Coffee was introduced into Vietnam in 1857 by a French Catholic priest in the form of a single Coffea arabica tree. Vietnam quickly became a strong exporter of coffee with many plantations in the central highlands. The beverage was adopted with regional variations. Because of limitations on the availability of fresh milk, as the dairy farming industry was still in its infancy, the French and Vietnamese began to use sweetened condensed milk with a dark roast coffee.
Typically the coffee is prepared in single servings in single-cup filter/brewers known as PHIN CÀ PHÊ. Generally the coffee is served table-side while it is still brewing
Hot black coffee (CÀ PHÊ ĐEN): also known as CÀ PHÊ ĐEN nóng. The drink is made by GROUND ROASTED COFFEE BEANS with hot water go through in coffee’s filter (Vietnamese call PHIN CÀ PHÊ). When all water has dripped through, sugar will be stirred in to finish, and enjoy when it is till hot.
Hot milk-coffee (CÀ PHÊ SỮA nóng): processing like hot black coffee, but SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK instead of SUGAR.
Ice-coffee (CÀ PHÊ ĐÁ): Vietnamese iced coffee, also known as CÀ PHÊ ĐÁ or CAFE DA (Vietnamese: cà phê đá, literally “ice coffee”) is a traditional Vietnamese coffee recipe.
At its simplest, CÀ PHÊ ĐÁ is made using medium to coarse ground dark roast Vietnamese-grown coffee with a small metal Vietnamese drip filter (phin cà phê). After the hot water is added, the drip filter releases drops of hot coffee slowly into a cup (with or without sugar as you like). This finished cup of hot coffee is then quickly poured into a glass full of ice making the finished Vietnamese iced coffee.
Ice milk-coffee (CÀ PHÊ SỮA ĐÁ): A popular way to drink Vietnamese coffee is CÀ PHÊ SỮA ĐÁ, which is Vietnamese iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk. This is done by filling up with the coffee cup with 2-3 tablespoons or more of sweetened condensed milk prior to the drip filter process
Bac xiu (BẠC XỈU): Like milk coffee, but more milk, less coffee with ice or without ice.
Egg-coffee (CÀ PHÊ TRỨNG): Egg coffee is one of the typical coffee of Hanoi (Vietnam). Hot black coffee with whipped egg (yolk and white separately), honey or sugar or both. Preparation like making hot black coffee first, then separating egg yolk and egg white. The egg yolk and honey are whipped until ribbon (yellow pale in color). The egg white, sugar are beaten until they become thick, fluffy, and triples in volume. In a coffee cup: hot brewed coffee is topped with two layers of whipped eggs (whipped egg white on top). Cocoa powder is sprinkled for garnishing.
In the USA, Vietnamese-style coffee is sometimes confused with that brewed in Louisiana with French roast coffee with chicory. Vietnamese immigrants who came to the state in the late 20th century adopted New Orleans-style coffee because they were unable to get Vietnamese-grown coffee. The French roast style popular in Louisiana was similar to Vietnamese coffee in its relatively coarse grind; therefore it made an excellent substitute for traditional brewing in the single-serving filter/brewer. In Vietnam, however, locally produced coffees are characterized by medium roast and don’t contain chicory.