Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee_featured

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee: the authentic coffee taste

We have covered the different types of Thai coffee extensively, along with the calories content in the coffee beverages. Now we will cover the difference between Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee. A lot of people who come to Southeast Asia and visit both countries often ask this question. Perhaps it is because the coffee culture in both countries is very strong. Vietnamese coffee is, in itself, very popular due to its strength and also the uniqueness of serving the coffee. While we ourselves have had more than a dozen of trips to Vietnam, we also tap into our own Vietnamese friends to give more local insights into Vietnamese coffee. Let’s find out!

Table of Contents

Authentic Thai coffee beverages

Let’s recap a bit on Thai coffee. We have extensively discussed this in the previous article. In general, there are different types of Thai coffee depending on the ingredients, especially whether it has milk and what type of milk it contains. All of these types of Thai coffee beverages use traditional ground Thai coffee.

If we were to summarize, these are the main four types of Thai coffee beverage:

  • Thai iced coffee(“กาแฟเย็น”): coffee + condensed milk + evaporated milk + sugar
  • Oiliang(“โอเลี้ยง”): coffee + sugar
  • Yok Lor Oiliang(“โอเลี้ยงยกล้อ”): coffee + sugar + evaporated milk
  • Kopi(“โกปี๊”): coffee + condensed milk

Vietnamese coffee

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee_Vietnamese coffee

Traditional Vietnamese Milk Coffee


You can have Vietnamese coffee either hot(cà phê sữa nóng) or cold (cà phê sua dá). Vietnamese coffee is always served with that quintessential stainless steel Phin Vietnamese filter. 

This particular blog is very extensive in discussing the making of Vietnamese coffee, which we use as our reference as well for this post.

The ingredients required to make either the hot or cold Vietnamese coffee are as follows:

  • 3 tablespoons of Vietnamese ground coffee (you can use any brand but there is a famous one that most people know, the Trung Nguyen brand)
  • 1-3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk (you can use any brand but there is a famous Vietnamese brand Longevity brand)
  • Around 250 ml of water close to boiling point
  • (If you want to make the cold version) Ice cubes

Pro tip: Before you make your Vietnamese coffee, rinse the Phin filter and the cup with or in boiling water. This is to make sure the coffee blooms and drops better later on. Also, this cleans and pre-heats the filter.



(Hanoi) Egg Coffee

Thailand vs Vietnam_Hanoi egg coffee 2

We just came back from Hanoi recently and we realized that there is one Vietnamese coffee we have been missing out on! Hanoi-style egg coffee. This type of Vietnamese coffee might make you raise your eyebrows as first, but you might change your mind completely once you try it. In contrast with Vietnamese milk coffee, Hanoi egg coffee is more like a treat, or a dessert. 

You only need 3 ingredients to make a basic Hanoi egg coffee: condensed milk, egg, and coffee (espresso).

To make 2 cups of Hanoi egg coffee, you’ll need: 

1. 1 egg yolk
2. 12 oz espresso
3. 4 tbsp sweetened condensed milk

To make this, you need to:

1. Brew 2 cups of espresso
2. Whip the egg yolk and condensed milk until light frothy
3. Pour slowly the mixture of egg yolk and condensed milk on top of the espresso

The above instruction is to make a basic egg coffee. However, in our trip in Hanoi, we visited many cafes with their own variations of Hanoi egg coffee. For example, there was a Hanoi egg coffee that we had that has rum and also coconut syrup in it. This will add extra fragrance and flavor to the egg coffee for sure! Play around with your recipe and you can make your own version of egg coffee.


How to make Vietnamese coffee?

  1. Measure 3 tbsp of the ground coffee, spread evenly into the filter. Do not shake the filters or compress the coffee, to prevent clogging of the filter by the coffee powder 
  2. Add 1-3 tbsp of condensed milk into your cup
  3. Pour 2 tbsp of boiling water into the filter. Allow the coffee to bloom for 5 seconds. Bloom means the water will release the CO2 from the coffee and the coffee grounds will expand
  4. Press on the filter to compress the bloomed coffee. It will help to slow down the drip rate and also make a more flavorful coffee
  5. Pour the rest of the water into the filter. The coffee will start to drip into the cup
  6. Wait for around 5 minutes for the dripping to stop 
  7. Once the dripping stops, remove the filter and stir the coffee and the condensed milk together to mix them

To make the iced Vietnamese coffee, transfer the mixture of condensed milk and coffee into a cup with ice cubes. Enjoy your coffee!

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee: the differences

So, in general what are the differences between Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee? Other than the types of ground coffee used, there are a few that we can summarize here.  

First, the filter used. Thai coffee is made using the reusable muslin strainer, whereas Vietnamese coffee is made using the Phin filter.

Second, the types of milk used. The Thai iced coffee itself is made using both evaporated milk and condensed milk; whereas Vietnamese coffee is made using condensed milk only.

Third, the sweetness level. Vietnamese coffee is generally sweeter than Thai coffee because it uses sweetened condensed milk only. And the amount used is generally more than the one used in Thai coffee. Thai coffee often combines both evaporated and condensed milk and the condensed milk used is lower than the one in Vietnamese coffee as a result.


Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee: which one to try?

You should give both Thai coffee and Vietnamese coffee a try! Thai and Vietnamese cuisines share a level of similarities, and they are both among our favorite Southeast Asian cuisines!