Vietnamese coffee is known internationally as some of the most complex and intense coffee available. There are several varieties of coffee beans grown in Vietnam, as well as several traditional Vietnamese coffee brewing methods, but which Vietnamese coffee beans are best, and what is the best grind size for Vietnamese coffee brewing methods?
Most Vietnamese coffee beans are intense Robusta beans. The best of this variety are Nguyen Truegrit Peaberry Robusta. Very little Vietnamese coffee is Arabica, but the best is Moon Bear Beans by Chestbrew. Most traditional Vietnamese coffee brewing methods call for coarse to medium ground coffee.
Vietnam is among the world’s largest coffee producers, but the coffee from this nation is known for being unique and unlike the coffee that most people use for typical brewing methods. To help shine a light on good Vietnamese coffee, let’s discuss the best Vietnamese coffee beans and how to grind the beans for Vietnamese brewing methods.
What Are The Best Vietnamese Coffee Beans?
Vietnamese coffee is something truly special. However, finding the best variety of Vietnamese coffee and then the best beans from Vietnam is very challenging.
This is because Vietnam is the second-largest coffee producer in the world. Vietnam produces roughly 32 200 000 bags of coffee weighing 60 kilograms each per year. This is equal to almost two billion tons of coffee annually, which accounts for more than 40% of earth’s coffee production.
This incredibly large volume of coffee produced by Vietnam makes selecting the best coffee beans from Vietnam very difficult.
The coffee that is produced in Vietnam is most Robusta coffee, rather than Arabica coffee which is the primary and most popular coffee variety internationally.
Arabica coffee is preferred for its milder flavor and sweeter taste, but the Robusta beans from Vietnam are twice as high in caffeine, significantly stronger in flavor, and far more bitter. This makes Vietnamese coffee very strong, but it is also regarded as inferior coffee compared to other coffee-producing countries.
However, the coffee high coffee production in Vietnam means that there are specialty coffee farmers and roasters in Vietnam that have learned to produce exceptional coffee from Vietnamese Robusta, regardless of its poor reputation.
This narrows down the contenders for the best Vietnamese coffee beans to two bean varieties.
The best Vietnamese Robusta coffee beans are Truegrit Peaberry Robusta Coffee Beans by Nguyen. These beans are 100% pure Robusta beans and are some of the strongest yet most well-balanced Robusta coffee beans available internationally.
The best Arabica coffee beans produced in Vietnam are the Moon Bear Beans from Chestbrew. These beans are intense for Arabica beans and carry the unique Vietnamese coffee characteristics that are not found in coffee from any other nation.
There are numerous excellent coffees produced in Vietnam, both Robusta and Arabica, but these two are some of the best and most easily available internationally.
What Grind Size Is Best For Vietnamese Coffee?
Vietnamese coffee is known for its highly intense flavor, rich body, strong bitterness, and a high caffeine content. Vietnamese people like their coffee strong and full and have developed their own brewing techniques to best suit their coffee.
To get the most out of brewing Vietnamese coffee, whether using traditional Vietnamese brewing methods or using standard international brewing methods, the grind size of the coffee beans is vital.
Let’s discuss the best grind size for brewing Vietnamese coffee with standard international methods and traditional Vietnamese methods.
Traditional Vietnamese Phin Brewing
Phin is one of the most popular brewing methods in Vietnam. This is essentially a percolation drip brew method with a metal brewer with a semi-fine metal filter.
This type of brew is traditionally made per serving and can be made hot and black or chilled with ice and sweetened with condensed milk.
The grind size for this brewing method should be similar to what would be used for a French press. The grind should be medium-coarse/medium to allow the water to pass through the grinds slowly enough to properly extract the coffee, but not so slowly that the coffee is over-extracted.
Some people prefer to use a fine grind for Phin coffee, but this should only be with certain types of coffee beans.
Standard International Methods
Vietnamese coffee is very strong and very intense. This is true for both Robusta and Arabica Vietnamese coffee varieties.
For this reason, the grind size that is used for standard brewing methods such as pour-over or French-press is very important.
For percolation methods such as pour-over or Moka pot brewing, the best grind size for Vietnamese coffee is medium. Do not grind too coarse, or the coffee will be under-extracted, and do not grind too fine, or the brew will stall and over-extract the coffee.
For Immersion brewing methods such as French-press, a coarse grind is best. This will extract the coffee well and not leave it tasting too bitter.
For espresso, Vietnamese coffee should be ground very finely, as with all espresso, but be prepared for a ristretto-like strength in even a single shot of espresso brewed with Vietnamese coffee beans.
Vietnamese coffee is notoriously difficult to brew well, so take your time to refine the recipe and techniques that you use to find the ideal cup of Vietnamese coffee.
Is Vietnamese Coffee Good?
Vietnamese coffee is generally considered to be of inferior quality to coffee that is produced in other countries. This is largely because most Vietnamese coffee is Robusta.
Most Robusta coffee is used as filler in pre-ground coffee blends and is used in instant coffee. This is usually to create more intensity and increase the caffeine content of the coffee.
However, with that being said, there are now modern Vietnamese coffee farms and roasteries that specialize in creating high-quality Vietnamese coffee beans of both Robusta and Arabica varieties.
These coffees are quickly gaining momentum in the coffee community and are becoming better and better with each iteration.
This means that Vietnamese coffee is no longer as poor as its reputation implies. Modern specialty coffee from Vietnam is very good coffee, provided it is well roasted and well brewed.
At the end of it, Vietnamese coffee is not like what most coffee lovers are used to drinking. This coffee is dark, intense, butter, and very strong, but it does have its place, and it can be excellent if it is grown well, prepared well, roasted to perfection, and brewed correctly.
There are many varieties of Vietnamese coffee, and not all of them are good, but if you search hard enough, you will find several examples of good coffee from Vietnam.
Take the time to learn which grind size is best for your preferred brewing method, and good coffee from Vietnam will provide a truly unique and delightful coffee drinking experience!