5 Best Vietnamese Coffee Brands of 2019: The Ultimate Buying Guide

If you’ve been drinking the same cup of coffee for years now, it’s probably the right time to try something new and distinct.

Vietnamese coffee is extremely popular worldwide. It’s one of the best tasting coffee around. And if you haven’t tried it yet, you’re missing out a lot.

The good thing is that you don’t really have to travel overseas just to enjoy a cup. You can easily make one at home as long as you have the right ingredients and tools.

Now, before we share with you the best Vietnamese coffee brands, below are some of the things you need to know about the popular coffee drink.

A Quick History of Vietnamese Coffee

Beginning in the early part of the 20th century, Vietnam relied on coffee production as one of the country's main source of income. After it was introduced in 1857 by the French, it started turning its land into plantations meant to grow crops that'll sustain its economy. Slowly but steadily, the coffee industry in Vietnam boomed.

History of Vietnamese Coffee

Image Source: vina.com

By the time the Vietnam War erupted, the coffee production in the country slowed down. One good reason was the depopulation that happened. After the war ended, coffee production was still limited because of certain restraints imposed by the government on private enterprises.

By 1986, they were permitted to resume business and it was only then that the production of coffee was able to get back on its track.

Vietnamese Coffee Today

The country exports about 1.79 million tons of coffee, making it the second leading agro product that gets exported. About 97% of that coffee is from Robusta. It's a type of coffee known for its bitter taste. It's the most favored one to use for instant coffee.

Robusta, compared with other coffee plants, is less vulnerable to diseases. It's easier to take care of and yields a greater crop. It possesses twice the caffeine of the Arabica coffee plant.

With that, it isn't surprising to find more and more coffee shops popping up in almost every part of the country. Some of them even double up as co-working spaces and lifestyle stores.

From then until now, Vietnam carries a very special coffee culture that it has become not just a delicious treat but also a social symbol. The country is easily a giant in the coffee industry.

Best Vietnamese Coffee Brands Comparison Chart

Brand Name

Taste

Beans

Form

Slightly nutty and chocolate hints

Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa, and Catimor

Ground coffee beans

Smooth with chocolate hints

Arabica and Robusta beans

Whole coffee beans

Dark and earthy

Green coffee beans

Instant coffee

Bold but not bitter

Robusta beans

Whole coffee beans

Bit of bitterness and sweetness

N/A

Instant coffee mix

Reviews of the Best Vietnamese Coffee Brands

After getting a glimpse of the best Vietnamese Coffee brands, you’re probably thinking of how you’re going to pick the right one for you. For that, we’re sharing with you a more detailed report below.

Read on.

1. Review of Trung Nguyen Vietnamese Coffee

Trung Nguyen Vietnamese Coffee - 15 Oz Can

Price: $11.99

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Last Updated : 2019-09-15

Last Updated : 2019-09-15

Trung Nguyen Vietnamese Coffee has this unique flavor and aroma that'll hook you each time. It has a slightly nutty and chocolate hints of flavor which is just very nice. You can consider it as a milder version of the French roast.

While the added flavors are great, it may not be for everyone. Additionally, the brand isn’t clear on whether it’s using natural or artificial flavors in the coffee mix.

The flavor is just very smooth and when you mix it with sweetened condensed milk, it gets even better. Plus, it has a lower acid content as well. It's good news for people with digestive issues and those who want to avoid developing them.

In case you're not aware, the acidity in coffee can irritate the stomach. If you have acid reflux, drinking coffee with high acidity can exacerbate your symptoms.

What We Liked About It:

What We Didn’t Like About It:

A little goes a long way

Flavor is smooth

Not that bitter

Low acidity

The coffee is ground

Added flavors may not be for everyone

2. Review of Chestbrew Whole Bean Coffee

Chestbrew Whole Bean Coffee. Strong Medium Roast Vietnamese Coffee - Big Bad Bear Premium 20 Ounce...

Price: $16.99

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If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Last Updated : 2019-09-15

Last Updated : 2019-09-15

For something strong, go with Chestbrew Whole Bean Coffee. This particular brand is wildly strong yet smooth and delicious at the same time. That's because its beans have been carefully roasted following the highest standards.

