How to make the ultimate cup of Vietnamese coffee
Vietnamese coffee is amongst some of the best in the world and is famous for its strong, rich flavor often sweetened with condensed milk. It was introduced to Vietnam by French colonists but soon became very much an integral part of Vietnamese culture.
What makes it so special?
The preparation is something of a ritual but the slow process is worth the wait. Course, dark coffee grounds are spooned into a small individual drip filter called a “phin” and placed over a glass. Hot water (not boiling) is then poured over the grounds which are held in place with a small metal lid. Another lid is then placed on top to retain the heat.
The water slowly filters through the grounds producing a rich, dark brown coffee. Condensed milk is usually placed at the bottom of the glass before adding the coffee and then mixed with a spoon to create a creamy, sweet drink. This tradition started when the French couldn’t get fresh milk easily.
How to order coffee in Vietnam
There are different names for the different ways to serve coffee in Vietnam and these vary from North to South. In the north hot coffee with condensed milk is called “ca phe nau” literally meaning brown coffee whilst in the south it is called “ca phe sua” meaning milk coffee. If you prefer black coffee ask for “ca phe den”.
Different types of coffee in Vietnam
There are many different kinds of coffee in Vietnam ranging from coffee mixed with yogurt, coconut milk and of course the famous Egg Coffee
Egg Coffee – Ca phe trung
Perhaps the most popular kind amongst tourists is the famous egg coffee – ca phe trung. This coffee will raise your coffee standards so high you’ll never settle for a cup of instant coffee again.
With this coffee, egg white is mixed with sweetened condensed milk to create a creamy foam which sits on top of the rich brew. It can be eaten with a spoon and is often described as being like a Vietnamese tiramisu.
Yogurt Coffee – Ca phe sua chua
Yogurt coffee is another typical Vietnamese experience. This coffee is made with black coffee poured over ice cubes and mixed with sweetened yogurt. It is a popular drink enjoyed best in the summer months.
Coconut Coffee – Ca phe sua dua
Coconut coffee is easy to make and offers a more tropical coffee flavor. It is made with a mixture of coconut milk and condensed milk poured over ice and then poured into a glass and mixed with black coffee. This coffee is very easy to drink and particularly popular amongst the younger Vietnamese generation.
Iced Milk Coffee
This coffee is one of the most famous drinks in Vietnam and is simply black coffee mixed with ice and condensed milk. This sweet pick-me-up offers a unique refreshment and the condensed milk instead of fresh milk and creates an unforgettable flavor for many travelers
Iced Coffee Milk
Contrary to Iced Milk Coffee, Iced Coffee Milk is made with fresh milk, instead of condensed milk. This offers a less sweetened version and is similar to iced coffees available in other parts of the world. This drink is perfect if you are after that coffee taste without such a strong sugar hit.
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