Vietnamese Coffee – All Facts You Need to Know

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what is Vietnamese coffee

Vietnam is the second largest coffee producing country in the world and coffee is a huge part of the daily life of Vietnamese people. Today, Vietnamese coffee is well-known around the world but not many people know what make this drink so delicious. In this post, I will help you to answer all the questions about this additive coffee drinks.

What is Vietnamese Coffee?

History

Under the French Colonialism, the coffee tree was first brought to Vietnam in 1875. Coffee bean plantations were built in the Northern part of Vietnam and then gradually expand into other areas around the country.

They later found out that Dalat and Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) are the best places for coffee bean plantation due to its climate and hilly landscape. 

What does Vietnamese coffee taste like and how it is served?

ca phe sua da - vietnamese coffee with condensed milk

Vietnamese coffee is known for its intense flavor and distinctive making process.

French drip filter (called “phin” in Vietnamese) is what the locals use to make their coffee. Phin coffee or “cafe phin” can be spotted in any street corners in Vietnam.

Due to its small capacity and slow drip process, only a tiny amount of coffee is generated per phin. The addition of sweetened condensed milk in coffee served cold with ice, turned it into “ca phe sua da,” literally translated as iced milk coffee.

When coffee was first introduced to the country, fresh milk was not easy to find; hence the use of sweetened condensed milk. It results in strong, sweet, and milky flavor that many people are familiar with. 

Calories in Vietnamese coffee

Vietnamese coffee calorie amount varies depending on the amount of condensed milk or other sweeteners you add on. A cup of coffee, which is roughly 235 ml with 2 or 3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk, will have a total calorie count of about 130 to 187 calories. 

Vietnamese Coffee Beans

Vietnamese Coffee bean

The Vietnamese coffee industry mainly produces three types of coffee beans, which are Robusta, Arabica, and Liberia. Vietnam is the second-largest coffee producing country in the world after Brazil.

The government has successfully instigated a vast coffee production program after the Vietnam war. From 1986 to 2016, Vietnamese coffee production has increased nearly 100 times, from 18,400 tons in 1986 to 900,000 tons in 2000 and reached a whopping 1.76 million tons in 2016. Around 92% of coffee beans, mostly Robusta produced, are exported each year.

The coffee industry growth has brought positive changes to people’s lives in remote rural areas, contributing to socio-economic stability for the country.

The quality of Vietnamese coffee beans, roasting method and preparation process all contribute toward the distinctive and robust coffee flavor.

Robusta beans are commonly used in making Vietnamese coffee. Robusta is more caffeinated compared to other coffee beans like Arabica, yet it also has more antioxidants.

A 6 fl. oz (177 ml) Robusta coffee contains about 200 mg caffeine, compared with 130 mg of caffeine with the same amount of Arabica coffee. 

Vietnam weasel coffee

Another famous coffee bean is Vietnam weasel coffee. Called “ca phe Chon” in Vietnam, the coffee beans are collected from weasel droppings.

Weasels’ favorite food is coffee cherries. So they often climb on coffee trees, smell and only choose to eat the most ripen tasty ones. Their stomachs only digest the outer flesh of the fruit and release the coffee beans. The digestive enzymes permeate through the hulls break down the protein structure inherent in coffee beans.

When cleaned and roasted, the beans become hard, brittle with less protein. So the bitterness of the coffee is reduced, creating a distinctive and robust blend of flavors compared to regular coffee.

Weasel coffee has gathered a lot of attention in the industry due to its unique production process, characteristics, and hefty price tag. 

Vietnamese Coffee Brand

A few big players dominate the coffee market in Vietnam. Famous Vietnamese coffee brand includes Vinacafe, Nescafe, and Trung Nguyen Coffee. The market share of Vietnamese instant coffee accounts for 62% in quantity and 65% in value compared to 38% in quantity and 34% in the value of roasted ground coffee.

In the instant coffee market, the force dispersed quite evenly for three competitors Vinacafe (38%), Nescafe (32%), and G7 Coffee (23%). While in the roasted ground coffee market, Trung Nguyen is a strong leader with approximately 80% of the market. 

G7 Coffee

G7 is the instant coffee brand under Trung Nguyen Coffee. Their instant coffee is extracted directly from the coffee bean, mix with non-dairy creamer and sugar in each packet.

Trung Nguyen claimed that G7 instant coffee gives a rich and gourmet tasting cup of coffee, better than other brands that use conventional freeze-dried coffee crystals.

You can find G7 coffee in not only Vietnam but many Asian supermarkets around the world.

Apart from their regular G7 instant coffee, the brand also has G7 Passiona (sugar-free instant coffee with collagen), G7 Pure Black, Hazelnut G7 Cappuccino, and other variations catered to different taste buds. 

Where to buy Vietnamese coffee?

Vietnam drip coffee is a beverage enjoyed not only in Vietnam but in Vietnamese restaurants around the world. Thus you can easily find it in any Vietnamese restaurant.

For instant coffee and coffee ground, you can find it on Amazon or most of Asian supermarket.

Vietnamese Coffee Makers

vietnamese coffee filter

Vietnamese coffee filter, also known as Vietnamese coffee press, is the way to go for making a great cup of this coffee.

Size can differ, from 6 oz, 8 oz to 11, or even 15 oz.

The set can be found on Amazon or Vietnamese supermarkets in many countries. Or if you ever come to Vietnam, you can get a few sets, one for yourself and some as souvenirs. They are cheap and definitely a fun way to make coffee. 

How to make Vietnamese coffee?

It is easy to make this coffee.

  • First, place the coffee filter on top of a coffee cup. Simply add roasted ground coffee to about 1/3 of the coffee filter, use the provided insert to press down till it is snug.
  • Then add in hot water, cover with a lid, and the coffee will slowly drip down the cup.
  • Once it is all done, you can sweeten the coffee to your liking with condensed milk.
  • Stir and enjoy a robust milky cup of Vietnamese coffee at the comfort of your own home. 

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