This coffee, if you must know, isn't pure Robusta beans. It's actually a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans which is actually great as it gives you the benefits of both types of beans. However, if you're looking for something pure to use in making your coffee, this might not be the right one for you.

Upon opening the bag, you'll instantly smell its aroma. It has this subtle hint of chocolate which is just enticing. You can rely on this coffee to give you that afternoon pick me up whether you're at work or at home.

What We Liked About It:

What We Didn’t Like About It:

Strong​​​​

Smells nice

Acidic

Not pure Robusta beans

3. Review of G7 Coffee Black Instant Vietnamese Coffee

G7 Coffee Black Instant Vietnamese Coffee. 6-Pack of 15 Sachets each. Total 90 x 2 Gram Sachets....

Price: $19.94

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Last Updated : 2019-09-15

Last Updated : 2019-09-15

G7 Coffee Black Instant Vietnamese Coffee is another on-the-go treat for people who want to enjoy Vietnamese coffee without having to go through the long process of making one. What makes it good is that it's 100% soluble coffee. It's not brewed, freeze-dried or concentrated.

And the best part is that you can actually enjoy it with either hot or cold water. Its flavor is dark and earthy which is good if you want to enjoy "real coffee" flavor.

However, if you are looking for something that’s on the sweeter side, this may not work well with your tastebuds since it’s just plain black coffee. But for making Ca Phe Sua Da, this is just great.

What We Liked About It:

What We Didn’t Like About It:

Good price for the quantity

Strong coffee flavor

Unflavored

4. Review of Bach Vietnamese Coffee

Sale

Bach Vietnamese Coffee, Whole Bean (Robusta 2-pack)

Price: from $9.95

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Last Updated : 2019-09-15

Last Updated : 2019-09-15

Bach Vietnamese Coffee is Vietnamese grade A high-altitude beans. It's smooth and low-acid to satisfy your cravings for a good cup of coffee. Compared with most brands of coffee, this one has 10x lower acidity. It has chocolate notes which is nice if you are looking for additional flavor in your drinks.

The coffee is also vegan and pure. It's dry air-roasted which means that it won't clog your coffee grinders and machines. The flavor is bold but it's definitely not that bitter.

What We Liked About It:

What We Didn’t Like About It:

Low-acidity coffee

Smooth flavor

Dry air-roasted

Roasted very dark

5. Review of Vinacafe 3 in 1 Instant Coffee Mix 2-Pack

Vinacafe 3 in 1 Instant Coffee Mix 2-Pack (40 sachets total)

Price: $11.99

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Last Updated : 2019-09-15

Last Updated : 2019-09-15

Vinacafe 3 in 1 Instant Coffee Mix, as the name implies, isn't anything like your basic coffee. It has a tiny bit of bitterness and sweetness which is good for an instant coffee.

You can think of this brand as a quicker way to enjoy your Vietnamese coffee when you're outdoors or camping. With it, you won't need to bring any coffeemaking device with you. You won't even need to add anything to it to bring out its taste.

Now, since it's an instant mix, you can't really get that strong taste out of the coffee. It's a bit weak in terms of strength but it's still packed full of flavors.

And would you believe that it's low in calorie, too? If you are trying to shed off the extra weight but you still want to indulge in your favorite cup of coffee, definitely consider this one.

What We Liked About It:

What We Didn’t Like About It:

Instant mix

Not too sweet

Low in calorie

Not that strong

3 Unique Elements Of 'Ca Phe Sua Da'

'The Phin' (Vietnamese Coffee Maker)

In creating your Vietnamese coffee, one of the first things you need to secure is the phin.

Don't worry; despite how it sounds, this brewing apparatus isn't that expensive or complicated to use.

The phin is just a device which you put on top of your mug. It basically works like a French press and drip filter in one.

'Phin' traditional Vietnamese coffee maker

To use it, you simply need to put your coffee beans into it. Then, you can place a thin lid over them. Add hot water and allow it to trickle through the lid and the beans.

Because of the way it's designed, the phin processes coffee beans slower than your coffee maker. It also produces less amount of liquid. In fact, the process only yields about one cup at a time.

