Vietnamese coffee: Best brands for Instant coffee, Ground coffee and Weasel coffee.
Walking pass Hanoi or Saigon streets, you will recognize the coffee drinking culture of Vietnam: from the streetside “phin” coffee in the Old Quarter to the iced coffee of Sai Gon. Among thousands of coffee shops and hundreds of brands, how can you know which is the good one to drink and bring home? This article will guide you to the best Vietnamese coffee brands.
Firstly if you have not known, Vietnamese coffee is mostly robusta – the strong, flavorful and bitter one. Compared to the arabica you often drink, Vietnamese coffee will add a dose of caffeine to wake up your morning. Yet don’t worry that your coffee can be bitter, Vietnam companies know how to mix the beans to create good coffee.
Secondly, the coffee market of Vietnam has been developing in leaps and bounds, with numerous brands and types of coffee springing up like mushrooms. You will have a wide range of coffee to choose from. Here is the list.
1. Trung Nguyen Coffee
Trung Nguyen coffee is most famous for its strong taste and aroma. It is the leading local brand in Vietnam and a big exporter – you can find Trung Nguyen coffee in over 70 countries in the world. There is a wide range of products diverse in the mix of coffee beans and processing methods.
Trung Nguyen coffee has 3 main types, instant coffee, roasted coffee and distinctive (weasel) one.
G7 Instant Coffee
If you think that instant coffee is only for when we don’t have time for the “real” brewed one, just try the renown G7 Coffee. Its coffee power is dry-extracted directly from the bean, other than freeze-dried as usual. This straight-from-the-bean process creates a far richer, smoother coffee with authentic aroma. G7 has ranked as top instant coffee in Vietnam, Japan, and many other Asian nations.
The most favored choice is the G7 Gourmet 3-in-1 Instant Coffee. The inclusion of 3 items: coffee, creamer, and sugar means you don’t need anything except hot water.
Besides, you can try G7 Passiona the sugar-free 3-in-1 coffee for a healthy collagen surplus with zero-calorie sweetener and low caffeine intake. G7 also has a bunch of other types like Espresso, Cappuccino (noted: a lot of flavors) or Pure Black, etc. See more at their website.
Trung Nguyen Roasted Coffee
If you love the strong taste and additive aroma of Vietnam streetside coffee, choose some grounded coffee powder and a drip filter, then add some condensed milk to taste like the locals.
Premium Blend and Gourmet Blend
The Creative Coffee series is a line of carefully blended coffees that helped create the name of Trung Nguyen. Their top-seller ones are Premium Blend and Gourmet Blend – the traditional House Coffee served at over 2500 Trung Nguyen stores and cafes throughout Southeast Asia.
Roasted in authentic Vietnam deep butter-roast, the balanced recipe from 4 types of beans create just stunning coffee. The way Vietnamese add sugar and butter to the roasting process gives the beans a much deeper flavor, almost like caramelized to a point. Sometimes, a bit of cocoa is added as flavorings, hence it gives the coffee a hint of chocolate. These two both have quite high caffeine, pleasant acidity, and rich aftertaste and as good iced as it is hot.
Another flagship product that frequently runs low on stock is the Legendee (or Creative 8/ Sang Tao 8 in domestic packaging). It owns the original blend recipe between Arabica, Robusta, and Excelsa. Trung Nguyen also uses their exclusive technology to simulate the natural enzymatic process that creates the exotic Kopi Luwak coffee. This results in its renowned dark, bold taste with chocolatey “weasel coffee” overtones.
Trung Nguyen Weasel Coffee
The exotic weasel coffee is popular for incredibly delicious, subtle, lingering flavor and exceptional smoothness.
Weasel coffee, or Kopi Luwak – civet coffee as you may have known is among the world’s most expensive coffee. In Vietnam, we call it “ca phe chon”. These chon animals are true coffee berries lover, who comes out nightly to find the sweetest and perfectly ripe berries to eat. The seeds do not digest and are collected and thoroughly sanitized by farmers. They are sun-dried and roasted.
Strange as this process may seem, the natural enzymes from the weasel allows beans to release their wonderful hidden flavors. This is the key to its extraordinary flavor and smoothness.
If you want the authentic undiluted weasel coffee, it cost nearly 3000 USD for 1 kg. A dupe for that is created with a biological fermentation process by Trung Nguyen. This will give you a similar taste at a much better price.
Where to buy:
- In Vietnam: At any Trung Nguyen Legend Cafe or Trung Nguyen website (for limited products like Legendee or Weasel)
- International: Len’s Coffee website
Focusing more on the mild side, Vina Cafe is among the best choices for instant blended coffee. This brand is most famous for its creamy, hazelnutty flavor for those with a sweet tooth. Vina Cafe has been the coffee of our childhood and still most common among Vietnamese households. The most popular ones are VinaCafe 3-in-1, Wake-up Cafe with Weasel Flavor.
Where to buy: You can buy Vina Cafe products at any Vietnamese supermarket. My suggestion is Vinmart, the biggest retail chain in Vietnam.
Price range: 3- 5 USD/ box
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NESCAFE – the famous worldwide brand, comes with a lot of choices for the discerning market of Vietnam coffee connoisseurs. Among their products, instants ones are top of mind. Their blended coffee comes in different levels of strong tastes that can be no less delicious than their ground coffee counterparts. Their NESCAFE cans Mocha/Latte are a good choice when you want just a pack of ready-made goodness.
What to buy: NESCAFE cans Mocha/Latte, NESCAFE 3-in-1 instant coffee
Where to buy: Again, you can buy NESCAFE products at any Vietnamese supermarket, like Vinmart.
Price range: Very affordable, from $1 for each can, and $3-5 for a box of 20 sachets.
After literally trying dozens of varieties, these coffee products remain our best ones for each type of needs. Come to Vietnam to taste and bring home for your friends and family!
If you want just a good cup of coffee or a cafe to spend some time when in Vietnam, choose among our other coffee guides: