A Guide to Vietnamese Drip Coffee

A guide to brew a perfect Vietnamese drip coffee from the comfort of your home!

For true coffee lovers, Vietnam will be just an ideal destination. One of the first things I noticed was the way Vietnamese respect their coffee breaks. Their culture is so strong as well as their coffee and they have so many different coffees to try! Such an amazing country if you love your coffee strong and diverse!

One of the easiest, but very tasty and strong coffee to prepare is a Vietnamese drip coffee. When you walk around the city, you can see people sitting on their tiny chairs and sipping their coffee. Almost every home has the equipment for making a tasty drip coffee.

When I tried it the first time, I immediately got hooked and now I’m the part of their coffee culture – drinking few strong coffees per day, no matter the time.

No matter where you’re in the world, you should get ingredients and equipment, so you could be always ready for one shot of Vietnamese coffee! Also, it’s easy to get your hands on the filter and it’s highly portable as dimensions are very small.

Vietnamese Coffee Culture Is So Strong!

Vietnamese coffee culture is so strong!
Vietnam is the second largest coffee producer in the world producing a whopping 2 million tons per year!

You may ask why Vietnamese people have such a strong culture and variety when it comes to coffee.

Well, if we look a bit in the history, it’s not a strange thing why Vietnamese culture is revolving around the coffee. The country is the second producer of coffee in the world!

As the country was a French colony, it was brought to Vietnam during the 19th century and since then, the government focuses so much effort in producing more and more.

Right now, Vietnam is producing a whopping 2 million tons annually and the number is growing with each year.

Vietnamese people usually lead a laid-back lifestyle which means many coffee breaks. It’s not a coincidence to see them on the street or coffee shops enjoying their coffee, no matter of the time.

It was a really funny experience when I saw many small chairs set up on the street with Vietnamese people sitting on them while enjoying their coffee. And yeah, it was night time already.

They have so many different options when it comes to coffee and it’s really hard to choose. I rarely drank a bad coffee there.

I tried a regular drip coffee (iced and hot), coffee with condensed milk (their regular one), coconut coffee, yogurt coffee and strongest black coffee I’ve ever had.

Each one of these blew me away, but still, I really stick to drip coffee for various reasons:

  • our host family has the equipment at home, so it’s easy and convenient to brew it.
  • the whole process takes around 10 minutes (they really love to take your time on every action they do).
  • it’s tasty, strong and keeps you alert and awake!

How to Brew Vietnamese Drip Coffee At Home?

Maybe it sounds complicated as there is a whole process behind it, but believe me, once you get used to it, it just becomes a nice routine!

So, I will share with you the process of making a Vietnamese black coffee with condensed milk. You could add ice or leave it black.

Anyway, if you’re a coffee addict, you will definitely fall in love with this coffee and the whole process of preparation.

Let’s start!

1. Pick the right coffee beans and brand of coffee

I’m not sure about the coffee around the world, but in Vietnam, I’m using Trung Nguyen coffee. Many people tell amazing things about this coffee and I think it’s not a coincidence that you can find a bag of these beans in every household.

If you’re not in Vietnam, then my advice is to try to get that coffee brand online. Don’t worry if you can’t get it as there are many alternatives:

  • use any dark roast coffee
  • medium coarse ground coffee will do just fine
  • any Robusta brand will make the work
Trung Nguyen coffee
Trung Nguyen, a coffee that I really love!

2. Make sure that you have the equipment (Phins)

Once you get your hands on the perfect coffee, it’s time to find the right equipment that will help you in brewing the ideal coffee.

In Vietnam, it’s called a Phin and it refers to a small metal cup, filter and lid. You put these three on the top of the cup and simply wait. You can literally see each drip dropping down in your cup while enjoying your time.

A required equipment for preparing a Vietnamese drip coffee
Phin, filter and lid is everything you’ll ever need to prepare a tasty and strong drip coffee.

It’s very easy to get Vietnamese coffee filter and I recommend you to check this one!

3. Preparation process

Once you have a coffee, Phin and filter, you’re ready to brew your first Vietnamese coffee at home!

It will take around 10 minutes, but don’t worry, Vietnamese love to do everything slowly. Just enjoy and relax a bit, it’s good for your health!

Phin filled with the coffee
Vietnamese people usually fill more than half of the Phin with coffee.

First, fill the Phin with a desired amount of coffee. I usually put around 4 small spoons, but you can do even more. Vietnamese people usually fill more than half of the Phin!

Put the Phin at the top of the glass/cup.

Put the filter in the Phin

Once you put a desired amount of coffee inside a Phin, just put the filter on top.

You’re ready for the showtime now!

Drip coffee in the process of brewing
Sit back, relax and wait for your coffee!

Fill the Phin with boiled water, sit back and relax while every drop of tasty coffee is dropping down to your cup. It will take some time, but it’s enjoyable, especially when you’re surrounded by nice people!

Once all the water is gone, simply press the filter to get the last drips into your cup and you’re almost ready!

4. Iced, hot or coffee with condensed milk?

Now, it’s time to choose the way you’d like to drink your coffee.

You can easily add ice or leave it just as it is. I usually put some condensed milk (it’s very sweet!) and sometimes ice when it’s hot outside.

I found out that my favorite is iced coffee with condensed milk!

Try out different coffees to find out your favorite!

Vietnamese drip coffee with condensed milk
Tadaaa! Vietnamese drip coffee with some condensed milk will keep you alert and awake for many hours!

Enjoy your coffee!

What’s your favorite coffee you tried in Vietnam?


A passionate traveler who loves to explore non-touristy places. Love to take pictures of nature, especially sunsets. Facing my fears on a daily basis.

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28 Replies to “A Guide to Vietnamese Drip Coffee

  1. Oh wao. I’m such a coffee fun #italianproblems! I appreciate a good cup of coffee and enjoy the culture behind it. This is very interesting and I had no idea about this Vietnamese method.

    1. Then we share the same opinion on coffee! I’m so much into the coffee culture and can really relate to Vietnamese people. You should definitely try it. I never drank so much coffee in my life. Regularly, here in Vietnam, I’m drinking around 4 coffees per day and each of them is so strong.

  2. I never knew Vietnamese where so into coffee!! Compared to all their neighbours it’s funny. I don’t think i have ever tried Vietnamese coffee either, need to find some – probably not possible in Mauritius, but maybe I can be lucky in Europe this summer!! I love coffee – so thank you for your educating post!

  3. Love this, I’m from Melbourne so always on the lookout for quality coffee when traveling. An informative post with some great info, thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for a genuine comment! If you have a chance, try to get your hands on Vietnamese beans and try their drip coffee. It will definitely keep you alert and awake which is amazing if you’re working and looking for a focus boost! 🙂

  4. I don’t drink coffee but every single time my friends and I go to a Vietnamese restaurant or cafe, they ALWAYS order Vietnamese coffee. They’re favorite is when it comes with the drip 🙂

  5. Personally I’m not a huge coffee drinker but I drink it occasionally and I like to try it when I visit countries where it is supposed to be particularly good (I drank a lot of it in Mexico – it was amazing!). Thanks for the info, I’ll definitely be trying it when I go to Vietnam!

  6. Didn’t realise coffee culture was so big over there. I’m not a coffee drinker myself (i don’t drink tea either) but I do enjoy the smell! Thanks for sharing 😊

  7. This makes me miss Vietnam! I didn’t know about Vietnamese coffee before going, so I found the coffee culture there really unexpected. I had no idea they were the 2nd biggest producers of coffee beans!

  8. I definitely recommend to everyone who wants to visit Vietnam (I would especially suggest to go to Hanoi), to try their incredible coffee you described. I would even say that it’s a must! Great post Ian and Antonio!

  9. I definitely enjoyed my fair share of Vietnamese drip coffee when I was in Hanoi, so I can’t agree more with your post. You should definitely try egg coffee when you are in the country, which is one of the country’s culinary innovations built upon its deep-rooted coffee culture.

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