Are you already brewing with the V60 Pour Over? If yes, then incorporating Vietnamese coffee culture into your cafe program is easier than ever. The Phin Filter would be the perfect addition next to your V60 Pour Over. All you need is a few more inches of counter space and the setting on your coffee grinder dialed in for the brew tool on lock.
How to incorporate a Phin Brewing Bar into Your Cafe or Restaurant
September 28, 2022
If you love the V60, you'll love the Phin
What is a Phin Filter?
The Phin Filter is a popular coffee brew tool from Vietnam. It has similar Asian cultural roots to the V60 Pour Over, which originated in Japan. The Phin Filter is made of stainless steel or aluminum, much like a moka pot, but is lighter. It is also frequently referred to as a “Vietnamese coffee press” or "Vietnamese coffee maker."
The Phin Filter consists of four essential parts:
- The Filter Plate: Place this on top of a cup or carafe.
- The Brew Chamber: Add coffee & hot water in here
- The Gravity Press: Drop this on top of the coffee before adding water
- The Cap: Place on top of the brew chamber, then use as a coaster after brewing is completed.
Imagine if the French Press and V60 Pour Over had a baby, it would be the Phin Filter.
- Sahra Nguyen, Founder of Nguyen Coffee Supply
What is a Phin Brewing Bar?
At Nguyen Coffee Supply, we believe the Phin Filter will become as popular as the V60 Pour Over in American coffee culture, expanding on the secular trend of Asian inspired beverages in America. A Phin Brewing Bar or Phin Bar is an area on your coffee counter space that allows you to brew coffee using a Vietnamese phin filter, the beloved traditional brew tool of Vietnam. Known for its strong and concentrated brew, the phin filter yields a cup of coffee unlike any other due to its full immersion and gravity extraction brew process.
At many cafes and coffee shops, you’ll find a plethora of coffee options such as pour over, chemex, espresso, drip, cold brew, and sometimes even more esoteric options like siphon. Now, it's time to expand on coffee culture and add the phin filter!
How to incorporate the Phin Brew Tool into your cafe program
Wherever you currently brew a V60 Pour Over, allocate 6 inches of space for the Phin Filter & Glass Server.
Add “Phin Brew Coffee” as an option on your menu, next to single serve Pour Overs
Offer a selection of beans to be brewed with the Phin Filter – this can be the same options offered for Pour Overs, however we highly recommend specialty Vietnamese coffee for the full cultural experience.
Use the same grinder you’re currently using for single serve Pour Overs for the Phin Filter.
Upon each order, grind the coffee and brew through the phin filter into the glass server, just as you would for a pour over coffee.
When done brewing, transfer the coffee from the glass server into a cup, just as you would for a pour over coffee.
Why should I use phin filters on my coffee menu?
Sustainability: The phin filter is sustainable as it does not require paper filters like other brew tools. Additionally, it takes up less space than other brew tools you may be accustomed to so you can have multiple set up if you’d like. A phin filter is easy to clean and takes 5-6 minutes to brew the perfect cup of coffee.
Diversity & Inclusion: Additionally, the inclusion of a phin filter option on your coffee menu promotes diversity and cultural integrity by showcasing coffee brewing methods from around the world. In the same vein as how espresso is quintessentially Italian and V60 pour over is very Japanese, the phin filter is without a doubt Vietnamese.
Cultural Integrity: The inclusion of a phin bar on your menu will only serve to expand coffee culture and promote cultural integrity as well (considering that many people equate Vietnamese coffee with just being coffee with condensed milk).
How do I brew with a phin filter for cafe service?
Nguyen Coffee Supply offers a variety of sizes of phin filters ranging from our smallest, the 4 oz, to our largest, the 24 oz. For a cafe, we recommend utilizing both the 12 oz and 24 oz phin filters which are perfect for brewing multiple servings at a time and batching.
- To give a volume comparison: the 12 oz phin filter brews about 2-3 servings which is equivalent to a V60 pour over.
- The 24 oz phin filter brews 6-12 servings of coffee and is equivalent to a chemex.
Our 4 oz phin filter brews individual cups of coffee, which we recommend for table service. For efficiency purposes, the larger phin filters are recommended for a full phin bar experience.
To brew with the phin filter, you need to:
- Scoop coffee into the filter – 1 tbsp for every 2 oz
- Shake the filter to even out the grounds
- Drop the gravity press on top of the coffee
- Pour hot water to bloom for 45 seconds
- Fill water to the top and let brew completely
- Optional: Add a second pour of hot water if the customer prefers their coffee less strong.
From there, the coffee can be served individually and customized with milk, ice, or sweetener. This coffee can also be applied similarly to how espresso would be used for other drinks with flavorings and other ingredients since the total volume is relatively low compared to drip.
Do I have to use Vietnamese coffee beans in my phin filter?
Not necessarily! We believe that you can use any coffee you’d like with a phin filter. After all, it is a very versatile coffee brew tool. Due to its strong and concentrated brew, we recommend using beans that are amenable to a punchy extraction – like a robusta bean or dark brew. This is why folks in Vietnam brewed robusta coffee with the phin filter for decades, because the low-acidic and bold profile of robusta pairs well with the extraction method of the phin filter.
How do I grind coffee for the phin filter?
We recommend a grind size that is fine like sand. On many coffee grinders, this will be a hair finer than the pour over setting.
Another essential element to knowing you have the right grind is in the timing. When dialing in the grind size with your phin filter, aim for these metrics:
- First drip by 2 minutes, and last drip by 5-6 minutes. Staying within this timeframe will produce a solid brew.
- Too fast and it means the grind size is too coarse, so the water is flowing through too quickly with less extraction.
- Too slow means that the grind size is too fine, and the water can't flow which will lead to a burnt or over-extracted brew.
How can I purchase phin filters for my phin bar?
Nguyen Coffee Supply offers our phin filters at wholesale pricing for retail and cafe partners. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll assist you promptly.