How To Use a Vietnamese Coffee Maker: An Easy Phin Filter Guide

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Vietnamese coffee is super easy and affordable to make at home. You don’t need fancy gear. Whether you like it hot and bold or cold and sweet, after one sip of this dark, robust street brew, you’ll be hooked on making it yourself.

In this post, I’ll guide you through the simple steps of using a Vietnamese coffee maker, also known as a phin filter. Plus, I’ll share some tips to help you brew the perfect cup every time.

How to Brew Vietnamese Coffee in a Phin

Mastering a Vietnamese coffee maker is easy, but it demands patience. To craft a tasty, balanced Vietnamese coffee, here’s my go-to method:

  1. Grind 2–3 tablespoons (25g) of coarse-ground coffee, preferably a dark-roast Robusta.
  2. Drop the grinds into the coffee filter and screw the filter screen in place. You’ll need to experiment to find the right balance of filter pressure for your grind.
  3. Position the filter over a cup or glass.
  4. Wet the grinds as a pre-infusion stage by pouring a little boiling water into the coffee maker. Let it sit for about one minute until all the water has finished dripping through.
  5. Fill the coffee maker to the top with boiling water and place the lid on top.
  6. Let it sit, slowly dripping through the metal filter into the glass or cup below.
  7. Remove the filter once the water has stopped dripping.
  8. Enjoy!

Don’t have a phin? Try this great option.

Tip: Love your Baratza Encore grinder? Start with a grind size of 15–18. Too slow? Try 20 for the perfect drip.

How Fast Should Vietnamese Coffee Drip?

To get the perfect cup, you need the water flow just right. Too fast, and your coffee will be weak. Too slow, and you’ll be waiting forever for that first sip.

Let your Vietnamese coffee filter work its magic for 4 to 5 minutes as boiling water drips through it. If it’s quicker, your coffee is ground too finely. Takes less than 4 minutes? Your grind should be a bit coarser.

Using a Vietnamese coffee filter brings its own kind of magic. As you wait patiently, water gently drips through the coffee grounds. This slow process builds anticipation, pulling out the deep, rich flavors hidden in the beans. It’s a delightful experience in every sip.

Just wait for your delicious coffee to finish brewing.

Enjoy your delicious Vietnamese-style filter coffee! Add milk, water, or savor it black. It’s all about your taste.

Making Iced Vietnamese Coffee

Cold brew coffee has been a favorite since the mid-1800s. Back then, without fresh milk, people used sweetened condensed milk, creating a delicious tradition that’s still loved today.

Add sweetened condensed milk

For a delicious Vietnamese iced coffee, just add 30 ml of sweetened condensed milk to your cup before or after brewing. Follow the steps above for a perfect cup!

After the coffee finishes dripping, gently stir in the condensed milk, then pour it over a big glass of ice. Enjoy your cool, creamy treat!

Cleaning The Vietnamese Dripper

Just rinse it with hot water or toss it in the dishwasher – it’s totally safe!

Brewing coffee this way is eco-friendly because you don’t need any filters. So, no throwing away filter paper. Plus, it’s super easy to clean up – hardly any mess at all!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Vietnamese coffee?

Vietnamese coffee, known as Phin Café, is any coffee prepared by a phin coffee filter. Variations are known as “ca phe den da” (iced black coffee) and “ca phe sua da” (iced coffee with condensed milk), and each has a unique flavor. It’s most commonly prepared by street vendors and is cheap yet delicious.

What coffee beans should I use for Vietnamese coffee?

A dark-roasted Robusta (preferably a Vietnamese robusta coffee) is the minimum requirement. But you’re not going to get the same traditional and authentic flavor without using Vietnamese-roasted coffee beans. They roast with butter, which gives the coffee a fuller flavor.

Is a Phin the same as a French press?

The Phin coffee maker is closer to a drip coffee maker than a French press. The French press uses immersion rather than gravity to produce coffee, putting it in a different category of coffee makers altogether.

Is Phin coffee stronger than regular coffee?

Phin coffee is extremely strong when consumed in Vietnam. This has as much to do with the blend as it does with the design of the filter. The slow process produces a concentrated coffee with complex flavors.

Can you drink Vietnamese coffee hot?

Vietnamese coffee is prepared hot and is served either hot or cold, depending on your preference. You may want to try tweaking the amount of condensed milk differently for hot or cold Vietnamese coffee, though.

Why does Vietnamese coffee take so long?

The boiling water is pulled through the coffee filter under gravity. This movement of water causes a slight vacuum, slowing the flow. There is some degassing as the hot water heats the coffee, which creates upward pressure.

How do you tighten a Vietnamese coffee filter?

It’s important not to tighten the top filter too tight. The trick is to screw the filter down until it is snug up against the coffee grounds, then back the filter off one full turn. That way, the coffee has room to expand.

What’s Next?

Mastering a Vietnamese coffee maker might seem simple, but it takes practice to get it just right. For those who love a sweet kick, the iced coffee sweetened with condensed milk is a delight you don’t want to miss. Remember, a great cup starts with fresh grounds, so make sure to invest in a quality grinder.

Looking for a twist on your coffee? Swap condensed milk for healthy sweeteners or try a creamy frothing milk. Robusta beans, with their bold flavor, blend well with these options. However, sipping it black might be challenging for some. Explore and find your perfect mix!

how to use a vietnamese coffee maker

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