French colonialism in Vietnam lasted more than six decades in the late 1800s. A history filled with exploitation and civil unrest. Only in hindsight can we appreciate the culinary contributions resulting from an occupation. Nowhere is this more apparent than the coffee culture of Vietnam.
The traditional brewing device, a Phin is filled with a single serving of freshly ground Robusta beans. A coffee bean that has found the perfect home in the hot humid climate of Vietnam. With a strong, full body, bitter and nutty taste, Vietnamese coffee is ideal for serving over ice and with its traditional accompaniment of condensed milk. It will give you a major jolt though, so be careful. It’s caffeine content is nearly double that of arabica beans.
The Phin is placed over a glass with condensed milk in the bottom. The lack of fresh dairy availability in Vietnam during the occupation turned this into the preferred cream substitute and sweetener. It just so happens that this sweet creamy component is the perfect compliment to the bold flavor of the dark roasted Robusta bean coffee.
The Grounds inside the Phin are allowed to bloom for 30 - 45 seconds with the addition of a couple tablespoons of hot water. Blooming allows the flavors to concentrate and produce a higher quality cup. After blooming the Phin is filled with hot water and allowed to drip into the cup of condensed milk. After the coffee has finished dripping the Phin is removed and the coffee is stirred to incorporate the condensed milk. Then poured over ice to create the perfect Ca Phe Sua Da.