can put them on top of the steel filter of your coffee maker to obtain higher purity in the coffee, especially if the perforated holes in your coffee maker are too thick and let a lot of sediment pass through.
What is Vietnamese coffee like?
Vietnamese coffee is essentially brewed using a Vietnamese coffee maker and is drunk with condensed milk (hot) or ice (cold).
When brewing Vietnamese coffee, the result is a full-bodied coffee with a very intense taste.
The coffee infuses slowly into the container and is falling (brewing) through the filter into the coffee machine, so it takes some time to be ready. This time is controlled in two ways:
- The compaction or pressing of the ground coffee into the container (the more compaction, the longer it will take Vietnamese coffee to infuse and brew).
- With the filter: if the filter has small holes, the coffee will take longer to brew into the cup.
The longer the infusion time, the higher the body and intensity of the resulting coffee. Typically, the process takes 4 to 5 minutes until the Vietnamese coffee is ready in your glass or cup.
FINAL NOTE: Do not confuse this preparation with Vietnamese animal coffee or Vietnamese weasel coffee, some of the most expensive coffee varieties in the world (Kopi Luwak). What we explain on this page has nothing to do with it: it prepares Vietnamese-style coffee, not an origin coffee.
There are two essential preparations for Vietnamese coffee: cold and hot. In both cases, the drink (the coffee) is prepared and infused in the same way. The difference lies in what you pour into the glass or cup where you will drink it: either ice for Vietnamese cold coffee or condensed milk for a more traditional hot Vietnamese coffee.
What is the origin of Vietnamese coffee? Well, it was as simple as the first Vietnamese settlers had a tough time finding quality fresh milk in those parts, so they used condensed milk to prepare their coffee.
As we have said before, traditional Vietnamese coffee is an extended solo coffee served over a layer of condensed milk to taste.
Vietnamese coffee: Ingredients
- Ground coffee with a medium grind or medium-thick grind.
- Boiling water.
- Condensed milk.
- Ice (optional).
Vietnamese coffee with egg
An even more exotic variant of this preparation is Vietnamese coffee with eggs.
The preparation of the coffee is similar, but in this case, you must beat two egg yolks together with the condensed milk. You can do this during the few minutes the coffee infusion lasts. Once you have the coffee ready, pour the mixture on top of the Vietnamese coffee as if it were a layer on top. If well beaten, this mixture will contain a lot of air floating over the coffee without mixing it.
How Is Vietnamese coffee made? Step by step
To make Vietnamese coffee, you need a medium (not excessively fine) coffee grind, more or less like sugar beans. Below we show you how to make Vietnamese coffee step by step:
- First of all, Vietnamese usually wet or wash with boiling water the container where the coffee will be served (glass or cup). Come on, what we know here is making a pre-infusion. So if they do it, we should copy them to the system.
- Next, serve the ground coffee directly over the coffee pot or container. The dose is similar to that of an espresso: about 8 grams of coffee per cup. Although this is always about tastes, of course.
- Then you place the plunger on top of the ground coffee and crush it lightly like a press. The ground coffee is now trapped between the press and the bottom of the container.
- Now you can place the coffee filter on top of the cup and the coffee maker on top of the filter (with the ground coffee inside). If you want to make hot Vietnamese coffee, you must first serve a layer of condensed milk on top of the cup and let the coffee fall on top of it. The other option is to take it with ice.
- It’s time to pour the hot water over the coffee pot. You will need a kettle to heat the water first.
- Don’t pour all the hot water all at once: pour a little and let it pre-infuse the ground coffee. Let it get a bit wet. This way, they will absorb the water better and increase in size, so they will take longer to filter the water than pour water, and the coffee will be more intense as it will be in contact with the liquid for a longer time.
- Subsequently (you can wait 1 or 2 minutes), serve the rest of the hot water, approximately up to two-thirds of the container without overflowing.
- Cover the whole with the lid, and wait. The function of the cap is essential so that the coffee infuses correctly and the water does not evaporate.
- The boiling water will infuse the coffee inside the container, and little by little, it will fall through the holes of the filter towards the cup or glass where you are going to drink it.
- And that’s it. The coffee, with condensed milk or with ice, will have it ready in your cup.