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Thai Coffee vs Vietnamese Coffee: Know the Differences

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Both Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee are types of coffee that are tasty, cold, and sweet; they are made with strong coffee, and they are the types of coffee drinks that we enjoy the most on hot summer days.

Both Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee is delicious and very similar to one another. Although it is obvious that one is from Thailand and the other is from Vietnam, we are going to uncover a few more differences between the two here.

What is Thai Iced Coffee?

thai coffee vs vietnamese coffee
Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee

Thai iced coffee, sometimes written oleang and olieng, is a well-liked Thai beverage. Robusta coffee grounds, brown sugar, other grains, and seeds, including cardamom, maize, soybeans, rice, and sesame seeds, are all used to make Thai iced coffee. The coffee fragrance and strong smokey scent from the toasted grains and seeds make this beverage distinctive.

A tungdtom, a tea/coffee filter with a metal ring and handle connected to it with a cotton fabric bag is traditionally used to make Thai iced coffee. Thai tea may also be made with tungdtom.

Put the oliang in the coffee filter and fill the glass jar with hot water to create Thai-style coffee. Ten minutes should pass while the bag is immersed for the water to thicken. The drinker may adjust the sweetness of the oliang by mixing it with condensed milk, a tiny pitcher of condensed milk, or one of the simple syrups.

What is Vietnamese Iced Coffee?

Coffee was introduced to Vietnam in 1857 by a French Catholic priest. Due to the limited availability of fresh milk, when the dairy industry was still in its infancy, the French and Vietnamese used sweetened condensed milk with dark roasted coffee.

Iced milk coffee is a popular drink in Vietnam. Traditional iced milk coffee is made from pure coffee in a filter with sweetened condensed milk and ice into a glass cup and enjoyed.

Vietnamese-style iced milk coffee consists of roasted and ground coffee that is filtered or pre-mixed with sweetened condensed milk (usually Ong Tho milk) in the ratio of one part coffee water, one part milk, or two parts milk depending on your preference. 

This milk coffee, when processed, is used by Saigon and South Vietnamese people with lots of ice for both enjoyment and refreshment, due to the typically hot and humid climate of South Vietnam; This drink gradually spread and spread across the country. Iced milk coffee and iced black coffee are two popular coffee-based drinks at coffee shops as well as in the entire Vietnamese family.

Thai Coffee vs Vietnamese Coffee: Dive Deeper Into the Differences

The Coffee Beans

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee
Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee

Dark-roasted coffee is used to make Vietnamese iced coffee. It is widely prepared, notably in the US, using the New Orleans, Louisiana-based Cafe du Monde coffee and chicory. The famous café, which first served customers in 1862, is well-known for its fried dough squares known as beignets and its coffee and chicory-infused cafe au lait.

Dark roast coffee beans are also required for Thai iced coffee. Although we often make ours with two shots of dark roast espresso, you may alternatively prepare it easily using a powder. Coffee, soy, and maize are all combined in the Thai condiment pantai oliang powder. Even though it is referred to as a powder, it does not dissolve in hot water as instant coffee does, therefore the sock filter is still required.


Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee
Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee

The sweeter of the two?

Vietnamese coffee would be the appropriate response to this. That’s because they often use sweet condensed milk for milk and sugar in their recipes. Thai coffee makers, on the other hand, only use plain milk and sugar, preferably brown.

Why is sweetened condensed milk used in Vietnamese coffee? This tradition is considered to have its origins in the time of French colonization. Since milk was so scarce at the time, they used sweetened condensed milk as a replacement. Today’s coffee shops often adhere to this practice.

Filter Preferences

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee
Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee

To begin with, the method of filtering determines the main distinction between Thai and Vietnamese coffee. Vietnamese coffee is extracted using a phin filter, whereas Thai coffee is prepared to employ a coffee sock drip filter (popularly called a “tungdtom” filter).

Thailand often processes coffee using a conventional filter called a kingdom. A cone-shaped fabric filter with a metal handle connected to it serves as the coffee sock drip filter and is placed over the cup. Coffee pours into the cup through the filter after the grounds are placed in it and hot water is gently poured over them. A lighter cup of coffee is produced as a consequence of the filter’s higher drip-rate.

A metal filter called a phin is used in the processing of Vietnamese coffee. The phin filter is a conventional metal coffee filter used in Vietnam that is put on top of the cup and has tiny holes in the bottom. Hot water is carefully poured over the coffee grounds in the filter. The filter allows the coffee to trickle into the cup. This filter enables a steady, gradual flow that yields a potent, rich cup of coffee.

Is phin coffee more flavorful?

This question has a subjective answer. The phin filter creates coffee that is more bitter and less acidic than a coffee sock drip filter (tungdtom filter) does. Drip coffee has a more acidic and less bitter flavor, which some people find to be more appealing. Because phin coffee often tastes richer and is stronger, some people like it. It is ultimately up to you to choose the kind of coffee you like.