ROBUSTA Beans

Obviously, your Vietnamese coffee won’t be complete without your coffee beans. And for Ca Phe Sua Da, you need robusta beans.

As mentioned, these beans are easy to grow. They offer a higher caffeine content than other coffee beans and they are able to generate a much better crema.

However, despite all of those things, a lot of higher brands still choose to ignore the robusta. One good reason is its bitter taste which a lot of people describe as "burnt bitter".

The next time you wonder why coffee in Vietnam is really strong, the answer lies in the beans used.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Here's the secret you're probably looking for.

Vietnamese coffee has sweetened condensed milk to balance out the strong flavor of the robusta beans. It's what makes the coffee's taste really distinct.

How To Make Vietnamese Coffee

Before you start making your Vietnamese coffee, the first thing you need to do is to gather your ingredients and tools. If you’re clueless on where to start, here’s a list:

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of ground coffee
  • 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 glasses
  • boiling water
  • your phin

Now that you know the things you need to make your first ever Vietnamese coffee, the next thing you need is a step-by-step guide to walk you through the process.

Check out the guide below:
  • Step 1: Boil your water and set it aside. Wait until it cools down to about 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit before moving on.
  • Step 2: Then, put the sweetened condensed milk into one of your empty glasses.
  • Step 3: Add your ground coffee into your phin.
  • Step 4: Take your phin and put it on top of your glass with sweetened condensed milk. Pour a bit of the hot water just to wet the coffee grounds.
  • Step 5: Then, screw the filter press on. Fill your phin with water up until the brim. Cover it.
  • Step 6: After 3 to 5 minutes, all of the water should have passed through the filter and into your glass.
  • Step 7: Take a spoon and stir the bottom of the cup to completely dissolved the milk.
  • Step 8: Get the second glass and fill it with ice. Then, slowly pour your coffee over it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Trying out a new type of coffee can be intimidating so we’re glad to clear some of the questions you have in mind. Check out our FAQ below:

Is Vietnamese coffee stronger than regular?

Vietnamese coffee has a really strong flavor and there are probably two factors for that. One is that it mostly uses Robusta beans which possesses twice as much caffeine as other beans. It has this thick lingering taste that makes it distinct.

Another factor is its preparation. Because Vietnamese coffee is made using a phin filter, it's potency is more intense as it is directly filtered into the cup.

How many calories are in Vietnamese coffee?

Technically, coffee has no calories. So, the only calories that are in your Vietnamese coffee are those from your canned milk.

To give you an idea, a tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk has about 61 calories. The average recipe for Vietnamese coffee has about 2 to 4 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk. That's about 123 to 245 calories per cup of coffee.

Can I substitute ground espresso for Vietnamese ground coffee when making Vietnamese coffee?

Yes, you can. However, since you'll be replacing the beans, you should expect a change in taste. Ground espresso coffee is typically made from Arabica beans while the Vietnamese ground coffee is made from Robusta beans. The latter has more caffeine which means that it tastes stronger.

Apart from that Arabica beans' acidity may affect the taste of the sweetened condensed milk, making it a bit sour.

Will making Vietnamese coffee with an espresso machine rather than a tin filter taste differently?

Yes, definitely. They work with different principles and that can affect the taste.

An espresso forces stream through the coffee while a filter simply allows hot water through the coffee by gravity. They extract flavors differently and that can affect the taste of your coffee.

What gives Vietnamese black coffee its sweet flavor?

Vietnamese coffee use sweetened condensed milk liberally.

Can you make a decaffeinated Vietnamese coffee?

Yes, it's possible as there are also decaf coffee brands you can use. However, the taste you may get from it may not be as strong, beating the purpose of creating your cup of coffee.

Can you make Vietnamese coffee with a French press?

Yes, you can. Actually, it’s one of the easiest ways to prepare your Vietnamese coffee. You just have to tweak the procedure but you’ll be able to get almost the same results as you would if you used a phin.

