Vietnamese Coffee

Vietnamese Coffee, And Why I May Switch to Robusta!

To make studying Vietnamese culture or speaking Vietnamese even more enjoyable, you may want to treat yourself to some low carb Vietnamese coffee! As of 2018, Vietnam was the 2nd largest coffee producer in the world[1]. While about 75% of the worlds coffee production is Arabica coffee, Vietnam produces a unique Robusta coffee.

7 Difference Between Arabica and Robusta Coffee

It is interesting to learn the difference between the Arabica and Robusta Coffee. Especially if you are a regular coffee drinker.

1. Color

The color of Vietnamese coffee has been described as “pitch black.” So, Robusta coffee is a much darker cup of coffee than Arabica.

2. Taste

As a darker coffee, you might expect the Robusta coffee served in Vietnam to be stronger and more bitter in taste than Arabica. Keep reading to find out what gives coffee its bitter taste.

3. Caffeine

Caffeine is responsible for the bitter taste in coffee and chocolate! Robusta has a 2.7% caffeine content which is almost twice as much as Arabica’s caffeine content of 1.5%.

4. Sugar & Fat

Arabica has almost 60% more fats and 2X the sugar than Robusta! So, this is why I may be switching to Robusta! Robusta has half the carbs and more than half the fat than Arabica. It is a low carb, low fat coffee. For you low carb or keto dieters, I have included a diagram from Coffee Chemistry showing the sugar content in Arabica and Robusta Coffee.

Vietnamese Coffee - Differences Between Robusta and Arabica Coffee

5. Quality

Because of its high caffeine concentration, Robusta is like its own insect repellant. So there is less worry about insecticide contamination. In addition, it has a higher antioxidant content than Arabica. So, Robusta keeps insects away and stays fresher longer.

6. Shape

Robusta beans are more rounded, while Arabica coffee beans are more oval in shape. In Vietnam, the Vietnamese coffee is usually ground and placed in the device shown below (instructional video below).

Stainless Steel Vietnamese Coffee Brewer (Phin)

How It Is Prepared:

Vietnamese coffee is traditionally prepared with a “Phin.”  A Phin is a tiny and cute little brewer used to make single cups of Vietnamese coffee. So, traditional Vietnamese coffee is not made with an electric coffee maker. It is more like a Vietnamese coffee fusion prepared in a similar way that tea is made.

As mentioned, Vietnamese coffee (Robusta) is naturally lower in carbs than the more popular Arabica. But, do not let this fool you if you are going to Vietnam on a low carb diet!

Since Robusta is darker and more bitter than sweet, a traditional cup of Vietnamese coffee is made with condensed milk. Condensed milk is just like a syrup! Therefore, traditional Vietnamese coffee is super-syrupy and sweet.

So, as a low carb traveler to Vietnam (or a local Vietnamese restaurant) do not guzzle the coffee without finding out what it is make with.

At a local Vietnamese restaurant, you can likely ask for cream and sugar substitutes. In Vietnam, some places may offer cream and sugar substitutes. However, if you are a low carb traveler that drinks coffee regularly, you may want to pack your own cream and sugar substitutes for your trip to Vietnam.

If you are not planning a trip to Vietnam, you can make Vietnamese coffee at home!

When you make Vietnamese coffee at home, you can make it as low carb or keto as you want. The most popular brand of Vietnamese coffee is Trung Nguyen. You can probably get this coffee from a local Asian market or you can order online. You can also get a Vietnamese Coffee Brewer (Phin) online.

A basic Vietnamese coffee is served:

(1) hot, (2) iced, or (3) shaken.


Vietnamese coffee sounds like a real eye-opening treat. Follow us on Instagram and Like Us on Facebook. And please leave your comments or questions about Vietnamese coffee below.

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