A Beginner’s Guide to Vietnamese Coffee

A Beginner’s Guide to Vietnamese Coffee

You might have sampled some Vietnamese coffee with your latest bowl of pho, and that probably made you think: whoa, what makes it so strong?

College students, teachers, and stay-at-home parents all know the value of power of coffee. Now, you might have sampled some Vietnamese coffee with your latest bowl of pho, and that probably made you think: whoa, what makes it so strong? In that case, it’s time to learn more about Vietnam’s twist on your favorite beverage.

How It’s Made

Coffee beans are ground until they turn out super-fine. They are then put into a French drip, called phin, which is placed on top of the coffee cup. A lid is placed over the beans which are then covered with hot water. The coffee you receive is strong and flavorful, although you might not be expecting it. Sweet condensed milk is added, a touch derived from the French who had to improvise because they didn’t have easy access to fresh milk whenever they wanted to add cream to their coffee. In the north, this style of coffee is called ca phe nau (brown coffee) while down south, it is known as ca phe sua, or milk coffee.

Tasty Variations

Yogurt: Yogurt coffee sounds unconventional, but it’s another French twist. Yogurt is mixed with coffee, and given a topping, such as mango chunks.

Egg: Do you enjoy tiramisu? Then you’ll love whipped egg yolk and condensed milk paired with your Vietnamese coffee.

Smoothie: Coffee smoothies are coming into vogue, as yogurt, nuts, and fruits are another delicious way to enjoy your coffee.

Enjoying Your Coffee Break

If you’d like to visit Vietnam, then you should know that the coffee culture over there is different than the one here in America.

Get Milk: Although decaf coffee is a popular option here in the States, you will find out it a strange order to make when you go overseas. If you want Vietnamese coffee that won’t keep you up all hours of the night, then you’ll need to have condensed milk in your drink.

Avoid Sugar: Once you have condensed milk in your coffee, you’ll notice it tastes much sweeter. For that reason, you shouldn’t add more sugar. Black coffee (ca phe den) is best, even with a dash of sugar to activate the rich flavors present.

Eat Something: More often than not, the cafes in Vietnam won’t offer you anything to eat. That said, the newer establishments might provide you with snacks, but it’s another tradition in the country to eat before you get your coffee.

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Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to serve our customers better. Since we opened in 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, email us at LottePlaza.com.


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