What Is The Difference Between Vietnamese Coffee And Regular Coffee?

The last time I mentioned Vietnam, is when I wanted to draw the difference between Vietnamese coffee and Thai coffee. Today, I mention the word again but this time, I want to show you the delicate difference between Vietnamese coffee and regular coffee. Now, here it is:

Vietnamese coffee differs from regular coffee in the taste, brewing technique, coffee beans type, grind size, brew time, coffee bean roast level, and serving style. Basically, Vietnamese coffee seems stronger and bolder in taste than regular coffee.

What Is Vietnamese Coffee?

Vietnamese coffee is a type of coffee drink prepared with coffee beans from Vietnam.  Growing and roasting of the coffee beans complement the brew’s taste. Besides, brewing of the coffee happens traditionally, using a special filter.

In most cases, Vietnamese coffee is served with ice and sweetened condensed milk. But that’s not the only thing that differentiates the coffee drink from regular coffee. I will get to the details in a short while.

What Is Regular Coffee?

Regular coffee is the coffee drink you brew using a paper filter and a coffee machine. You can also refer to it as drip coffee. Most often, regular coffee is black with no additives. However, you can add to it milk, sugar, and other sweeteners to suit your preference.

Most coffee makers enable you to make several cups of regular coffee at ago. Therefore, it is ideal for a big family with high demand for coffee.

With that, allow me to move on to what differentiates Vietnamese coffee and regular coffee.

The Difference Between Vietnamese Coffee And Regular Coffee

Vietnamese coffee and regular coffee are somehow similar in certain aspects like they both use hot water, filter, cup, and coffee grounds. Even so, the difference between the two coffee drinks is quite significant.

To help you understand better, I will explain how they differ based on various aspects;

Brewing Method

The brewing method is the most observable difference between regular coffee and Vietnamese coffee. Regular coffee brews with a paper filter, while Vietnamese coffee brews with a metal filter known as Phin.

You may ask, what is a Phin? It is a traditional Vietnamese coffee filter made of stainless steel or aluminum. The metal filter has four distinct parts that enable the brewing process.

Unlike the Phin, you have to replace the paper filter after every brew cycle. That means you cannot reuse it. Besides, some paper filters leave a papery taste in your coffee. However, if you go for quality ones, you cannot experience this.

Luckily, with the Vietnamese Phin filter, you will never feel a papery taste in your coffee. Thanks to its metallic composition. Besides, the filter makes your coffee drip very slowly, producing a concentrated brew than regular coffee.

The Coffee Beans Type

Globally, the majority of coffee beans are Arabica. And that’s what many coffee shops use when brewing their coffee beverages. Brazil is the leading producer of Arabica coffee. Even though many other countries produce coffee beans, but to a lesser degree.

Vietnam is the world’s second-largest coffee producer after Brazil. Even so, most of the coffee beans in Vietnam are Robusta. Generally, most people regard Robusta beans as of lower quality than Arabica. And that’s why Vietnamese coffee is not well known across the globe.

The Robusta coffee beans make Vietnamese coffee have a distinctive taste. Besides, Robusta beans have higher caffeine levels. Therefore, they make Vietnamese coffee twice stronger than regular coffee made with Arabica beans.

Coffee Beans Roast

The roast for Vietnamese coffee is often very dark. It is a French roast. But for regular coffee, beans roast varies in variety. They are also lighter compared to the French roast.

Besides, because Vietnamese coffee uses Robusta beans, the roasters add additives, like cacao, butter, and sugar, during the coffee beans’ roasting process. The aim is to create a balanced taste. Thus, minimizing the bitterness of the resulting coffee.

Coffee Bean Grind

The paper filter you use in coffee makers has tiny holes. Therefore, finer coffee grounds still work well. That’s because the paper filter prevents them from passing into your cup.

On the other hand, the Vietnamese Phin filter has larger holes at the bottom side. With that, the grounds need to be coarser. That way, they are unable to pass through the filter holes into your mug.

Brew Time

It takes a shorter time for water to run through the paper filter than the Phin. You may take about 3-6 minutes to brew a cup of Vietnamese coffee using the Phin. Even so, the slower drip rate enables the coffee to extract fully.

When using the paper filter, it can take you around 3-4 minutes. But with this one, within that time, you will get several cups of coffee. Though the resulting Vietnamese coffee will be smaller in quantity, the coffee drink is much bolder than regular coffee.


Vietnamese coffee tends to have a robust taste with less acidity due to the dark coffee roast. However, it is not bright like that of regular coffee. Because of the bold flavor, you mix Vietnamese coffee with sweetened condensed milk and ice before drinking.

Serving Style

In most cases, Vietnamese coffee comes with sweetened condensed milk and ice when served. But regular coffee is served black. However, you can add to it milk, sugar, and other sweeteners.

Furthermore, you serve regular coffee in a ceramic cup or mug. On the other hand, you serve Vietnamese coffee in a glass. You can attest, that there is a difference between the two drinking experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Final Thoughts

The difference between Vietnamese coffee and regular coffee is quite significant thus, making each drink unique. With that, Vietnamese coffee seems much more concentrated than regular coffee. I can attribute it to the Robusta coffee beans and the brewing technique. Either way, you can try them both and let me know which one you like most.