How Much Caffeine is in Vietnamese Coffee?

A standard cup of Vietnamese coffee contains anywhere from 66 to 130 mg of caffeine.

April 27, 2024
A cup of Vietnamese coffee surrounded by coffee beans and the phin filter.

Vietnamese coffee contains almost twice the amount of caffeine as conventional arabica-based coffee drinks. 

A standard 4–6 oz cup of Vietnamese coffee contains anywhere from 66 to 130 mg of caffeine, depending on what coffee was used and how strong it’s brewed. 

In this article, we examine the caffeine content of Vietnamese coffee and how different variables increase or decrease the total amount of caffeine per cup.

What Makes Vietnamese Coffee So Strong?

Vietnamese coffee is known for being one of the strongest coffees in the world, but what makes it this way? 

There are 3 main factors that contribute to the high caffeine content of Vietnamese Coffee[1]:

  1. High Coffee-to-Water Ratio — Traditional Vietnamese coffee brewed using a phin filter is made using a 1:2 coffee-to-water ratio, which is nearly four times as potent as French press brewing.
  2. Dark Roast Robusta Beans — Vietnamese coffee is made with dark-roasted robusta beans. Robusta coffee has almost double the amount of caffeine as arabica beans. Dark-roasted grounds are more resilient to longer and stronger extraction methods. 
  3. Slow Extraction While Brewing — The coffee grind size and the phin brewing method boost the caffeine content in your cup. The beans are ground until they have a finer consistency than filter coffee, giving them a large surface area. When combined with the slow-drip immersion process of the phin filter, a higher concentration of caffeine can be extracted from the grounds into your drink.

How Vietnamese Coffee Compares to Other Coffee Types?

Vietnamese coffee typically contains more caffeine per ounce than conventional American-style coffee. However, Vietnamese coffee has a lower volume of coffee per cup (mixed with ice and condensed milk). 

A typical Vietnamese coffee uses about 2–4 ounces of coffee, compared to 8–12 ounces for American-style coffee. 

The total caffeine content of Vietnamese coffee is comparable to that of a standard cup of American-style coffee. 

A standard 8-oz cup of regular, American-style coffee contains between 80 and 120 mg of caffeine.

Traditional Vietnamese coffee made with robusta beans and a phin filter produces around 2 oz of coffee and a total caffeine content of around 66 mg.A double (4 oz) Vietnamese coffee contains closer to 130 mg of caffeine. If you were to make a less authentic version of the drink with arabica beans, a 2 oz serving would contain only 25 mg of caffeine.

A standard espresso shot (using arabica coffee) delivers around 75 mg caffeine. So a double-shot provides up to 150 mg per cup.

Types of Coffee & Caffeine Content:

Type of Coffee

Caffeine Content 

Size of Cup

Caffeine per serving

Vietnamese Coffee

33 mg/oz

2–4 oz

66–130 mg

Espresso Coffee (Single Shot)

75 mg/Shot

1–2 Shots 

75–150 mg

Pour Over

12–20 mg/oz

8 oz

90–160 mg

Cold Brew

12–13 mg/oz

16 oz

197–213 mg

French Press

13–17 mg/oz

8 oz

100–137 mg

Drip Coffee

8–15 mg/oz

8 oz

65–120 mg

Instant Coffee

8–10 mg/oz

8 oz

80–120 mg

Robusta vs. Arabica: Caffeine Content

Coffea arabica and Coffea robusta are the two main species used for brewing coffee.

Robusta beans contain about twice as much caffeine compared to arabica and only half the sugar. 

Arabica beans taste sweeter than robusta beans, which have slightly bitter and nutty profiles.

Type of Coffee

Growing Conditions

Caffeine Content

Taste Profile

Physical Differences

Cost per kg

Robusta Coffee

Any altitude / Low maintenance


Earthy, nutty, and bitter

Small and round

$2.6 to $4.5

Arabica Coffee

High altitude / High maintenance


Sweet and fruity

Large and oval 

$1.50 to $2.10

Is Caffeine Good For You?

Scientific studies have found that moderate amounts of caffeine might offer some health benefits.

As with anything, too much caffeine can cause adverse side effects such as restlessness, anxiety, and sleeplessness. As long as you stick to the recommended daily amounts, it's generally considered a very safe, natural stimulant that can make you feel more alert and switched on. 

Some studies show that caffeine improves mood and brain function, and it’s also been linked to enhanced exercise performance if consumed an hour beforehand.

