Continuing on the theme of Coffee’s around the world, we’re discussing my son’s all-time favourite – Vietnamese Coffee!
Coffee plays an integral role in the culture of Vietnam. It is one of the largest coffee-producing countries in the world. The Vietnamese drink coffee in the morning, afternoon and evening with a number of weird (but wonderful) additions. I’ll go into these later!
The French brought coffee to Vietnam in the 19th century. After the Vietnam War, the government introduced a coffee production program. Coffee production truly took off in the late 20th century and as a result Vietnam now produces close to two million tons of coffee a year!
There are several distinct features of Vietnamese Coffee, including the brewing process. However, I would say the beans are the most distinctive. In Vietnam coffee beans are almost always of the Robusta variety. Robusta beans are almost twice as strong caffeine wise than Arabica, with a thick lingering taste and higher acidity. The strong taste, a thicker brew, and a few over-roasted beans make for an incredibly unique taste.
The Vietnamese like their coffee nice and slow, which comes with the brewing process. They almost always use the drip technique, using basic aluminium filters (phin filter) which consists of a small cup, a chamber for the filter and a container that catches the drips of the aromatic black coffee.
If you don’t like your coffee black the most popular addition isn’t just normal milk, because it’s the sweet condensed milk you put into your puddings! They put 2-3 tablespoons of it into hot coffee, which means you get a deliciously sweet, thick and aromatic brew!
In addition to sweetened condensed milk, the Vietnamese and their coffee shops will also add eggs and yoghurt to their coffee. I’d suggest you start with an egg white coffee, which is just whipped egg whites stirred into your coffee. This is an undeniably different coffee experience! Some Vietnamese also use yoghurt, and putting a few spoonfuls of yoghurt in hot or cold coffee is another specialty drink. My sons loved the egg white coffee! Another favourite of theirs was the famous iced coffees which, with Vietnam being a tropical country with stifling temperatures, were apparently a godsend!
Coffee is consumed every time of day in Vietnam, whether they’re sat in proper cafes or on little plastic stools on the street. The little plastic stools are often where you’ll find the best brew. The locals leave the drip for as long as possible before handing you over a cup.
The coffee that my sons brought back was absolutely delicious! I would really recommend trying it out and using a slow filter technique – the taste difference is amazing!
Thank you for reading.
Written by Triliria Newbury