How Much Caffeine Does Vietnamese Coffee Have? Why So Strong?

Does Vietnamese coffee give you the jitters and are you wondering how much caffeine is in there? Here’s what you want to know. 

Vietnamese coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine per 3 oz./90 ml serving. This is about the same as an 8 oz./230 ml serving of regular drip coffee and more than a single espresso. Vietnamese coffee is strong because a lot of dark roasted Robusta grounds are used to brew it slowly in a Phin.

Let’s get into the details of how much caffeine is in Vietnamese coffee, why it’s so strong, and how it compares to other types of coffee below. 

How Much Caffeine Is In Vietnamese Coffee?

Vietnamese coffee contains about 33 mg of caffeine per ounce of coffee if brewed in a Phin with Robusta beans. A standard serving of Vietnamese coffee is about 2 oz./60 ml of which means you get about 66 mg of caffeine per cup. this is about the same as a single espresso.

Of course, the caffeine content is an approximation just like for any other type of coffee. Even when using the same type of bean, there are still differences in the caffeine content depending on the exact location and conditions the beans were grown.

Most Vietnamese coffee is brewed with Robusta beans which is much higher in caffeine than Arabica. This is because Robusta is the type of coffee bean that’s very commonly grown in Vietnam. Some Arabica is grown as well but in much smaller 

In some (higher-end) coffee shops in Vietnam you can get a Phin brewed with Arabica coffee or a Robusta/Arabica blend. In that case, the caffeine content is quite a bit lower than the 100% Robusta brews. 

Want to know how to brew good Vietnamese coffee step by step? Click here to find out.

Why Is Vietnamese Coffee High In Caffeine? 

So what makes Vietnamese Coffee so high in caffeine?

It is quite strong for three reasons:

  • Amount of grounds used
  • Type of beans
  • Brew method

For a normal-size Phin, 110 ml of water is used for 25 grams of ground coffee. That means the ratio for Vietnamese coffee is 1:4 to 1:4.5, much lower than for drip coffee. Considering drip coffee is usually made with a 1:17 ratio that means you would brew about 12 oz./ 340 ml of coffee with 20 grams of grounds.

Before brewing, the caffeine is in the grounds. Brewing extracts the caffeine (and other compounds) from the grounds into the coffee. So using a lot of grounds for a little bit of water means a lot of caffeine is in that little bit of coffee. 

On top of that, Vietnamese coffee is usually brewed with Robusta beans instead of Arabica beans.   Robusta beans have almost double the caffeine content of Arabica beans. These beans are usually roasted pretty dark which means the grounds are quite easy to extract and the caffeine gets into the water pretty easily. 

Finally, the Phin filter and the way the coffee is ground also boosts the caffeine content of Vietnamese coffee. The coffee is ground finer than filter coffee. That means more surface area the water can extract from. Combine that with the very slow drip through the filter for a very long contact time, and the extraction is quite high. That means you get all the caffeine from the grounds. 

Those three things combined make for a very strong cup of coffee. 

And that’s not only the caffeine content. It has a very strong taste as well.

Is Vietnamese Coffee Stronger Than Regular Coffee? 

If Vietnamese coffee is stronger than ‘regular’ coffee depends greatly on what you consider regular coffee to be. For most people regular coffee is drip coffee from a machine or hand brewed. 

Drip coffee has about 90-110 mg of caffeine per 8 oz./230ml serving. Vietnamese coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine per 3 oz. serving. Per serving the difference is not that big, however, per ounce, Vietnamese coffee is more than twice as strong as regular drip coffee. 

On the flip side, drip coffee is usually consumed in larger amounts with 16 oz./ 455 ml So the total amount of caffeine you get from drinking regular coffee is probably still bigger than from a cup of Vietnamese coffee. 

For comparison, here are the caffeine contents of some other types of coffee:

  • Single shot of espresso: 60-90 mg
  • Double shot of espresso: 120-180 mg
  • 8oz. Drip coffee: 90-110 mg 
  • 12oz. Drip coffee: 135 -165 mg 
  • 8oz. Cold brew: 100-200 mg (There is a very wide range in cold brews)
  • 2 oz. Vietnamese Coffee: +-66 mg

Obviously, there is a big difference in the serving size of these drinks. A single shot of espresso is just about 30 ml while 8oz. Is +-236ml. That’s a big difference. That means per milliliter espresso does definitely have a higher caffeine content. And if you would brew Espresso with 100% espresso beans, the difference would be even bigger.

The caffeine content of different coffee drinks per oz.

  • 1 oz. Espresso: 60-90 mg
  • 1 oz. Drip coffee: 11.25-12.5 mg 
  • 1 oz. Cold brew: 12.5+ mg
  • 1 oz. Vietnamese coffee: +-33 mg

Vietnamese coffee is about the same in caffeine content as espresso per serving but not per ounce of liquid. 

Suggested: Is Vietnamese Coffee The Same As Espresso?


Welcome to CoffeeImproved! Since falling in love with coffee, I've been on a journey to improve my morning cup day by day. That means I've tried many different brew methods, beans and equipment and experimented with all of them to find what I like. This is where I share what I've learned with you.

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