Is Vietnamese Coffee Strong? Answered

Vietnam is known as the world’s second-largest exporter of coffee. But in terms of flavor and caffeine, is Vietnamese coffee strong? Keep reading to find out.

Is Vietnamese Coffee Strong
Vietnamese coffee with its extremely concentrated flavor

Coffee connoisseurs are eager to try all kinds of brews from around the world. You might already be familiar with Vietnamese coffee because it’s renowned for it’s extremely concentrated flavor. Whether it’s ca phe trung (egg coffee), ca phe nau (brown coffee) or ca phe trung (egg coffee), Vietnamese coffee is something special. But onto what most coffee addicts value the most, just how strong is Vietnamese coffee?  

Since Vietnamese coffee is made with Robusta beans, it’s a lot stronger than the average cup of Joe. While Arabica coffee is more popular due it’s pleasant taste, Robusta is nuttier, darker, and more importantly, contains more caffeine.

In this article, we will be talking about what makes Vietnamese coffee so strong, its health benefits, and how to make your own Vietnamese coffee.

What Makes Vietnamese Coffee So Strong?

Vietnam was introduced to coffee by the French. Since then, the nation has grown to become the second-largest coffee producer in the world – most of which is made from Robusta beans.

Robusta has more caffeine and chlorogenic acids, which are antioxidants, than other kinds of coffee. These are due to the coffee plant’s self-defense mechanisms in warding off pests and diseases. Robusta’s bitter flavor is largely the result of oxidation.

As for why most authentic Vietnamese coffee is Robusta, even though coffee aficionados prefer Arabica, the short answer is it’s cheaper to produce. The strong flavor is also due to being dark roasted, to bring out notes akin to vanilla, butter, mocha, whiskey, and chicory.

Its unique brewing method also adds to Vietnamese coffee’s strong flavor. Traditionally made in what’s known as a phin (a small metal cup that can sit on mugs similar to a coffee filter). Vietnamese coffee is also brewed slower than other kinds of coffee. The resulting drink is strong, and small, which is best described as a thicker, more potent espresso.

You may also be interested in reading our guide on what makes Vietnamese coffee different.

How Strong Is Vietnamese Coffee?

After experiencing Vietnamese coffee, my mouth was immediately filled with a sweet yet rich flavor that left me pleasantly stunned. However, I did not expect it to keep me up for the rest of the night. This is something I’ve never experienced after drinking coffee. 

Since wasn’t getting any more sleep, I just decided to uncover why Vietnamese coffee is so different.

Is Vietnamese Coffee Stronger Than Espresso?

When looking at the about the amount of caffeine per serving, then espresso is sure to be at the top each time. However, we don’t just usually drink one small coffee shot. Instead, we drink an entire mug, or sometimes even two! So, let’s break down the figures.

a cup of espresso and whole coffee beans - is espresso supposed to be bitter
An espresso shot contains roughly 64 mg of caffeine

Espresso contains approximately 64 mg of caffeine per one-ounce serving. One cup of Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee contains 57 mg of caffeine per eight-ounce serving. Vietnamese coffee would have 265 mg of caffeine for the same serving—almost five times the amount and almost the same as four espresso shots!

Another example is Starbucks which is known for it’s strong coffee. An eight-ounce dark roast Starbucks coffee has about 190 mg of caffeine. Depending on the brand, a full eight-ounce cup of black coffee will contain from 50 mg and 200 mg of caffeine.

If you regularly drink coffee, you can imagine just how much energy you can get from four or five espresso shots. So, while Vietnamese coffee has a time and place, avoid it in the evening if you actually want to sleep. You might also be interested in learning is Javy real coffee.

Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee
$6.48 ($0.81 / Ounce)
  • Instant coffee crystals
  • 8 Ounces
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03/26/2023 04:22 pm GMT

Health Benefits Of Vietnamese Coffee

Aside from its strength, Vietnamese coffee is also known to be healthy. Below are some of the health benefits of drinking Vietnamese coffee:

1. Aids In Fat Burning

According to several studies, drinking caffeine can boost your metabolism through thermogenesis. 

Additionally, research suggests caffeine might make the fat-burning process up to 10% quicker in obese participants and 29% more in lean participants. This effect is most notable in those new to coffee and wears off over time.

