Can You Make Authentic Vietnamese Coffee in a Moka Pot?

By | Last Updated: May 22, 2024

Vietnamese coffee’s bold, intense flavors have an undeniable allure, captivating coffee enthusiasts eager to replicate this rich experience at home.

Consider the Moka pot, a cherished stovetop coffee maker that can elevate your Vietnamese coffee experience.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the art of brewing Vietnamese coffee using a Moka pot, highlighting its unique qualities with practical tips and recipe variations to elevate your next cup.

Key Takeaways

  • Moka pots can make authentic Vietnamese coffee with its bold flavor and sweetened condensed milk.
  • The unique brewing process of the Moka pot, which involves passing hot water pressurized by steam through the ground coffee, creates a strong and concentrated espresso-like beverage that pairs perfectly with condensed milk.
  • To perfect your Vietnamese Coffee, choose the right coffee beans, adjust the grind size and water temperature, experiment with brewing time, and add flavors. Popular blends include Robusta beans from Vietnam for their intense taste and nutty undertones.

Understanding Vietnamese Coffee

Vietnamese coffee’s journey began in the mid-19th century, introduced by French missionaries.

It took some time, but Vietnam eventually welcomed coffee into its culture, a process that accelerated during the French colonial era. This period was crucial in shaping the country’s unique coffee culture, as locals started to adopt and adapt the beverage to their tastes.

They innovated brewing techniques, notably using Phin filters—small metal devices that produce robust and flavorful coffee, typically enhanced with condensed milk for a signature Vietnamese touch.

Today, coffee remains a staple of Vietnamese society, a fixture in daily routines and social interactions. Coffee shops are popular venues for everything from casual meetups to formal business discussions.

The Uniqueness of Vietnamese Coffee

What sets Vietnamese coffee apart is its bold flavor and distinctive brewing process.

Predominantly using robusta beans, which have a higher caffeine content and a more robust taste compared to arabica,

Vietnamese coffee offers a robust experience. The traditional use of a metal Phin filter for brewing slows the process, allowing full flavor extraction from the coarsely ground beans, resulting in a potent and concentrated drink.

Characteristic Flavor Profile of Vietnamese Coffee

The hallmark of Vietnamese coffee is its robust and unique flavor resulting from the robusta beans and the addition of sweetened condensed milk.

Robusta beans, a primary crop in Vietnam, provide a potent taste and high caffeine kick. At the same time, the condensed milk adds a layer of sweetness and richness, creating a harmonious balance with the beans’ natural bitterness.

This bold and sweet blend delivers a refreshing and uniquely Vietnamese coffee experience, making each sip a testament to its rich cultural heritage.

Moka Pot Vs. Phin Filter: The Differences And Benefits

Moka Pot and Phin Filter are popular for brewing Vietnamese coffee but have unique features and benefits. 

Here is a comparison between the two methods that will help you decide which one suits your preferences better:

Moka PotPhin Filter
An Italian invention, designed in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti.A traditional Vietnamese coffee brewing method, made of stainless steel or aluminum.
Works on the stovetop, brewing coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee.Phin filters are typically single serving, requiring multiple filters for larger groups or cups of coffee.
Phin filters are affordable and easy to use, making them popular for many Vietnamese coffee lovers.Brews a rich, bold coffee with a distinctive flavor profile that pairs well with sweetened condensed milk.
It can be more expensive than a Phin filter, but it is still cost-effective for brewing coffee at home.Moka pots are available in various sizes, offering the flexibility to make multiple servings simultaneously.
Regular maintenance and cleaning, especially gaskets and seals, are required to ensure proper functioning and longevity.It creates a robust and concentrated coffee similar to espresso, which can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with milk and other flavors.
Minimal maintenance is needed, and cleaning is simple as it can be easily removed.It creates a robust and concentrated coffee similar to espresso, which can be enjoyed independently or mixed with milk and other flavors.

Choosing between a Moka Pot and a Phin Filter hinges on personal preferences, budget, and coffee enjoyment preferences.

Both methods yield a robust and flavorful coffee, yet the taste and experience differ due to their unique brewing processes.

Advantages Of Using A Moka Pot For Vietnamese Coffee

Moka pots make an excellent choice for brewing Vietnamese coffee due to their unique advantages. 

  • Moka pots can produce a concentrated espresso-like beverage perfect for mixing with sweetened condensed milk, resulting in the well-loved Vietnamese condiment called Ca phe sua da.
  • Moka pot brewing allows users to customize their coffee’s flavor and intensity by adjusting grind size and water temperature.
  • Using a Moka pot enables coffee lovers to recreate authentic Vietnamese coffee without investing in expensive equipment like an espresso machine or a traditional Phin filter.

How To Make Vietnamese Coffee With A Moka Pot

Necessary Ingredients

You will need a few essential ingredients to make Vietnamese coffee with a Moka pot. 

Here are the necessary components for crafting this delicious beverage:

  • Ground coffee: Use freshly ground, dark roast Robusta coffee beans for an authentic flavor.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: This crucial ingredient gives Vietnamese coffee its unique taste and sweetness.
  • Hot water: Use hot but not boiling water to prevent scorching the coffee grounds.
  • Moka Pot: This stovetop coffee maker will brew your concentrated espresso-style coffee.
  • Cup or mug: To serve your freshly brewed, hot coffee.

