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How to Use a Phin to Brew Traditional Vietnamese Coffee

Just as the British indulge in teatime, so do the Vietnamese meticulously and ceremonially prepare their coffee to enjoy coffee time together. Rather than quickly brewing large quantities of coffee over high temperatures as is common in most Western countries, in Vietnam, the beans are carefully roasted over an open fire using a unique process that utilizes only low temperatures. Finally, each cup is brewed in small quantities. The result is an earthy, smoky and indulgent experience that far surpasses the taste most of us have come to equate with everyday coffee.

Experiencing Vietnamese coffee culture used to require a trip across the globe. But now you can experience it for yourself in your own kitchen with our selection of authentic Vietnamese coffee and a traditional Vietnamese filter known as a phin. The phin is the key to brewing authentic Vietnamese coffee at home. This small and slow strainer usually brews only eight ounces of coffee at a time, ensuring each cup of coffee is adequately concentrated and never watery. Unlike the 12-cup American coffee pot, the phin is designed to ensure that every cup of coffee is a beautifully crafted creation, not a quick and hurried solution to your caffeine needs.

True Vietnamese coffee is essential to experiencing the potential of the phin. Weasel Premium Vietnamese coffees are sourced straight from small farms in the Buon Ma Thuot Province of Vietnam. Our top two varieties of coffee contain authentic Kopi Luwak weasel coffee, providing a rich, mocha-like flavor that’s truly unique to civet coffee. Brewing coffee through your phin highlights these notes to allow you to enjoy authentic Vietnamese coffee to its full potential.

There are so many ways to enjoy Vietnamese coffee once it’s been brewed. Vietnamese coffee is delicious hot and black or iced with cream and sugar. Prepare it the traditionally Vietnamese way with sweetened condensed milk early in the morning, in the afternoon, or as a post-dessert delight.

Traditional Vietnamese Coffee Recipe

You will need:
1. Stainless steel phin
2. A clear glass so you can watch the drip
3. Vietnamese coffee
4. Sweetened condensed milk
5. Water

parts of a traditional vietnamese phin coffee filter

  • Boil a few cups of water.
  • Add two tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk to a glass.
  • (If you wish, you can add ice to your glass as well, or you can pour your finished product over ice instead.)
  • Place the phin dripper and phin body on top of the rim. The phin should rest comfortably on top of the glass and should not wobble.
  • Make sure you’ve removed the lid and the damper, then add two tablespoons of Weasel Coffee. Don’t worry if some of the grounds fall through the phin into the condensed milk – that’s normal.
  • Once your water is boiling, pour one tablespoon of boiling water over the grounds to moisten them.
  • Place the damper on top of the grounds and press down firmly.
  • Fill the phin with boiling water and watch the coffee slowly brew into the glass. The water should only be dripping at a rate of about one drop every two seconds. If the water is moving more quickly than that, press down on the filter again so it is nice and tight at the bottom of the phin.
  • Now place the lid on top of the phin to keep the water warm. Your coffee should take about 4-5 minutes to brew an 8 oz cup.

Once your coffee is done brewing, remove the phin and stir. The condensed milk will mix easily with hot coffee. Pour over ice to enjoy iced coffee. Remember that the more ice you use, the more diluted your coffee will be, so use accordingly.

Congratulations! You’ve now created an authentic cup of Vietnamese coffee from start to finish.