Egg Coffee

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee
Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee

This intriguing query was just seen on Trip Advisor. The questioner wanted to know whether egg coffee was available in Thailand. The quick response to this query is “no.”

Egg coffee was invented in Hanoi, as someone noted in the post. That is why it has only just begun to spread over the planet. Therefore, tourists won’t find this Vietnamese delicacy on a Thai café’s menu.

Is egg coffee a specialty of Vietnam only? No, not always. A creamy egg coffee could be prepared for you by your helpful barista. However, it may not taste exactly like authentic Vietnamese coffee.

Dietary Content

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee
Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee

Exactly which is healthier?

A typical black cup of coffee has less than 5 calories. As soon as you add the milk and sugar to the mixture, the calories start to rise. Thai coffee will be healthier than Vietnamese coffee when this is taken into account.

This is due to the condensed milk layer that is added to Vietnamese iced coffee, which is high in calories. After that, you add more sugar and other ingredients to it. Thai coffee, on the other hand, is often shipped without milk.

In addition, Thai iced coffee often includes soybeans, maize, and sesame seeds. As a result, these components raise the nutritious value of the product. Therefore, if you’re on a diet, we advise forgoing the sweets in favor of Thailand’s national brew.

The Ingredients 

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee
Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee

You should add ice to both now that the coffee has been prepared using the proper equipment. However, there are differences in the sweeteners and tastes.

Condensed milk sweetened with sugar is used to make Vietnamese iced coffee. It tastes so nice because it makes the iced coffee so sweet. Vietnamese iced coffee often just requires that, but you should also try Vietnamese egg coffee, which is another well-liked Vietnamese coffee beverage. Yes, coffee does contain an egg. Although it doesn’t seem like something you’d typically add to coffee, it’s really rather delicious.

Additionally, there are several types of Thai iced coffee. Occasionally, sugar or sweetened condensed milk is added, but for the most part, cardamom is included with one of the sweeteners. Cardamom may help balance out the harshness of Thai iced coffee by being added to it. Cardamom powder is used in small amounts and combined with freshly brewed coffee to give it a flavor of its own.

The Grind

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee
Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee

Thai coffee is generally processed with a finer grain than Vietnamese coffee. Thai coffee is thus stronger and contains more caffeine.

Thai coffee is often ground finer than Vietnamese coffee. A coarser grind is employed because coffee that is ground too finely might pass through the phin filter. The coffee will affect brew time and caffeine levels more strongly the less water that can flow through the coffee grounds. In the end, you get to choose how you want your coffee to taste.

Caffeine Content

Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee
Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee

Vietnamese coffee often has less caffeine than Thai coffee. This is because of the beans’ kindness and how they were ground. Thai coffee is stronger and contains more caffeine since it is brewed using Robusta beans and processed more finely.

Vietnamese coffee, on the other hand, is coarsely ground and has a deeper roast. As a consequence, the coffee becomes less potent and has less caffeine.

Thai vs Vietnamese Coffee: Which One is the Best Suit for You?

Depending on what you’re searching for and how you enjoy your coffee, you may choose the iced coffee that will best fit your tastes.

Thai iced coffee may be perfect for you if you enjoy a wonderful, robust cup of coffee that is neither too sweet nor at all sweet, and you prefer to drink your coffee the way it has always been done.

The Vietnamese iced coffee could be for you if you like a sweeter cup of coffee but yet want to stay true to the origins of the beverage.

You have the choice to either leave the condensed milk out of the Vietnamese coffee or add sweetened condensed milk to the Thai iced coffee if you wish to enjoy both of these coffees according to your personal tastes. These two approaches are equally popular worldwide as recipes that follow coffee’s historical customs.

So, if they are not prepared according to custom, Vietnamese iced coffee and Thai iced coffee may have a similar appearance. But regardless of how they seem, they are quite distinct from one another since they are prepared from coffee beans that are sourced from various locations and are brewed in various ways.

Every coffee fan should try both of these coffees, both traditionally and according to their own tastes. They are both great. Enjoy the pleasure of sipping coffee!

Final Words

To sum up, Thai coffee vs Vietnamese coffee could seem to be identical at first glance. Due to the fact that they are both served cold, this is the case. But if you look closer, you’ll see that Vietnamese vs Thai coffee aren’t interchangeable.

The variations include various sweeteners, mixes, and filtration techniques (phin and tungdtom). Additionally, their methods of preparing coffee have been affected by the history of coffee production. Vietnam has forged its own way via experimentation, whilst Thailand tries to maintain its traditions. As a consequence, compared to other coffee-producing countries, Vietnam has access to a wider range of coffee recipes.

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