Coffee in Vietnamese style - what it is, how to brew it, and also about coffee philosophy and Vietnamese condensed milk

All the best to everyone and always! We first learned that coffee traditions in Vietnam are strong and popular among the masses back in 2012 from happy colleagues who flew here on vacation. However, the extent of the Vietnamese people’s love for the bitter drink eluded our understanding due to the lack of a statistical base for observations. But in 2015, Tonya was in Vietnam on vacation and learned from inspired guides that Vietnam had caught up and surpassed even Brazil in coffee exports, and iced coffee is a traditional drink for Vietnam, and not only in the morning. However, raised on the works of Paul Bragg, who spoke about the dangers of tea, coffee, and other stimulants, Tonya remained indifferent to coffee, and only roughly learned coffee culture through free tastings on excursions. History repeated itself in May 2016, when TooZhe, now in full force, arrived in Nha Trang on vacation for a very busy, and therefore short, two weeks. There was absolutely not enough time for coffee outside of excursions.

However, everything flows, everything changes, and even adjustments are made to Bragg’s precepts when you come to Vietnam for the winter, if the desire to experience the local culture is combined with a certain amount of free time and mood. Note that during the second winter, the perception of some things, including coffee in Finland, may change... But this will happen later.

By the way, during the third winter, an article appeared about coffee trends in Vietnam 2022.

Fin for coffee - instructions for use

Those who have already been to Vietnam know that a coffee maker and a Turk are for weaklings. But His Majesty FIN - yes. Fin in its cheapest version is a complex design that includes a cup, a strainer, a press and an aluminum lid. More expensive fins can be made of stainless steel or even ceramic.

Stainless steel fins are more preferable than aluminum ones: in Vietnam it is believed that aluminum fins are unhealthy. Ceramic fins are considered the most suitable for brewing coffee because they retain heat longer, but due to their fragility and price, they are not very popular among the Vietnamese themselves - this is an option for absolute connoisseurs and aesthetes. By the way, you can buy stainless steel and nice ceramic ones at the An Dao coffee shop, which is described in detail in Part 2, about coffee shops and buying coffee for home.

The assembled fin looks like this (the glass glass does not belong to the fin, it is a container for collecting brewed coffee; the white layer in the glass at the bottom is condensed milk).

Fin is ready for use. But the first drop of coffee has not yet fallen

The inside of a fin with coffee looks like this. The handle of the press is visible.

What's inside Finn? There's a press inside. And coffee, of course

Coffee for brewing in Finland, as you might guess, is also not ground with your finger. The grind should be coarse. Often, coffee for brewing in Finland is fried in oil (it will absolutely not be digested by a pampered automatic European coffee maker; it requires only dry roasted coffee!).

Coffee is poured into a glass of fin, placed on a strainer, which is placed on a glass with condensed milk for sweetness and joy (or without it for lovers of bitter bitterness), pressed with a press, poured with a small amount of boiling water (about 1/3 of the volume of fin) until it swells ( wait about 15 seconds until all the air from the coffee powder comes out in bubbles, otherwise further actions will not lead to coffee), then add more boiling water (the remaining 2/3 of the final volume). All this splendor is covered with a lid. Next, we wait for the diffusion process to do its coffee work. One fin requires about 10 - 15 grams of coffee.

The boiling water seeps through the coffee powder and turns into outrageously strong coffee. It is served with ice, which must be added to the glass after stirring the condensed milk. Wait until the ice melts to dilute the drink and start drinking coffee. While waiting for this pleasant ending, you can enjoy green tea with ice, of varying degrees of dilution, which will be brought to you absolutely free, more than once.

Everything is ready for coffee

Mostly, Vietnamese coffee shops in Nha Trang offer iced coffee. However, a hot version is also possible. As a rule, it is listed on the menu. In this case, instead of ice, they will bring you a thermos with hot water. Even if such coffee is not listed on the menu, but you really want it, try asking the waiters for hot water. Perhaps you will be lucky twice: firstly, the waiter will understand what you actually want, and secondly, he will find a thermos or other vessel with boiling water.

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