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5 types of Vietnamese coffee you need to try

Vietnamese coffee—be it a hot cup of drip-filter, the creamy egg coffee or the tropical coconut—offers a world of flavours

The popular Vietnamese drip filter coffee with the metal filter named phin. (Photo: Jess Ho, Pexels)
The popular Vietnamese drip filter coffee with the metal filter named phin. (Photo: Jess Ho, Pexels)

Coffee is an integral part of Vietnamese culture, with its unique brewing methods and delightful flavours captivating the hearts of coffee lovers worldwide. While Vietnamese drip-filter coffee is widely known and loved, there are several other distinctive varieties that deserve equal recognition. Let's go on a delightful journey through five different types of Vietnamese coffee, each offering its own distinct flavours and charms.

Drip-filter coffee: The classic favourite
This is the quintessential Vietnamese coffee. Known for its slow and meticulous brewing process, drip-filter coffee captivates with its bold and rich flavours. To prepare this coffee, a metal filter called a phin is filled with coarsely ground coffee beans. Hot water is then poured over the grounds, allowing them to slowly steep and drip into a cup below. This method ensures that every drop of coffee is infused with the essence of the beans, resulting in a strong and aromatic brew. Drip-filter coffee is traditionally enjoyed with a layer of condensed milk at the bottom of the cup, which adds a touch of sweetness and richness to the beverage.

Hot egg coffee: A unique indulgence
For those seeking a creamy and decadent treat, Vietnamese hot egg coffee is a must-try. This delightful concoction features a rich and velvety egg-based foam served on top of a cup of strong black coffee. To make this indulgent beverage, egg yolks and condensed milk are vigorously whisked together until they form a fluffy foam. The coffee is prepared separately using a drip-filter or an espresso machine, and then the whipped egg mixture is carefully spooned on top. The result is a luxurious combination of coffee and creamy foam, creating a luscious and satisfying drink.

Coconut coffee: Tropical bliss in a cup
Vietnamese coconut coffee offers a taste of the tropics, combining the richness of coffee with the refreshing sweetness of coconut. To prepare this delightful creation, a mixture of coconut milk and condensed milk is blended together until smooth. This creamy concoction is then poured over a cup of strong Vietnamese coffee, creating a tropical blend that is both creamy and flavorful. The coconut milk adds a velvety texture and a hint of sweetness, perfectly complementing the bold flavors of the coffee. It's like a mini vacation in every sip.

Yoghurt coffee: A tangy twist
If you're in the mood for something tangy and refreshing, Vietnamese yoghurt coffee is the ideal choice. This unique combination brings together the creaminess of yoghurt with the boldness of coffee. To prepare this delightful beverage, sweetened yoghurt is spooned into a glass, followed by a shot of strong Vietnamese coffee. The tangy yoghurt cuts through the bitterness of the coffee, creating a harmonious balance of flavours that is both refreshing and satisfying. The contrasting textures and flavours makes yoghurt coffee a unique and enjoyable choice for coffee enthusiasts.

Bac xiu (white coffee): A hidden gem
This lesser-known Vietnamese coffee variety is a hidden gem worth discovering. Bac xiu is made from a special type of coffee beans that undergo a unique roasting process, resulting in a milder and less bitter flavor compared to traditional Vietnamese coffee. To prepare bac xiu, the coffee beans are roasted at a lower temperature, allowing them to retain their natural flavors. The roasted beans are then ground and brewed using a drip-filter or an espresso machine. Bac xiu is typically enjoyed black or with a touch of sugar, allowing the natural flavors of the coffee to shine through.

Exploring the diverse range of Vietnamese coffee allows us to delve into the rich tapestry of flavors and techniques that have been perfected over generations. 

Vaibhav Bhargava is a Delhi-based culinary consultant and founder of the Vietnamese restaurant, Chô. 

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