Coffee in Vietnam

There are a host of amazing experiences open to you in Vietnam, from indulging in lazy beach days to exploring the ruins of ages past. Yet for all Vietnam’s diversity between its north, south and centre, one aspect of local life everybody loves is its coffee. Coffee in Vietnam is pretty different to anywhere else in the world, so we’ve got a quick guide to help you get behind the buzz.

A quick recap-uccino

Vietnam’s love of coffee comes from its historic ties with France in the 1850s.

It’s why to this day Vietnamese coffee has the strength and impact of the rich dark coffees of mainland Europe, the likes of which you’ve probably tasted in Italy and Portugal. Naturally, Vietnam’s Far Eastern influences soon gave it a distinctive taste over the ages, and the beautifully hot climate has made iced coffees the norm. Vietnamese people tend to adore coffee and you’ll see it being consumed everywhere.

How it's prepared

Vietnamese coffee keeps its prep style simple. There’s a metal filter called a phin that’s used to combine rich robusta beans and water, drip-filtering the resulting dark brew into a mug or glass below. The flavour is strong, stark and bitter, so the default way to enjoy Vietnamese coffee is with sugar. It’s easy to order in the local lingo too, because all you need to say is ‘ca phe’, which sounds identical to how we say ‘cafe’.

The biggest brands and blends

What plenty of people planning a holiday to Vietnam are surprised to learn is that they’ve probably already tried Vietnamese coffee, in a way. The country exports so much of the good stuff that it’s become one of the leading global suppliers of the robusta beans that go into instant coffee. Experts say about 25% of the UK’s instant coffee comes from Vietnam.