How to Make Vietnamese Coffee: A Delicious and Authentic Brewing Guide

Vietnamese coffee is known for its unique and delicious taste. It is a popular choice for coffee lovers around the world, and it’s easy to see why. The combination of rich flavors, smooth texture, and sweetened condensed milk creates a delightful and indulgent experience. In this article, I will guide you on how to make Vietnamese coffee, ensuring an authentic and enjoyable brewing process. So, grab your coffee beans, put on your apron, and let’s get started!

What Makes Vietnamese Coffee Special?

Vietnamese coffee is distinct from other types of coffee due to its brewing method and flavor profile. The key ingredient that sets it apart is the sweetened condensed milk. This silky, thick, and creamy milk is mixed with a robust and dark coffee, creating a smooth and balanced taste. The coffee itself is usually made using a stainless steel Vietnamese coffee filter, called a phin filter. This traditional method allows for a slow extraction process, resulting in a strong and intense coffee flavor.

Gather Your Ingredients and Equipment

Before diving into the coffee making process, it’s essential to have all the necessary ingredients and equipment at hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

1. Vietnamese coffee beans: Vietnamese coffee is typically made using robusta beans, which are known for their strong flavor and higher caffeine content. However, you can also use a blend of Arabica and robusta beans for a more balanced taste.

2. Vietnamese coffee filter (phin filter): This metal filter is essential for the brewing process. It consists of a perforated plate, a screw-down insert, and a brewing chamber that sits on top of your coffee cup or mug.

3. Sweetened condensed milk: The creamy and sweet flavor of condensed milk is a key component of Vietnamese coffee. Ensure you have a can or tube of high-quality sweetened condensed milk for the best results.

4. Hot water: Boil water in a kettle or saucepan before starting the brewing process. Hot water is essential for extracting the coffee’s flavors effectively.

Preparing the Vietnamese Coffee

Now that you have all the ingredients and equipment ready, it’s time to start brewing your Vietnamese coffee. Follow these steps for a delicious and authentic cup:

1. Begin by heating water to a boiling point in a kettle or saucepan.

2. While the water is heating, add two tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee into the phin filter chamber. Gently shake the filter to distribute the coffee evenly.

3. Place the filter on top of your coffee cup or mug. Make sure the filter sits securely, so it doesn’t fall off during the brewing process.

4. Once the water reaches boiling point, pour a small amount of hot water into the phin filter, just enough to wet the coffee grounds. This step is known as blooming and allows for the coffee to release its flavors.

5. After the coffee grounds have bloomed for around 20 seconds, fill the filter chamber with hot water until it’s nearly full. Avoid overfilling, as it may result in an overflow.

6. Screw on the filter insert to compress the coffee grounds gently. This step helps to control the brewing time and extract the coffee’s full flavor.

7. Allow the coffee to drip and brew for approximately 4-5 minutes. Vietnamese coffee extraction is slower than other methods, but this time allows for a rich and concentrated flavor.

8. While the coffee is brewing, warm your desired amount of sweetened condensed milk in a separate bowl or cup. This step ensures a warm and creamy addition to your coffee.

9. Once the coffee has finished brewing, remove the filter from your cup or mug. Stir the brewed coffee and condensed milk together until well combined.

10. Taste and adjust the sweetness by adding more condensed milk if desired. Vietnamese coffee is known for its rich and sweet taste, so feel free to add more milk to suit your preference.

Customize Your Vietnamese Coffee

While the traditional Vietnamese coffee recipe is undoubtedly delicious, you can also personalize your cup of joe to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few ways to customize and enhance your Vietnamese coffee experience:

1. Ice Vietnamese coffee: Fill a tall glass with ice cubes and pour your brewed coffee and condensed milk mixture over it. This creates a refreshing and chilled version perfect for warm days.

2. Add flavors: Experiment with additional flavors such as vanilla extract, coconut milk, or almond syrup. These additions can elevate the taste and create a unique twist to your Vietnamese coffee.

3. Egg coffee: An interesting spin on Vietnamese coffee involves adding an egg mixture to the condensed milk. This concoction creates a creamy and frothy texture, resembling a delicious coffee dessert.


Making Vietnamese coffee is an art that requires patience and attention to detail. The combination of strong coffee, sweetened condensed milk, and the brewing process using a traditional phin filter creates a delightful and authentic experience. So, embrace the flavors of Vietnam, and savor the richness and sweetness of this delicious coffee. Whether you embrace the classic recipe or add your own twist, Vietnamese coffee is sure to captivate your taste buds and leave you longing for another cup. Cheers!

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