7 Good Reasons to Try Vietnamese Coffee

Whether you're a Vietnamese looking for something that tastes like home or you simply want to experience a different cup of coffee, Ca Phe Sua Da is something you shouldn't miss. It's quite distinct that it'll surely make you crave for it over and over again.

How's that possible?

Below are 7 good reasons that'll convince you to choose Vietnamese coffee over your regular cup of coffee:

1. It's something new

If you've been used to drinking coffee for its bitter taste, this type of coffee will tickle your tastebuds. It's full of flavor you'be probably never tasted before. It has this sweetness that balances out the bitter taste of the coffee beans.

2. It has more than your average add-ins

While the most common add-in is sweetened condensed milk, you can find other ingredients being paired with this coffee. You can try yogurts, cheese, butter, and even eggs.

Take note that what may taste good for one may not elicit the same reaction from you. So, try different styles and see which ones you'll enjoy more.

There's no strict way to enjoy it

The fun thing about Vietnamese coffee is that you won't have to worry about messing up the recipe. You can add more condensed milk if you want to. You can even drink your coffee hot or cold.

3. You won't have to refrigerate it

Condensed milk generally has a longer shelf life than creamers, sugars, and milk. That means that you can actually leave the coffee in a container with just its lid on. You won't have to store it in the refrigerator for later consumption.

4. It simply tastes better

Vietnamese coffee is naturally strong since it uses Robusta beans. The interesting part is that even though it's strong, it still tastes better. The addition of sweetened condensed milk balances its taste.

5. It's good for your heart

Those people who drink about 2 to 4 cups of coffee have a 20% lower chance of developing heart issues. That's compared with heavy, light, and non-coffee drinkers.

One good reason for that is coffee's chlorogenic acid. It's a really critical antioxidant that helps prevent cardiovascular diseases.

6. It lifts your mood up

Coffee isn't just good for getting that instant boost in energy. As it turns out, heavy coffee drinkers have been found to possess the lowest risk of developing depression.

The caffeine in coffee works to activate the neurotransmitters in the brain. They carry out so many functions, including controlling mood.

Drinking coffee also has benefits to the brain and the way in works. It provides a temporary boost in brain activity as well as short-term memory.

7. It reduces your risk of having cancer

Because of coffee's high antioxidant content, it's believed to have the ability to protect the body against free radical damage and cancer.

In one study, it was found out that consuming about four or more cups of coffee every day greatly reduced the risk of endometrial cancer in women by about 25%.

Now, just like with everything, drinking too much coffee also has its bad effects.

For one, there's the issue of heartburn.

Since coffee has caffeine, it can increase the levels of acid in your stomach. And once the acid increases, the lining of your stomach and other parts of your digestive tract becomes irritated.

Another thing you have to worry about is dehydration. Since coffee is a natural diuretic, drinking too much of it can cause your skin to turn dull and rough patches to appear on your face. Additionally, dehydration can also cause headache and problems with concentration.

Too much caffeine can also increase your stress levels as it increases your hormone cortisol. A few cups can uplift your mood but you'll definitely experience anxiety and restlessness if you consume more than you are supposed to.

Wrap Up

A good cup of Vietnamese coffee can uplift your mood, give you an instant boost in energy, and prevent certain diseases. And for us, the best Vietnamese coffee brand is Trung Nguyen Vietnamese Coffee.

It has a low acidity which is good if you have digestive issues. It also has a slightly nutty and mild flavor which can suit most people's taste.

Now, if you're looking for something strong, consider Chestbrew Whole Bean Coffee. Apart from the smooth taste and potent flavor, it also has a really nice aroma. Just taking a whiff of this coffee can definitely make your day.

And for something that’s easy to prepare, go with Vinacafe 3 in 1 Instant Coffee Mix 2-Pack. It offers both sweetness and bitterness to satisfy your cravings.

Gregory Tumlin
 

Gregory Tumlin editor of agreatcoffee.com has worked in the coffee industry for 5 years now. He used to work at Coffee and Espresso Bar in Princeton, NJ and have done some side coffee consulting and training through Barista School. He is also a husband and father of a young boy as well as a masters student. In whatever spare time he has left, Gregory enjoys running, cycling and reads just the right amount of trashy romance novels.

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