What is Vietnamese Coffee?

by Peter Taylor | Last Updated: 13 June 2020

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What is Vietnamese Coffee?

If you know anything about coffee, you may have heard of Italian roast, French roast, Spanish roast, or even Americano. These names are based on the preferred coffee stylings in those regions of the world. Yet, Vietnamese coffee is a whole different story.

So, what is Vietnamese coffee? Vietnamese coffee is made specifically with a Vietnamese coffee press. You’ll need some Vietnamese coffee beans (usually robusta beans), condensed milk, and boiling water. Vietnamese coffee also has one of the highest caffeine contents of all coffee, usually over 200 milligrams per serving.

Vietnamese coffee isn’t made like any other coffee in the world. So, let’s spend some time going over the ingredients you’ll need and how to actually brew Vietnamese coffee in your own home.

How to make a Vietnamese coffee?

First off, you’ll need some Vietnamese ground coffee, which can easily be purchased in stores or through online retailers like Amazon. You’ll also need some sweetened condensed milk, boiling water, and a Vietnamese coffee press.

When you’re buying Vietnamese coffee beans, make sure you’re buying them already ground so you don’t have to go through the grinding process yourself. If you’re looking for a quick burst of caffeine, robusta beans are the best choice.

The Process

It’s actually pretty easy to make Vietnamese coffee, so long as you have the proper ingredients on hand. Here’s a simple recipe!

  1. First, get some water boiling!
  2. Get a glass and pour one or two tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk into it.
  3. Add one or two tablespoons of ground Vietnamese coffee beans to the coffee press and then tighten the strainer (the top).
  4. Rest the Vietnamese coffee press on top of the glass with the sweetened condensed milk and pour the boiling water into the top of the press.
  5. Allow the coffee to drip out of the press, which might take several minutes to fully complete.
  6. Remove the coffee press and then stir your coffee to make sure it’s fully mixed.
  7. (Optional) Add ice if you want to try some iced coffee!

Once the coffee is fully mixed, it’s ready to drink. Feel free to experiment with the amount of condensed milk and ground coffee you add to experiment with flavoring and taste.

What It Tastes Like

Nearly all Vietnamese coffee is made of robusta beans, particularly what we call “Vietnamese coffee.” What makes Vietnamese coffee unique is its flavoring, usually tasting rather bitter, but having earthy undertones as well.

You can subtly adjust the bitterness of Vietnamese coffee by adding more sweetened condensed milk or adding some sugar. But, you can also try buying Vietnamese coffee blends that already come sweetened with added cream, sugar, or chocolate flavoring.

Does Vietnamese coffee have more caffeine?

The amount of caffeine in coffee beans all comes down to the type of beans you’re using and how they’re roasted. There can be anywhere between 150 and 300 milligrams of caffeine per eight-ounce serving of Vietnamese coffee.

That means that Vietnamese coffee has double or triple the amount of caffeine as a regular black coffee! And, that’s all thanks to the robusta beans commonly used when making Vietnamese coffee.

What is Vietnamese Coffee?

Coffee and Caffeine Content

For the most part, the longer you roast coffee beans, the less caffeine they have after roasting. But, it also highly depends on the caffeine content of the actual coffee beans.

Here’s how Vietnamese coffee compares to other types of coffee in terms of caffeine.

  • Regular black coffee. It usually has less than 100 milligrams of caffeine. However, when you add espresso shots or a lighter roast, your coffee will have a little more caffeine in it.
  • Decaf coffee. Even though it’s supposed to be decaffeinated, most decaf coffee still has some lingering caffeine. It’s likely going to have less than 10 milligrams of caffeine per serving.
  • Espresso. Made of dark roast coffee beans, espresso has a lot of caffeine in a small serving size. In every shot of espresso, you might be looking at over 100 milligrams of caffeine.

There are also other variations of Vietnamese coffee out there. If you combine regular Vietnamese coffee with a shot of espresso, you might be taking in 300 milligrams of caffeine in a single cup.

What is the best Vietnamese coffee?

If you head to Amazon, you’ll see plenty of options when it comes to Vietnamese coffee. The first thing you want to do is make sure that you’re getting ground coffee beans. Otherwise, you’re going to have to get a coffee grinder and do it yourself.

It’s safe to say that no two Vietnamese ground coffee products are the same. You have regular Vietnamese coffee, but then you have different blends. Some mix robusta beans with arabica beans, some add additional chocolate flavoring, and some are instant coffee rather than drip.

Top 3 Choices

Now, we’re going to go over our top three Vietnamese coffee products on Amazon. Each one has its own benefits, so make sure you’re paying close attention to the details.

1. Trung Nguyen – Premium Blend

This is actually considered a coffee blend, mixing both arabica and robusta beans for a more unique flavor. This blend also comes with a mild chocolate flavoring to enhance your drinking experience even more.

This is a perfect choice for Vietnamese coffee newbies or those who don’t like their coffee too strong. Plus, it already comes ground, so all you have to do is get your Vietnamese coffee press prepared and get to brewing.

2. Chestbrew – Grizzly Bear

This is the perfect product if you like to do the grinding yourself. Each resealable package comes with whole arabica beans with subtle hints of dark chocolate flavoring as a result of the added cacao powder.

This is considered a “premium” coffee, so you’ll be getting a higher quality product, though you’ll be spending a little bit more money. Once ground, these Vietnamese coffee beans are perfect for both cold and hot brews.

3. Trung Nguyen – G7 Instant Coffee

When you don’t have the time to sit around and wait for your Vietnamese press to do the work, instant coffee is the way to go. All you have to do is pour a single picket into a cup and add some hot water, mix it, and it’s ready to drink.

This mix actually is composed of Vietnamese, Brazilian, Jamaican, and Ethiopian coffee beans, so you’re getting a pretty specific taste. It also already comes with creamer and sugar mixed in, which means it’ll be sweeter than most other Vietnamese coffees out there.

Other Things to Think About

It’s not as simple as just looking for Vietnamese coffee beans and selecting the first one that you see. You want to make sure that you’re finding a good product that tastes the way you like it and is within your price range.

So, here are some things to think about.

First off, the price. When you buy coffee beans labeled as “premium,” you’re going to be forking over a lot more money in the process. For more affordable yet tasty options, consider instant coffee packets.

Also, think about the type of beans. Robusta beans are most common in Vietnamese coffee, but they also tend to be a lot stronger and more bitter. If you prefer your coffee sweet, look for products that blend in arabica beans too.

Most importantly: Are they already ground? Buying whole coffee beans is the freshest they’ll ever be, but it’s a little time consuming to grind them yourself. Ground coffee is the way to go.


Vietnamese coffee isn’t the most popular type of coffee in America, but it’s still pretty unique. It’s easy to make (if you have a Vietnamese coffee press) and can be sweet if you add some extra milk, creamer, or sugar. Here’s what you need to remember.

  • Vietnamese coffee is usually made of robusta beans, but arabica beans are sometimes used as well.
  • Vietnamese coffee is a little bitter and strong.
  • Vietnamese coffee can have well over 200 milligrams of caffeine in a cup.
  • Vietnamese coffee beans come whole, ground, or in instant coffee packets.


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