What is a Vietnamese Phin Filter? (And How to Use It)

vietnamese coffee phin filter stainless steel

As outspoken champions of brewing Vietnamese coffee the old-school way, we decided to create our own Vietnamese phin filter. This week, we released a NCS Vietnamese Phin Kit ($28, comes with your choice of NCS coffee) and NCS Vietnamese Phin Filter ($15). But you might be wondering: what is a phin? Some FAQ's, answered here. 

What is the phin?

The Vietnamese phin or phin filter is a coffee brewing tool most common and popular in Vietnam.


How would you describe it?

Imagine if the V60 Pour Over and French Press had a baby. 


Do I need a paper filter?

Nope! The phin is proud to be a no-paper, no-waste brewing tool.


Does the phin come in different sizes?

Yes, the phin comes in different sizes for several serving options. The single serve phin size is generally 4 ounces. A heavy single serve or double serve would be the 8 ounce phin. There are even big phins that can hold 40 ounces of water for large batch brews (family style!).

The bigger the phin, the more coffee you’ll have to use.


How do I make phin coffee?

When using a single serving size (4 ounces) like ours here, start with these guidelines:

  1. Use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee 
  2. Drop the filter press on top of the coffee
  3. Place the plate and chamber (filled with coffee) on top of a cup
  4. Boil water 195-200 degrees F
  5. Add 0.8 ounces (or cover the filter press by ½ inch) of hot water
  6. Let bloom for 30 seconds
  7. Then fill water to the top of the phin (total of 4 ounces)

These are the metrics you should aim to achieve:

  • First drip should happen before 2 minutes
  • Last drip should be around 5 minutes

If you can adjust the grind size to achieve the flow of first drip by 2 minutes, and last drip by 5 minutes, then you’ve got a solid brew. 

 

Can I do a second pour of hot water into my phin? 

If you like your coffee a little lighter—definitely!

 

Why isn’t my phin coffee thick and syrupy like other Vietnamese coffees I’ve tried?

The truth is—no coffee from anywhere in the world is going to brew a thick or syrupy texture. That’s just not possible with coffee beans and hot water. In Vietnam, street coffee is well-known for having additives (like corn and soy), butter, and artificial ingredients to produce a fattier, thicker coffee. 

If you want a thicker, fattier, and sweeter coffee, we suggest adding all-natural ingredients such as sweetened condense milk, coconut oil, coconut milk, or even butter to your cup of coffee. It’s not too far from the butter coffee (ie. bullet coffee) trend. 

 

Can I drink phin coffee black?

The phin is a brewing tool, so you can drink phin coffee however you like! Black, with almond milk, sweetened condensed milk, shaken, stirred, blended, hot or iced.

 

Can I use old pre-ground supermarket shelf coffee in the phin? 

Sure! But you won’t see the bloom. The bloom only happens with fresh coffee. 

 

Can I travel with the phin?

Yes! We think the phin is a great option for traveling and camping trips—as long as you have access to hot water, or know how to (safely) start a fire and boil up some water.  


Can I drink phin coffee everyday?

1000% yes!

 

Shop the NCS Vietnamese Phin here

vietnamese coffee phin filter stainless steel

vietnamese coffee phin filter stainless steel