Step-by-Step Instructions

To make Vietnamese coffee using a Moka pot, follow these easy steps:

  1. Grind your coffee beans: Use fresh medium-fine or fine-ground dark-roasted coffee beans for the best flavor. Measure out two tablespoons of ground coffee per cup of water.
  2. Boil the water: Fill the bottom chamber of the pot with hot water up to the safety valve level. Place it on your stove over medium heat and let it come to a boil.
  3. Add ground coffee: Turn off the heat and add plenty of ground coffee into the basket-shaped middle chamber without pressing down or compacting it.
  4. Assemble the Moka pot: Put all chambers back together and use a towel or oven mitts to grip onto each component while twisting them together tightly.
  5. Brew the coffee: Place your pot on the stove over low heat enough so the flame doesn’t extend beyond the pot’s base. Let it brew until you hear gurgling sounds, meaning all water has boiled through and collected in the upper chamber.
  6. Pour & serve: Remove from heat and pour a small amount of sweetened condensed milk into your cup. Pour the freshly brewed coffee over the milk, stirring well to combine both ingredients.

Following these simple instructions, you can easily enjoy authentic Vietnamese-style Coffee in your home!

Vietnamese Coffee Recipe Variation

Refreshing Vietnamese Iced Coffee Recipe

Looking for a refreshing twist on traditional Vietnamese iced coffee?

Here’s a recipe that will refresh your senses and give you a delightful boost. 


  • 1 cup strong brewed Vietnamese coffee
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • Ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream


  1. Brew a pot of strong coffee using your Moka pot.
  2. Mix the sweetened condensed milk and coconut cream in a separate bowl until well combined.
  3. Fill a glass with ice cubes.
  4. Pour the brewed coffee over the ice cubes.
  5. Pour the condensed milk mixture over the coffee and stir well.
  6. Enjoy your refreshing twist on traditional Vietnamese iced coffee!

Fun fact: Adding coconut cream gives this drink a unique flavor that pairs perfectly with the robust flavor of Vietnamese coffee.

Remember to experiment with different variations to find your perfect balance of sweetness and strength!

Tips For Perfecting Your Vietnamese Coffee

Selecting the appropriate coffee beans is crucial to crafting the ideal cup using a Moka Pot for Vietnamese coffee.

It’s also important to fine-tune the grind size and water temperature, play with the brewing duration, and introduce distinct flavors.

1. Choosing The Right Coffee Beans

Selecting the right coffee beans is crucial for making the best Vietnamese coffee. 

Medium grind and dark roast coffee beans are ideal for this method, as they produce rich flavors and strong espresso shots.

Some popular blends include Arabica and Robusta blends from Vietnam, which offer a bold taste with nutty undertones. 

When selecting your blend, ensure it suits your preferences and brewing method.

When using a Moka pot, choosing a bean that can withstand high temperatures without burning or losing its characteristically intense flavor is essential.

2. Adjusting Grind Size And Water Temperature

Adjusting your grind size and water temperature is crucial in creating the perfect coffee cup. 

For example, the grind size should be medium-coarse for brewing with a ‘phin’ filter, slightly coarser than espresso but finer than drip coffee.

 This ensures optimal extraction and allows for a fuller-bodied cup of joe, where the water flow through the grounds is controlled and consistent.

It’s important to note that changing these variables can significantly affect the taste and quality of your coffee. 

For instance, using hot water from the tap may lead to an under-extracted or burnt flavor due to high mineral content or other impurities in some plumbing systems.

3. Experimenting With Brewing Time

One of the easiest ways to perfect your coffee is by experimenting with brewing time. 

The longer you brew, the stronger the coffee will be. 

However, it’s important not to let it brew too long, which can result in a bitter taste.

A good rule of thumb is to start with a brewing time of around 3-5 minutes and adjust based on your preferences.

Additionally, if you want some added flavor complexity, consider playing around with ratios during experimentation, like adding more or less water/grounds per cup or mixing in flavored syrups or spices before or after brewing.

4. Adding Unique Flavors

One of the great things about making coffee is its versatility. 

By adding unique flavors, you can take your cup of joe to a whole new level.

For starters, sweetened condensed milk is an essential ingredient in traditional coffee and adds a creamy sweetness that perfectly balances the boldness of the coffee.

Experimenting with different types of coffee beans can also produce exciting results. 

While many Vietnamese coffees use robusta beans for their strong flavor and high caffeine content, using arabica beans instead lends a more delicate taste with fruity or floral notes.

Final Thoughts

Consider using a Moka pot to immerse yourself in Vietnamese coffee’s rich and distinctive taste. This method delivers a deeply concentrated brew, enabling you to enjoy each sip fully, authentically, and satisfyingly.

By following our guide to crafting Vietnamese coffee with a Moka pot and tips for fine-tuning the process, you can effortlessly make authentic Vietnamese coffee in the comfort of your home.

Explore various beans, grinds, and flavors to discover your ideal combination. Notice how each adjustment influences your coffee’s overall flavor and satisfaction, inviting you to pause and reflect on your thoughts about each variation.

Whether you prefer your coffee hot or iced, simple or indulgent, the possibilities for enjoying this delightful drink are limitless.