2. Contains Antioxidants

Coffee is a source of antioxidants, including quinine. Antioxidants are praised highly because they can fight against free radical damage, which are unstable molecules produced in response to environmental stress. The antioxidants can ward against pre-mature aging and more.

3. Boosts Energy Levels

Caffeine might enhance endurance performance, capacity, and reduce perceived exertion. Sadly, this is also a short-term benefit.

4. Reduces The Risk Of Diseases

Studies have suggested that frequently consuming caffeine might reduce the risk of developing illnesses like Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even certain types of cancer.

How To Make Vietnamese Coffee At Home


  • Two tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk (or to taste)
  • One-third of a cup of hot espresso or two to three tablespoons of freshly ground coffee
  • Ice cubes (optional)


Vietnamese Coffee With Espresso

Step 1: Mix 

Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a glass, and then the hot espresso.

When making Vietnamese coffee, the rule of thumb is to add one part sweetened condensed milk and two parts espresso. Of course, it will still vary depending on your tastes, so you can adjust it to your liking by adding more espresso or using less condensed milk.

Step 2: Stir

Stir the mixture and taste to see if you need to adjust the ingredients.

Step 3: Add Ice (Optional)

If you wish to serve this drink cold, add ice and serve right away.

You may also want to try our delicious coconut coffee recipe from Vietnam.

Vietnamese Coffee Using Phin

Step 1: Add The Milk

Place the sweetened condensed milk at the bottom of a glass.

Step 2: Prepare The Coffee

Place the coffee filter on top of the glass. Place the ground coffee into the filter cup, then press it down with a removable press.

Pour in a small amount of boiling water to moisten the coffee. Wait a few seconds, then slowly fill the filter cup with boiling water.

Place a lid on the filter and wait for the coffee to drip into the glass slowly. Depending on the size of your filter, it should take about five minutes for the coffee to fill the glass.

Remove the filter.

Step 3: Stir

Stir to dissolve the condensed milk and taste it to see if you need to add more.

Step 4: Add Ice (Optional)

For an iced coffee, add some ice cubes and serve immediately.

You may also be interested in reading our guide on what’s the best coffee for Vietnamese coffee.

3 Best Vietnamese Coffee Brands That You Can Try

1. Vinacafe Instant Coffee Mix

One of our top choices in terms of Vietnamese coffee brands is Vinacafe Instant Coffee Mix. While many coffee lovers look down on instant coffee, this is the real deal, with a robust flavor and heavenly aroma. It also does a great job of waking you up on a busy morning.

woman, drinking, coffee
A fragrant bold, simple way to start your morning

Naturally, even the best instant coffee can’t fully measure up to the real deal. Compared to drip coffee, this brew is a little watery, to the dismay of those who prefer traditionally textured coffee.


  • Easy to make
  • Good flavor
  • Fragrant


  • Watery texture
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03/26/2023 07:12 pm GMT

2. Trung Nguyen Vietnamese Coffee

Trung Nguyen Vietnamese Coffee is for those who crave a traditional cup of Joe. This Vietnamese coffee is a has mild acidity, meaning it goes down smooth. This brand is ideal for people with sensitive stomachs due to its low acidity.

Even better, it’s pretty affordable so you don’t need to say goodbye to quality coffee if you have a reduced budget. The aftertaste is a little bitter. Nonetheless, this is still a high-quality coffee worth trying.


  • Cost-effective
  • Mild acidity
  • Smooth


  • A little bitter
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03/26/2023 06:22 pm GMT

3. Saigon Phin Daklak Pre-Ground Coffee

The last Vietnamese coffee brand we recommend is Saigon Phin Daklak. This conveniently ground coffee pre-ground coffee is mellow and mild.

This blend is perfect for Vietnamese-style iced coffee, but it’s still pretty versatile. You can also make other coffee drinks with this product.

With that said, some customers report that Saigon Phin Daklak has an odd aftertaste. Otherwise, it is a high quality coffee brand and is still very affordable.


  • Affordable
  • Versatile
  • Good for iced coffee


  • Odd aftertaste
  • Pre-ground doesn’t taste as good as whole bean 
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03/26/2023 03:17 pm GMT

You may also be interested in reading our guide on the best Vietnamese coffee brands in 2022.