How to Pair Vietnamese Coffee with Your Favorite Vietnamese Food

The best coffee after dinner, best coffee at lunch, and best coffee for breakfast are different for everyone.

While you might only associate coffee with breakfast food, we at Nguyen Coffee Supply are here to change your mind. Coffee — especially coffee brewed with Vietnamese coffee beans — is a perfect beverage to accompany meals or to have on its own at all hours of the day. And while we think certain blends and techniques shine in different situations, it’s always good to remember that there’s no right or wrong way to drink and enjoy coffee, so keep experimenting until you find the style that’s right for you. The best coffee after dinner, best coffee at lunch, and best coffee for breakfast are different for everyone.  

Our producing partners in Vietnam swear by pairing their rich robusta coffee with a classic ham sandwich and pâté banh mi, as the bread helps soak up the strong, high caffeine coffee. “In Vietnam, the coffee culture isn't like it is in the states,” our founder Sahra Nguyen explains. “Here, it’s all about drinking a cup of coffee with a breakfast item on the side. In Vietnam, people eat a breakfast of banh mi, pho, or bun rieu, and then go to another spot to drink coffee.” Sahra says that when people in Vietnam drink coffee, it's usually on its own, without any treats or cookies to accompany the beverage. However, we believe the unique flavor profiles of Vietnamese coffee are perfect for pairing with all different types of food. 

As far as the different times of day to drink coffee, we believe that a blend of 100% robusta is best enjoyed in the morning. Since robusta beans contain up to twice the caffeine as arabica beans, it’s a perfect way to get your day — and your grind — started. Robusta beans also provide all-natural energy without the jitters. In fact, many of our customers report feeling “wired" without getting the twitchy, unpleasant effects of drinking too much coffee. Unfortunately, misinformation has caused jitters to be associated with Vietnamese coffee beverages in the west. This is usually a result of lower quality coffee that has been cut with fillers, sugar, and artificial ingredients. 

For the best coffee after dinner, the pour over method achieves the quickest and lightest coffee and caffeine extraction, so we recommend pour over coffee later in the evening — especially if you’re looking for a sweet, subtle caffeine boost. Additionally, a cup of coffee after a large meal can help stimulate the release of stomach acid, which helps break down proteins in food, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study also suggests that bitter compounds found in coffee could also be “potentially useful therapeutics to regulate gastric pH.” 

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Learn how we roast Vietnamese coffee here

Purchase your own phin and coffee kit here.

Learn about coffee processing here