The world of Vietnamese Coffee
Art & Culture |26/06/2023amanaki icon4 minute
A short and simple 101 guide for your Vietnamese coffee adventure
Coffee plays a crucial role in Vietnam’s culinary culture, especially in Saigon. As you go past any streets, big or small, you will encounter coffee stores of all kinds, from large spaces with unique concepts to small vendors with setup as simple as some plastic stools on a sidewalk.
Despite how they look, each cafe has their own special taste and coffee menu that offers not just a caffein punch for an energetic day in an evermoving city, but also distinguishes tastes and special ways to drink coffee that make up our culture.
If you’re a coffee lover and want to learn more about the local coffee culture that we are so proud of, let us take you through some of our favorite coffee shops and show you different kinds of coffee that you can try, only in Vietnam.

Phin coffee

Photo: Stocks

The name indicates the main tool used to make the coffee drink, a kind of mental filter that is commonly used by the older generations to brew the coffee.

The basic method is something like this:

First you place your filter on your cup, then you have your robusta beans coarsely grounded, but the metal presser in and lightly press the coffee, then pour in the hot water in, then you will see the coffee start to drip slowly out under the filter,
After 5 minutes, you have a solid coffee liquid that can be drunk right away like an espresso or diluted with ice.
You can use this liquid to make other phin coffee varieties, like adding condensed milk for a nice cup of Vietnamese milk coffee, or diluting the strong coffee flavors with fresh milk for a lighter drink which we call “bạc xỉu”.

Since it is the basic way Vietnamese make their coffee, you can enjoy it in any local coffee store.


“Vợt” Coffee

Photo: Cheo Leo cafe

Known as the oldest way to enjoy coffee in Saigon and also a unique coffee experience in this city, this coffee drink is a must try for anyone who wants to try a true local experience.

Though gone through many decades since the Chinese-born Vietnamese brought it here, this drink is still well-loved by the young and old generations of Saigon for its handicraft and nostalgic element.

The coffee beans prepared for this drink are roasted by hand. To make the drink, they put coffee ground in a cloth strainer which we called “vợt”, the tool that make up the name of this drink, then they brew the strainer with boiling water in a clay pot. Traditionally, the coffee is brewed by coal fire to create a disting smoky aroma.

Cheo Leo cafe is one of the few cafes that has been serving this type of coffee in the authentic traditional way and remains one of our favorites.
Located in district 3, the place offers a nostalgic atmosphere which comes from the simple hand painted sign and decorations, and most significantly, the charming smell of roasting coffee beans that has been lingering for 3 generations.

Cheo Leo cafe

Address: 109/36 Nguyen Thien Thuat, Ward 2, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Opening hours: 6:00 - 18:00


**Salt coffee **

Photo: Hue Cafe Roastery

Who could have thought, beside sugar, milk and cream to help neutralize the bitter taste of coffee, salt is the missing element that completes a real coffee treat?

First appearing in Hue, the charming city in central Vietnam, and supposedly a self-developed recipe of a local cafe in that city, this refreshing combination has become well-known among coffee lovers and was soon brought to Saigon.

With the creamy texture and the buttery taste, this drink soon conquered skeptical minds that never heard of this strange combination between salt and coffee.

If you are curious and want to give it a try (and we recommend that you do), you can enjoy this treat just a few meters from Amanaki Thao Dien, at Hue Cafe Roastery, the local coffee chain that brought this drink to Saigon.

Hue Cafe Roastery

Address: 67B Xuan Thuy, Thao Dien Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Opening hours: 7:00 - 22:00


Coconut coffee

Photo: Cộng cafe
Beside condensed milk coffee, the Vietnamese drink that might have made it to global coffee communities might be Coconut coffee.

Best known as a signature drink of Cộng cafe, a coffee chain whose concept was inspired by Vietnam’s Socialist Republic propaganda style, the drink is well-loved by the young generation of Vietnam for its creamy flavors and amazing aroma, created by the combination of coffee and coconut milk.

But the taste is not only loved by the local people, Cộng also has brought this drink and the Vietnamese culture to a wider audience in Korea and Malaysia and is welcomed immensely, proving the charm of this unique combination is irresistible.
If you happen to be in Saigon and don’t want to miss out on this local coffee experience, you can always head to a Cộng cafe just about 300 meters away from Amanaki Thao Dien.

Cộng cafe

Address: 91 Xuan Thuy, Thao Dien Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

_Opening hours: 7:30 - 22:30 _

Tags: Vietnamese Coffee, Discover Saigon, Vietnamese Cuisine
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