History of French Coffee in Vietnam

Though you’ve probably heard of the french press coffee brewing method, France’s contribution to Vietnamese coffee production is outsized. Though today Vietnam is the world’s second largest producer of coffee and the world’s largest producer of robusta beans, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, coffee wasn’t introduced to Vietnam until 1857, when a french priest brought a single arabica tree to the country. Slowly, Vietnam grew to become one of the main coffee producers in Asia. In the 1920s, french colonists decided to expand their territory up in the highlands of Vietnam, in areas including Dak Lak Province in the Central Highlands. It is in these regions that some of the world’s best and most flavorful coffee is grown today, due to the area’s unique climate and terroir. 

The biggest impact in coffee brewing that the french had was certainly the french press, a method of brewing where hot water and coffee are allowed to steep together in a glass chamber before being filtered out by pressing down on a mesh plunger. The french press is known for its bold flavor extraction and the full-bodied coffee that it produces. It’s important to remember not to let your coffee steep in the chamber for more than four minutes or the resulting cup will taste bitter and off. Additionally, when pouring over freshly ground coffee (which we highly recommend), make sure to wait for 30 seconds to allow your grinds to bloom before filling the chamber to the top with hot water. 

How to Brew Vietnamese Coffee with a French Press:

Recommended coffee: Courage. 

  • With this recipe, the Courage comes out much more full bodied than a pour over and finishes sweet and smooth. 

Grind size: Coarse.

Ratio: 4 tablespoons of ground coffee per 2 cups of water.

Learn how to make Vietnamese coconut coffee here.

Should you get a grinder? Read more here.

Have leftover grounds? Learn how to reuse them here.

Purchase your own phin and coffee kit here.