What makes Vietnamese coffee taste so distinctive and delicious !

Thứ tư - 14/09/2016 13:41
What makes Vietnamese coffee taste so distinctive and delicious? It is natural or enhanced with artificial favors?
Vietnamese coffee is distinctively strong because of two reasons:

1) A different type of coffee bean

Vietnamese coffee is almost always Robusta. The usual coffee bean is Arabica, since it is the main type of coffee exported by Brazil, the world's largest exporter of coffee. Vietnam is the world's second largest exporter of coffee, but the main bean is Robusta instead. In Vietnam, Robusta is the traditional bean and also one of the cheaper ones (for obvious reasons) as well.

Vietnamese Coffee Culture

Robusta is almost twice as strong caffeine wise (2.7% wt instead of Arabica's 1.5%), making it a bit more bitter, as caffeine itself is bitter. Furthermore, it has 60% less lipid (fat) and sugar than Arabica, so the taste is sharp and less casual than your usual cup of coffee. Unlike Arabica, which is mellow and easy-drinking, Robusta is often compared to burnt tires and rubbery in taste with a thick lingering taste and higher acidity. While this might turn away the head of a serial Starbucks fan, for many Vietnamese, only the strength of Robusta is the way to go.

2) An different combination of brewing and roasting

Vietnamese coffee is almost always drip coffee. Go out to any Vietnamese street coffee stall and you'll find rudimentary aluminium drip filters and cups of exquisitely aromatic black coffee underneath. The Vietnamese like their coffee nice and slow, and setting up the filter and choosing right time to drink is an art in itself. Drip coffee is very thick, and the coffee bean is usually intentionally over-roasted, making it quite bitter. A frequent way to enjoy this is with condensed milk and ice (cà phê sữa đá), and it naturally maintains a strong taste - everything is condensed in this cup, even the water! Drip coffee is the way Vietnamese people create and enjoy conversation.

A strong taste, a thicker brew and a few over-roasted beans makes for a different, distinctive taste. Whether it is delicious or not is subjective - a lot of my American friends who grew up with Arabica and cream dislike the heavily strong taste of Vietnamese-style coffee, but I've known people who swear by it. The massive strength of the coffee style here (both in popularity and in taste) forced the Vietnamese Starbucks to adapt, not the other way round! To us, it is simply too bland, too sour (despite Arabica's "lower acidity"), too unimpressive.

But there's more to Vietnamese coffee than just a hefty taste and a cheap pricetag. "Đi uống cà phê", which means "go drink coffee", is another way to say "let's have a chat." We're always welcoming new additions to our traditional style - and trust me, drip over-roasted Robusta works well with cream, sugar and even whipped cream toppings and hazelnut syrup too! Really. Some Italian blends claim it improves the Crema or something, but I'm no connoisseur. I buy my cà phê sữa đá for less than a dollar at my usual place across the street.


But pumpkin spice might be a bit overboard. Sorry.

SIDE NOTE: Do you know why Robusta is half the price of Arabica? Robusta is literally robust - it is highly resistant to insects and have a better yield-per-area, so it can be made for a lower cost, with little to no chemical use. The caffeine percentage in Robusta is toxic to many bugs. Furthermore, this type of coffee is packed with anti-oxidants (7-10% chlorogenic acid compared to Arabica's 5.5-8%), so let's get healthy and Robusta!
 

User Comments:

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Say Keng Lee, Knowledge Adventurer & Technology Explorer in Strategy, Change & Future-Focus
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I actually wrote this piece about Vietnam's uniquely famous coffee drink as part of my English coaching of Vietnamese professionals, so as to enable them to articulate eloquently about it, especially to foreign principals.

To me, it serves as a good response to your question.

"Good Evening:Ladies & Gentlemen. Distinguished Guests.

My name is S K, and I am here today to introduce you to Vietnam’s famous coffee drink.

It’s known locally as “caphe sua da pha phin”.

The "phin" is the Vietnamese name for the decanter, a quirky and yet simple Vietnamese coffee filtering contraption, functioning as a single-serve filter, which instills a slow-drip process of on-the-spot, right-in-your-face coffee brewing.

Translated into English, it's basically rich coffee mixed with sweet condensed milk and cool ice cubes, decanter style.  The decanter is actually a four-piece all-stainless-steel-or aluminum) combo

A spoonful of freshly-ground extra-bold roast-blend coffee is first poured in the decanter,  which  sits nicely on the rim of a short glass. Boiling water is added until it slowly brews, and filters slowly into the short glass, which already contains a healthy dollop of condensed milk.

By the way, inside the decanter there is some sort of small-round-thin metal piece, which actually functions as a gravity-pull self-pressing device, thus inducing the slow-drip, facilitated by the small weight of the boiling water at the beginning stage.

The entire process generally takes a few minutes. It’s believed that the slower the drip, with one tiny drop at a time, roughly about one drop per second, the better it tastes.

When the steady dripping finishes its natural course, the liquid coffee then mixes with the condensed milk in the short glass below. One can easily smell the fragrance of the rich coffee.

The coffee and condensed milk mixture is then stirred.

The combinatory mix is then poured into a tall glass, already filled with ice cubes to the brim, which originally comes with a long and slender tea spoon stuck in position. The spoon is also used in the stirring function.

Again with the aid of the given tea spoon, one just pulls it up and pushes it down through the ice cubes in the tall glass containing the mix, like a piston in an engine.

Moving the spoon in a piston-like fashion, the final mix of sweetness and bitterness is ready for enjoyment.

The final additional human gesture ostensibly gives one the psychic satisfaction of seeing a simple job being done well.

You then take one small sip at a time, either using the given spoon or the accompanying straw.  Taking small sips, and not big gulps, as with other type of coffee drinks,  I am sure this practice definitely has something to do with influence from the French colonialists, who apparently introduced coffee drinking into the country during the 18th century.

The first sip will invariably brain you up, as well as relax your mood. This is the mystique of the coffee drink.

I am not a coffee connoisseur, but I reckon it's the synergistic confabulation of the sweetness of the condensed milk, the potent brew of the rich roast-blend coffee, and the cool refreshing kick of the ice cubes, which makes "caphe sua da pha phin" a quintessential coffee drink, now known around the world, including Singapore.

My gym buddies insist that a real man cannot start his working day without his "caphe sua da pha phin".

Hey, man, I fully concur."
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Dietmar VogelmannOwner of a Coffee Brand in Vietnam - Farmers Blend Coffee
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Most brand in Vietnam use artificial flavors or soy bean to stretch the coffee and give it this distinctive nutty flavor. If it is a very thick almost syrupy consistency, often some sort of starched is mixed. Not many people know this but it is the way they roast here in Vietnam as it is cheaper to produce. If you catch the real deal, its just a very delicious brew when using the "phin" as it is slow and able to extract all of the coffee flavors. The sweetened condense milk is usually balancing out the bitter flavors and if you have a hot day, use it as iced coffee.
MY favorite brand in the US is Farmers Blend Coffee, a rather new brand on amazon but whole beans coffee so you know what you get!
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Nguồn tin: www.quora.com

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