How to Use A Vietnamese Coffee Maker: Step by Step Guide

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Drip filters are one of the most popular ways to enjoy a cup of coffee anywhere without needing a coffee maker. But what if you want to experience a bolder, thicker, and richer flavor?

In that case, Vietnamese coffee is your way to go! To make a proper cup of Vietnamese coffee, you need to know how to use a Vietnamese coffee maker, and that’s where this article comes in handy!

In today’s article, we’ll walk you through a brief step by step guide that shows you how to brew coffee in this unique filter/maker.

Let’s dive right in!

How to Use a Vietnamese Coffee Maker Step By Step Guide

Step 1: Prepare the Needed Items and Ingredients

To save yourself the hassle of going back and forth, make sure that you prepare all the tools and ingredients necessary to make yourself Vietnamese coffee. Here’s a quick look at what you need to keep in mind:

Vietnamese Coffee Maker

Vietnamese coffee maker is a simple coffee filter system that is similar to pour-over coffee makers. The apparatus is called “Vietnamese Phin Filter” and it’s available in various sizes, such as:

  • Small: Suitable for a 6 ounce cup of coffee
  • Medium: The most common size, which is enough to prepare an 8 ounce cup of coffee
  • Large: Less common than the other two, which is enough for a 12 ounce mug

The coffee maker is also available in two styles. The first one depends on gravity to press and brew coffee grounds while the other uses pressure from a screw that you tighten manually.

If you’re not sure which one to pick, we recommend that you go for a medium sized phin filter with a screw down design, such as Thang Long Vietnamese Coffee Maker.

Vietnamese Coffee

Vietnamese coffee is usually a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans (3:2), which provides the coffee with a rich flavor and aroma while keeping the caffeine levels high. 

Vietnamese filters usually require a relatively coarse grind. You can also use your favorite coffee beans as long as you’ll grind them to the proper size.

Milk and Sweeteners

Lastly, make sure that you bring your milk and sweeteners to make a perfect cup of coffee for you. Keep in mind that Vietnamese coffee filters are coffee-making tools, so you’re able to enjoy your coffee any way you like.

However, it’s highly recommended to use condensed milk instead of regular milk because it makes a velvet smooth texture that is irresistible in Vietnamese coffee!

Step 2: Understand the Vietnamese Coffee Maker Parts

Vietnamese coffee makers rarely vary in design, so they always come in the same 4 piece kit, which makes them very easy to use. Here’s a quick look at each part, so you’re able to use it throughout the guide:

  1. Filter Base: Also known as the spanner, which is a large perforated plate that is placed above the coffee cup or mug while dripping.
  2. Brewing Chamber: The cup-like section where hot water and coffee grounds are left to brew, so it can drip through the filter base.
  3. The Filter: Also known as the “Insert”, which is a metallic filter plate that fits into the chamber to trap the coffee grounds in the bottom
  4. The Lid: which is used to retain the heat and speed up the brewing process

Step 3: Add Coarse Ground Coffee to the Brewing Chamber

Start by unscrewing or removing the insert filter to expose the brewing chamber in order to fill it up with coffee grounds.

For the best results, buy your own dark roast coffee beans and grind them fresh before brewing. However, if you want pre-ground Vietnamese coffee, you can opt for Trung Nguyen Coffee, as it also offers a decent taste and aroma.

After grinding the coffee, add about 2 to 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon) of ground coffee in the brewing chamber. Remember to tab the chamber a couple of times in order to spread the grounds evenly in the bottom.

Step 4: Press the Insert Filter

Use the insert filter as a damper, whether it’s screw or gravity based. If you use the recommended screw-down filter, make sure that you don’t screw it too tight or too loose (a gentle snug fit is the best).

Step 5: Prepare the Coffee Mug with the Spanner

Before adding hot water to the coffee grounds in the Vietnamese coffee filter for brewing, you should prepare your coffee cup.

Whether you’re going to use a mug or a cup, you should start by pouring some condensed milk into the mug. The exact amount is up to taste, but you can add 2 tablespoons and increase if you need more.

After adding the condensed milk, leave the coffee spanner on top of the mug and get back to your coffee filter.

Step 6: Pour Hot Water Through the Filter

Now that your apparatus is ready for adding hot water, place the phin filter with the insert on top of the spanner. 

Meanwhile, heat some water up and take it off the heat before it boils. Alternatively, you can boil the water and then allow it to cool down to about 180 degrees F or 85 degrees C.

After that, pour some hot water into the coffee filter so that it’s 1/4 full and allow the water to seep through the holes of the filter and infuse the coffee grounds. This should take anywhere between 10 to 20 seconds.

When the water is gone, add more water into the filter until you have enough water to make a proper cup of coffee below.

Step 7: Allow the Vietnamese Coffee to Brew

Now that you’ve added the water to the coffee maker, all that’s left is to leave the coffee to brew. The brewing process takes about 4 to 5 minutes in order to extract all the flavor and aroma from the coffee grounds.

Make sure that you put the lid back on during that time to retain the heat necessary for the brewing and check that the coffee is dripping through the filter and into the cup.

With time and experience, you’ll know the right dripping rate to brew the coffee in about 4 to 5 minutes, which is dependent on how tight you screw the insert filter.

Step 8: Add Your Final Touches to the Coffee

After about 4 to 5 minutes, all the hot water should’ve passed through the holes of the brewing chamber and into the coffee cup or mug. 

At this point, you can safely remove the coffee maker, unscrew the filter, and remove the coffee grounds.

To finalize, use a spoon to stir the condensed milk at the bottom of the cup or mug to spread it evenly through the coffee. If you like it black, you can skip the condensed milk entirely.

Sweeten the coffee if the condensed milk isn’t sweet enough. You can also turn it into ice coffee by pouring the coffee over a cup filled with crushed ice!

How to Use a Vietnamese Coffee Maker Guide Wrap Up

There you have it, a brief guide that shows you how to use a Vietnamese coffee maker in 8 simple steps!

As you can see, the Vietnamese coffee maker is a pretty straightforward coffee filter that takes anywhere between 5 to 8 minutes to prepare a delicious cup of coffee!

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