Brew High-Caffeine Coffee
If you’ve ever wondered how to brew high caffeine coffee without sacrificing flavor, we’ll teach you step by step how to brew the strongest coffee. If you’re like us and have a caffeine death wish early in the morning — you’ve come to the right place. The general coffee consensus is that finer grind sizes coupled with hotter water temperatures will extract more caffeine from the ground beans. However, the total caffeine content in a cup of coffee depends heavily on the type of bean used, the roast style, the amount of ground coffee used, and the brewing method used. For example, Vietnamese coffee beans — specifically the robusta variety — can have up to twice the caffeine as arabica beans, and offer a deeper and more bold taste than their more counterpart. And while there's certainly no “wrong” way to enjoy your coffee, our favorite way to brew the strongest high caffeine coffee possible while retaining the rich, nutty flavors of your Vietnamese coffee beans is to use the phin brewing method — the most common and beloved brew style in Vietnam. This involves a traditional Vietnamese phin brewing kit, which allows you to brew extremely high caffeine and dark coffee through a slow, high-heat extraction process (which we’ve conveniently outlined in our full guide to phin.)
A cross between a French press and pour over, the phin consists of a plate, a brewing chamber, a filter press, and a lid. It comes in several different sizes and materials, but the typical single-serving phin is made from stainless steel and yields about four ounces of high caffeine coffee when properly used.
When brewed with fresh coffee, the degassing of fresh coffee combined with the gravity of the filter creates a unique and powerful pressure for extraction. And although we recommend a medium-fine grind size for this brewing method, the slow drip of the phin allows enough time for the hot water to properly extract a significantly higher amount of caffeine per ounce compared to a pour-over or drip coffee.
Additionally, because the coffee drips at a leisurely pace from the metal filter into the glass, phin coffee offers a much more concentrated flavor that tastes incredible. We at Nguyen Coffee Supply like to characterize the concentration and flavor of phin coffee as a cross between an espresso and a strong cup of drip — the best of both worlds. Some people might even describe the high caffeine phin coffee as a “Vietnamese-style espresso,” as the phin imparts a slew of smooth and savory notes in every cup. However, for folks who want more fluid ounces in their cup, we recommend doing a second pout into your phin, to yield a total of 6-8 ounces to open up the coffee -- similar to how we add hot water to espresso to create an "Americano".
Shop our Vietnamese Coffee Starter Kit here.
See the journey from farm to cup of our coffee beans here.