How to make Vietnamese coffee
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages that is now distributed all over the world. There are many recipes for processing beans, and one of the most unusual considered to be the one that was invented in Vietnam. But not everyone can brew coffee the way Vietnamese coffee is supposed to be brewed correctly, which is why the variants of this drink in different cafes have different tastes.
- 1. Historical background
- 2. Cooking technology
- 3. Other recipes
Coffee beans were introduced to this quiet Asian country in the 19th century. Preserved even the first appearance year – it was 1857. Those days it occurred to one of the French colonists to take some coffee with them, make it into a drink and let the locals taste it. They appreciated the taste and started to grow it for themselves.
This is interesting: Where coffee first appeared and how it came to us
For a very long time, travelers in Vietnam could only see coffee trees in the backyards of some houses. The inhabitants liked the drink, and each craftsman grew the beans himself. Perhaps at that time local lovers developed a way of making Vietnamese coffee in a mug – more precisely, in a special machine designed just for such beans. Anyway, there was plenty of time for it…
It was not until the early twentieth century that someone in Vietnam figured out that they could build by growing coffee in plantations. That’s when everyone realized that it was a real goldmine. Nowadays the export of beans is so well established that Vietnam has even surpassed Brazil.
In the country itself the annual coffee yield is almost equal to the amount of rice, and the best part of it is harvested in the highland region of Dalat. Not only other countries but also the locals and tourists have enough of this product: Vietnamese-style coffee brewed using a special technology is now offered literally on every corner, and the shelves in stores are bursting with a plenty of varieties.
Vietnamese coffee can only be made with special equipment, and this is not a coffee machine! To develop their own (now classic) recipe, the Vietnamese invented the phin. This is a kind of cousin to the French press, which some producers can make from aluminum, stainless steel or even silver (the working mechanism is the same, but the price varies).
Read also: How to choose a French press for coffee
Kits, which include the device itself and various accessories, are sold not only in stores, but also at the airport of Hanoi – no tourists will pass by. Therefore, to begin with, you need to get a Vietnamese brew, or rather, a set, which includes:
- Main filter – a small container, shaped like a pot, but with plastic handles and a “pierced” bottom;
- Plate – perforated base to be installed on a cup or a mug of any diameter;
- Glass – tank for ready coffee, made of thick transparent glass, through which it will be convenient to watch the preparation of the drink;
- Temper – a flat sieve with a vertical handle, which allows you to crush the coffee in the main filter, as well as to filter the dripping water;
- Lid – round and slightly convex platform, which covers the filter during brewing;
- Spoon – a device for measuring the mixture (it has a special shape, not like a tea, dessert or table).
To make a cup of Vietnamese coffee for one person (the phin is not made of elastic, after all), you will need:
(1) Coffee (2-3 measuring spoons – 12-20 g, it depends on the size of the filter) – the classic recipe uses Arabica and Robusta in a 3:2 ratio (it is quite drinkable, tastes like chocolate with hazelnut and caramel-citrus additive).
(2) Water (200 ml).
Please note: Coffee in Vietnam is brewed only with phin. There is no other way to prepare the drink, although attempts have been made a couple of times. This is why certain requirements are applied not only to the equipment, but also to the “raw materials”.
To create a mixture they take only certain types of coffee, grown in Vietnam (the export is regulated, so it is easy to get them). A good producer is considered to be Trung Nguyen, you can also pay attention to Hung Phat or Tam Chau. The key to the canonical flavor is a blend of Dalat #23 (arabica) and #10 (robusta).
Don’t miss: How Robusta differs from Arabica and which is better
The beans have to be fresh, so pay special attention to this! It is difficult to unleash the aroma while brewing (because you can’t either boil Vietnamese coffee or you use spring water).
Coffee grounds should be prepared just before use, in order to preserve the maximum flavor and aroma. The beans have to be roasted ! According to the classic recipe, the stronger the roast, the better (but a medium roast is also allowed). Grind it any way, not too fine (the mixture shouldn’t fall into the cup!).
So, to make Vietnamese coffee, imitating the inhabitants of this unusual country, you have to:
- 1. Pour the mixture into the main filter of the fin.
- 2. Tamp down and level the coffee with the tempura.
- 3. Place the filter on a plate over the glass.
- 4. Boil water and let it steep for a while.
- 5. Pour some water into the filter and wait a minute.
- 6. Add the remaining boiling water, filling the container to the brim.
- 7. Cover the filter with the lid.
- 8. Place the fin in a bowl of hot water (optional).
- 9. Wait until the coffee stops dripping into the glass.
The exceptional popularity of the drink led to the fact that the Vietnamese themselves started to experiment with it. Several variations of the classic recipe can be made on your own or you can try it in local restaurants:
Cà Phê Sữa Đá (chilled with condensed milk) – to brew a sweet Vietnamese iced coffee, you must first make it canonically and then mix the drink with a portion of ice and condensed milk in a blender;
Cà phê dừa (with condensed milk and coconut) – for this you need coffee already prepared with phin, which is cooled (optional) and pour into it a mixture of condensed milk and coconut milk in a thin stream;
Cà Phê Trứng (with sugar and egg) – to make this drink, you need to make regular Vietnamese coffee, warm it up, then separately whip an egg yolk with sugar and spread this foam on the surface.
The rules of Vietnamese etiquette do not prescribe any special tableware to drink Vietnamese coffee – in this case anyone can use any type of cup. Also Vietnamese people do not make any desserts because any amount of sugar (according to taste) can be added to the classic drink, although in fact it is not needed at all.
In addition, the variations of the traditional recipe listed above are themselves quite sweet. And sometimes yoghurt (layered on the bottom), various fruits, even green tea are also added to such a drink – desserts are simply inappropriate here.
Perhaps that’s all u got to know about Vietnamese coffee. Good luck with the complex preparation of this unusual drink!