How to Brew Vietnamese Coffee

Vietnamese coffee is an unsung hero in the world of beverages and drinks. Recently, the coffee which is also known as café sua or cafe den has become more popular with visitors traveling to Vietnam and has gained popularity internationally. It is extremely easy to locate a café or restaurant that serves authentic coffee in Vietnam. Simply walk down a street and you are almost guaranteed to come across a coffee shop. Drinking coffee is part of daily life in Vietnam (and may be one reasons residents are relatively healthy) however many of the locals make the coffee themselves at home using equipment and recipes that have been passed on from one generation to the next.

Making Vietnamese coffee is a straightforward process that does not require much. All you need is quality ground Vietnamese coffee and a Phin filter. A Phin filter refers to a stainless steel filter that is widely available in many Vietnamese stores. The coffee can be served chilled or hot but many prefer to serve it as iced coffee, which is both strong and sweet. When making Vietnamese coffee, try to use traditional dark roasted coffee if you can, but medium roast is also a great alternative. Avoid using light roasted coffees as they tend to be overpowered by the flavor and sweetness of the condensed milk. Here is a step by step guide on how to brew Vietnamese coffee:

What you will need
• Vietnamese Coffee Filter
• Sweetened Condensed Milk
• Your choice of ground coffee
• Ice
• A spoon
• A Glass or mug

1. Place your condensed milk in a glass
You will not need a large amount of condensed milk because it is naturally really sweet. Start with only a small amount to cover the bottom of the glass (about 1 cm) and top up more condensed milk if you need to later.

2. Remove the filter’s top screen
Gently lift the top screen of the filter. You will place the coffee underneath the screen, so it must be removed before the brewing process begins.

3. Add your ground coffee
Add a tablespoon of ground coffee. Vietnamese coffees are a medium coarse grind and you will not get the best results if you use a flat basket brewer. You can also use anything from French press coarse to espresso fine if you prefer.

4. Cover the top filter
Screw on the top filter until it is tightly sealed. If you are using a coarse grind, make sure that the top is completely and tightly sealed because it will affect the flavor of the coffee.

5. Pre-heat the coffee
Place your phin filter over a glass or mug and slowly pour water over the filter. Pour in enough water to cover the coffee and wait for 60 seconds before proceeding to the next stage. Wait for the brewing process, which should take about 8 to 10 minutes to complete.

6. Mix the condensed milk and coffee
Stir the mixture consisting of the condensed milk and the brewed coffee. You can add sugar if you require a little more sweetness. If you want it iced, you can add some ice before drinking.

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