Perhaps the best coffee out there, Vietnamese coffee is slowly growing in popularity all over the world. It’s one of the most flavorful types of coffee and there are now several Vietnamese coffee brands available in the United States.
For all the coffee lovers out there, you should try out these popular (and rightly so) Vietnamese coffee brands. And of course, everyone should try Vietnamese-style coffee.
What is Vietnamese coffee?
Vietnamese coffee is slightly different from the conventional coffee we are familiar with in the United States. This has to do with several factors, but largely the kind of beans and the roasting process.
Vietnam, located in Southeast Asia, is known for its robusta beans, which are different from the arabica beans typically produced in South America.
These beans give Vietnamese coffee a stronger, more robust flavor. Robusta beans are higher in caffeine, higher in antioxidants and lower in fat and sugar.
Along with this, Vietnamese coffee is typically medium or dark roast which means it’s a deeper brownish black color. This doesn’t mean it’s necessarily stronger though. In fact, light roast is typically higher in caffeine.
History of Vietnamese coffee
Coffee was first introduced to Vietnam in the mid-1800s from French missionaries. While initially not popular, by the early 1900s, Vietnamese coffee found its roots in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
Due to conflicts in the region, coffee production was limited in the mid-1900s, but started to boom again in the late 1980s as new reforms were put into place.
Before the 2000s, Vietnam became the world’s second-largest coffee producer, following behind Brazil. Now, robusta coffee beans account for 97% of the coffee produced in Vietnam.
How to make Vietnamese coffee
Vietnamese-style coffee is easy to make. All you need is sweetened condensed milk, coffee grounds, ice cubes (if you want the coffee iced), a phin filter and a heat resistant cup.
First, add a tablespoon or two of sweetened condensed milk at the bottom of your cup. Place the phin filter on top of your cups and add three tablespoons of coffee grounds to the chamber.
Drop the weight on top of the coffee grounds and “bloom” the coffee by adding enough hot water to the filter to just cover the grounds.
Once the coffee begins dripping into the cup, fill the rest of the chamber with hot water and cover. Let sit until the filter stops dripping completely.
If you want your Vietnamese-style coffee hot, simply mix and enjoy. If you want it iced, mix and add several ice cubes.
Here are a few phin filters that are highly rated on Amazon:
I do make a small commission if you purchase any items through the links provided above.
The 7 Best Vietnamese Coffee Brands
Below is a list of seven Vietnamese coffee brands that are absolutely worth trying. They are separated into seven categories including best overall, best budget, best whole bean, best organic, best American, best instant and best ready-made.
The Best Overall: Trung Nguyen
Rating: 4.5 (3,209 ratings)
Trung Nguyen has the most popular Vietnamese coffee grounds on Amazon and it’s definitely earned. This is the best choice for Vietnamese coffee since it’s affordable and tastes amazing.
It’s a pre-ground coffee so you don’t have to worry about grounding up the beans, but it’s just as flavorful and bold as freshly ground beans (at least in my opinion).
This is a great option if you want to try Vietnamese coffee at home for the first time and are looking for a reliable brand to purchase.
The Best Whole Bean: Chestbrew Coffee
Rating: 4.4 (886 ratings)
If you are looking for a whole bean Vietnamese coffee, Chestbrew Coffee has the best beans! Plus the bear logo is cute and the package has a zipper to keep your coffee beans fresh.
This coffee is unique because it’s 100% arabica beans grown in Vietnam. If you prefer this kind of beans as opposed to robusta coffee beans, this is definitely a good choice for you.
Overall, this coffee is a great choice if you want whole beans. Plus it’s a small business which is always great to throw some extra support towards.
The Best American: Cafe Du Monde
Rating: 4.6 (19.922 ratings)
If you have been into coffee for a long time, you will definitely be familiar with this cult favorite household name, Cafe Du Monde. In fact, this is the most popular coffee among Vietnamese immigrants.
While this isn’t technically “Vietnamese coffee”, I had to add it to the list due to its popularity in the Vietnamese American community. You can find it at most Asian grocery stores.
That being said, it makes strong coffee similar to Vietnamese coffee and works great in a phin filter. In fact, this is my personal go-to coffee brand due to its affordability and taste.
The Best Budget: Birdee Coffee
Rating: 4.4 (63 ratings)
If you are on a budget, Birdee Coffee is a good option for you. It’s only $0.74 per ounce when you purchase the 2.2 pound bag. This bag will last you a long time!
Along with this Birdee Coffee is a small business and produces high quality coffee beans. This blend in particular is 80% robusta beans and 20% arabica beans.
Overall, this is a good budget option that is affordable as well as delicious. This coffee is whole bean too if that’s something you are looking for.
The Best Organic: Nguyen Coffee Supply
Rating: 4.0 (213 ratings)
This small business owned coffee from the founder Sahra Nguyen is delicious and the packaging is oh so beautiful. It’s one of the best options out there with a bold flavor.
This particular variety is made from 100% robusta coffee beans, which is unique and adds an extra reason to try it out. You can buy their coffee ground or in whole beans as well.
And, of course, the beans are organic if that is something that is important to you. Overall, this is a great organic Vietnamese coffee option.
The Best Instant: Vinacafe
Rating: 4.7 (4,762 ratings)
Sometimes instant coffee is the best option if you are in a rush or feeling too lazy to make coffee in a coffee maker or phin filter (we’ve all been there).
Vinacafe instant coffee mix is perfect for a quick cup of coffee in the morning. All you need to do is mix a sachet with hot water, mix and you’re all good to go. One sachet makes one cup of coffee.
This instant coffee is very popular not only in Vietnam but around the world. Overall, it’s easily the best instant Vietnamese coffee option.
The Best Ready-Made: Highlands Coffee
Rating: 4.5 (84 ratings)
If you can’t even bother to make instant coffee or you’re just looking for something really easy to grab in the morning on the way to work, you need to try Highlands canned Vietnamese coffee.
It’s more affordable than going to a coffee shop and while it’s more expensive than brewing coffee at home, it’s worth it for the convenience.
Overall, it’s the best Vietnamese coffee brands if you want a great on-the-go can. It’s available in a six, twelve and twenty-four pack.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is different about Vietnamese coffee?
Vietnamese coffee is typically made with robusta beans which are different compared to arabica beans. They are higher in caffeine, stronger in flavor and higher in antioxidants.
Along with this, Vietnamese coffee is made with sweetened condensed milk. American-style coffee is typically made with creamer or cream and sugar. This gives Vietnamese coffee a unique flavor.
How healthy is Vietnamese coffee?
Vietnamese coffee is just about as healthy as any other cup of coffee. It really depends on how much sweetened condensed milk you add to your coffee.
To reduce the amount of added sugar in Vietnamese coffee, add less sweetened condensed milk or choose a lower sugar sweetened condensed milk variety.
Is Vietnamese coffee better hot or iced?
Personally, I liked Vietnamese coffee better iced because it cuts the strength of the coffee quite a bit. It doesn’t get too watery like other kinds of iced coffee, plus I prefer a cold drink in the morning.
That being said, Vietnamese coffee is also great hot if you like a strong drink. It’s similar to a cortado due to its small volume but big strength.