A Vietnamese phin or phin filter is a popular Vietnamese coffee brewing tool. Meet the phin, plus five options to bring a modern twist to this traditional brewing method.
What is a Vietnamese Phin?
A phin or phin filter is a popular coffee brewing tool in Vietnam and the inspiration behind our signature pour over lattes. Traditionally, a phin makes about four ounces of coffee and consists of four pieces - a perforated plate that fits over your mug, a chamber that sits on top, an insert to tamp the grounds down, and a lid to hold in heat while the coffee brews.
Unlike our innovative single serve filters which take about 90 seconds, brewing a single cup with a phin takes about four to five minutes.
Since the coffee in a phin is brewed so slowly, and with a high ratio of coffee to water, it’s stronger and bolder, similar to espresso. To use a phin, all you need is hot water and your coffee of choice. For a truly Vietnamese brew, don’t forget the sweetened condensed milk.
How Does a Phin Work?
While it may not be familiar to all, using a phin is quite simple once you get the hang of it! The phin is placed on top of the cup you’re brewing into, then filled with finely ground coffee. Similar to a pour-over coffee, hot water is poured over the coffee to fill the chamber, where it slowly filters through into the cup below. About five minutes later, you’re left with a delicious, super strong cup of coffee!
Steps for using a phin:
- Fill with ground coffee
- Pour enough hot water to fill the chamber
- Wait for your coffee to filter into the mug
How to Drink a Phin Coffee
Coffee brewed in a phin is ready once all the water from the chamber has filtered through the coffee and into your cup! At this point, you can remove the lid and enjoy your coffee however you prefer. For a traditional Vietnamese coffee, add your desired amount of sweetened-condensed milk, stir, and pour over ice.
Five Favorites: Vietnamese Phin Coffee Filters
Traditionally, phins are made from thick stainless steel to help retain heat during the brewing process - but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a basic silver option. Try one of these options to add a little extra coffee joy to your mornings.
Handmade ceramic phin, mug, and saucer set from Etsy seller 2231Designs
Colorful iridescent stainless steel phin from Amazon
A classic stainless steel 4oz phin from Etsy seller vietnamcapheproject
Blue phin filter sold by our friends at Umamicart
Want the Vietnamese coffee experience without the phin?
Try one of our signature Pour Over Kits!