Does More Caffeine Mean More Flavor?

If you’ve ever compared a caffeinated cup of joe to a decaffeinated one, you might not be able to put your finger on exactly what’s missing in terms of flavor from the one sans caffeine, but coffee connoisseurs will be able to detect a noticeable difference. 

Caffeine on its own does not have a very pleasant taste and is described as soapy and bitter, but it complements other flavors when it interacts with them. If caffeine is removed from a drink, we are not just tasting its absence. Other ingredients need to be added to decaffeinated products to give them something closer to the original taste.

If you like the bold, intense flavors of Vietnamese coffee, decaffeinated coffee probably won't have the taste you want. That's not to say that decaffeinated coffee is bad, but it won't pack the same punch as your morning double-shot espresso. Decaffeinated coffee generally has a lighter, more subtle flavor.

FAQs: Vietnamese Coffee

Check out our FAQ section to answer more of your coffee queries.

1. Why should I drink Vietnamese coffee?

Vietnamese-style coffee is for you if you enjoy complex yet smooth flavors and like a caffeine hit to boost your get-up-and-go. It contains twice as much caffeine as a regular drip coffee, whether served hot or cold. Did we mention that it's delicious?

2. Do the Vietnamese add anything other than condensed milk and ice to their coffee?

Yes! Vietnam has a unique coffee culture and celebrates a range of diverse flavors. Mixing it with condensed milk and ice is the most traditional method, but nothing stops you from embracing all the other weird and wonderful combinations on offer. Eggs, coconuts, yogurt, fruit, and even salt are all on the menu in Vietnamese coffee shops. 

3. Why is the robusta bean unfairly criticized?

Historically, robusta beans have been used to create mass-market blends and cheap, instant coffee. Renowned for having an earthy and bitter flavor, the robusta bean has often been maligned in favor of arabica beans, which tend to have a sweeter, more delicate flavor. However, it is the quality of the beans that makes good coffee. Poor-quality arabica is not better than high-quality robusta.

4. What are your top recommendations for Vietnamese coffee?

Saigon OG blend (robusta and arabica blend), Hanoi(100% Vietnamese peaberry robusta), and Da Lat OG(100% Vietnamese arabica) are a few of our top recommendations. However, we love them all!


  1. Bell, L. N., Wetzel, C. R., & Grand, A. N. (1996). Caffeine content in coffee is influenced by grinding and brewing techniques. Food Research International, 29(8), 785-789.
  2. Saab, S., Mallam, D., Cox, G. A., & Tong, M. J. (2014). Impact of coffee on liver diseases: a systematic review. Liver International, 34(4), 495-504.
  3. Lopez-Garcia, E., van Dam, R. M., Li, T. Y., Rodriguez-Artalejo, F., & Hu, F. B. (2008). The relationship of coffee consumption with mortality. Annals of Internal Medicine, 148(12), 904-914.
  4. Sang, L. X., Chang, B., Li, X. H., & Jiang, M. (2013). Consumption of coffee associated with reduced risk of liver cancer: a meta-analysis. BMC gastroenterology, 13, 1-13.
  5. Loftfield, E., Freedman, N. D., Graubard, B. I., Hollenbeck, A. R., Shebl, F. M., Mayne, S. T., & Sinha, R. (2015). Coffee drinking and cutaneous melanoma risk in the NIH-AARP diet and health study. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 107(2), dju421.
  6. Hedström, A. K., Mowry, E. M., Gianfrancesco, M. A., Shao, X., Schaefer, C. A., Shen, L., ... & Alfredsson, L. (2016). High consumption of coffee is associated with decreased multiple sclerosis risk, results from two independent studies. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 87(5), 454-460.
  7. Choi, H. K., & Curhan, G. (2010). Coffee consumption and risk of incident gout in women: the Nurses’ Health Study. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 92(4), 922-927.
  8. Jaquet, M., Rochat, I., Moulin, J., Cavin, C., & Bibiloni, R. (2009). Impact of coffee consumption on the gut microbiota: a human volunteer study. International journal of food microbiology, 130(2), 117-121.
  9. Bidel, S., Hu, G., Qiao, Q., Jousilahti, P., Antikainen, R., & Tuomilehto, J. (2006). Coffee consumption and risk of total and cardiovascular mortality among patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia, 49(11), 2618-2626.
  10. Acheson, K. J., Zahorska-Markiewicz, B., Pittet, P., Anantharaman, K., & Jéquier, E. (1980). Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 33(5), 989-997.