Do you love Vietnamese coffee? Ever heard of Copper Cow Coffee? They make an awesome, portable Vietnamese coffee in a number of flavors!
In this article, I share my review of Copper Cow Coffee's classic Vietnamese coffee.
I also share my favorite Copper Cow Coffee flavors that you can try!
Keep reading to learn more about the latest trend in portable pour over coffee!
What is Copper Cow Coffee?
California-grown, Vietnamese coffee enthusiast Debbie Wei Mullin started Copper Cow Coffee to bring sustainable, Vietnamese coffee mainstream.
When I heard about Copper Cow and Debbie, I knew I had to try her eco-friendly, single-serve pour-over coffee packets and see if they are up to snuff, (and of course support one of the few women-owned coffee companies out there)!
These unsuspecting little compostable packets are cute, and are an easy way to make coffee on the go...
But does Copper Cow Coffee taste good? Is it real-deal Vietnamese coffee? How good can a tiny pour-over packet really be?
What is Vietnamese Coffee?
I've long owned and loved my phin (Vietnamese coffee pour over maker), ever since I fell in love with Vietnamese coffee (I hear you, Debbie) at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Merrifield, Virginia: Four Sisters.
Few people know that Vietnam is a major producer of coffee, too.
The creamy, sweet indulgence that is Vietnamese coffee is to die for.
How Vietnamese Coffee Is Made
No trip to Hanoi is complete without egg coffee and the frothy custard mustache you get with your first sip. Coffee lovers lick their chops to the bitter end of their cups.
But for those who can't wander "coffee street" in Hanoi's historic Hai Ba Trung District, a homemade cup across the globe will have to do...
Vietnamese Coffee fulfills that satisfying ritualistic need to meticulously watch your coffee drip and then savored like a delicious piece of chocolate ganache cake.
Not unlike Turkish coffee and Ethiopian coffee rituals, Vietnamese coffee holds its own: strong, aromatic, and lovely after-dinner.
How To Make Vietnamese Coffee
- The base preparation of Vietnamese coffees gives each cup its unique flavor. Coarsely ground, dark-roasted coffee beans or espresso roast go into a coffee filter (a phin). The phin sits on top of a cappuccino cup.
- The coffee grounds are pressed down by a thin lid and hot water is added.
- Like a pour-over, water slowly drips into the cup, which typically has sweetened condensed milk waiting for the brew at the bottom. Gently stirred, the brew is commonly called ca phe nau or ca phe sua.
Other common varieties are made with yogurt, egg and even fruit, sometimes iced.
Watch this video to see traditional Vietnamese Egg Coffee from the streets of Vietnam:
Copper Cow Coffee Reviewed
I'm all about Copper Cow Coffee offering me a convenient Cà Phê on a cold work from home day. Or an iced Vietnamese coffee on-the-go during those Virginia Summers.
So how does Copper Cow Coffee stack up?
The most obvious plus of Copper Cow Coffee is its ingenious portable coffee packs. If you have access to hot water, you have access to Vietnamese coffee without clean-up or fuss.
For around $15, you get a pack of 5 packets (bigger packs available for sharing or heavy coffee drinkers). Each packet has a disposable filter with ground coffee and a small, sugar-like packet of sweetened condensed milk.
Easy peasy! I can throw these little guys in my bag for an office date with a cup of romance named Phê.
Easy To Use
SO easy. I can hardly stand it! I love my phin, but holy cow (no pun intended), if my lazy ass doesn't have to clean up after my specialty coffee making, I'm impressed.
Looking to expand your home coffee bar capabilities?
Instructions are simple:
- Open the packet and expand the filter so the wings sit on the sides of your cup.
- Add 1oz hot water to wet the coffee grounds and wait 15 seconds (allow the coffee to 'bloom').
- Slowly pour-over another 5 oz of hot water and let the coffee drip until the brew is finished.
- Stir in the condensed milk packet to your taste.
- Compost the waste.
I had only one slight issue with using the Copper Cow Coffee Filter...
First, it didn't initially balance well on my first cup.
I had to try it on a couple coffee mugs to have it fit best. The filter won't really work on a wide-mouthed mug. If the mug is too wide, the wings are flimsy and will fold, sending your filter into your coffee.
You also need to be careful opening up the filter and tearing away the top. It's all paper-like material and seems delicate. I could see someone aggressively tearing through their filter and damaging it enough to get coffee grounds everywhere.
If you're super committed to a favorite mug that's too wide, a little tape works. Or you can just hold it.
It's not really that big a deal after you get your groove once or twice, but this was a little annoying my first try.
Coffee Taste Vs. Cost Efficiency
My phin drips, while these filter don't.
Even after first saturating the coffee grounds with 1 oz of water for the initial bloom, and then slowly adding the remaining 5 oz of hot water per the instructions, the water seems to flow through the grounds a bit too fast.
So, while Copper Cow Coffee still tastes good it is harder to control brewing and the brew is a little weaker than I like.
My solve is just adding less water, which gives a smaller cup per packet, but a stronger cup of coffee. So, I find I have to use 2 packets to get a full mug at work, for example.
And then I have to use extra condensed milk to get the brew just right.
The problem with this, of course, is that Copper Coffee Coffee ends up not being cost efficient. You're paying premium for convenience, and tidiness?
Here's Copper Cow Coffee by the numbers:
$3 per filter x 2 = $6
If you buy a flavored box: $3.40 per filter x 2 = $6.80
Now, to be fair, folks may be good with 1 filter, so each cup comes out to between $3 and $3.50, which is comparable to what it might cost you to have a cup of Vietnamese coffee out-and-about in the States.
You can also buy more condensed milk packets to have more sweetened milk handy, if you like Vietnamese coffee a little milkier than most.
An 8-pack of supplementary creamer is $6.00 from Copper Cow.
Again, not super cost-effective. You're paying for on-the-go, totally giftable convenience.
The Verdict: Copper Cow Coffee
I really like the experience of Copper Cow Coffee. And it's a very trendy, giftable, coffee-enthusiast product.
I'm also really supportive of the mission to make nuanced coffee experience more mainstream and sustainable at the same time, culture and all.
The thing is, while the traditional Copper Cow Coffee packet is OK and does what it promises, I don't think the value per cup gets me buying these in bulk.
I do think what Copper Cow Coffee lacks in cost-effectiveness for their traditional blend, the company makes up for in neat flavors.
My favorites are Mint, Rose and Churro Latte! Vietnamese coffee traditionalists may cringe, but I think these are awesome, and would totally gift these around the office and have a stash in my coffee closet for a treat.
Dairy got you down?
I've also recently confirmed that Copper Cow partnered with Tea Drops (similar concept for tea lovers) to create a purse-able Thai Iced Tea.
Not for me, but if you double as a tea drinker, what a great idea!
Try The Copper Cow Coffee Lover's Bundle
Copper Cow Coffee gets 4/5 stars in my book for convenience, genius portability and taste (when you get the hang of it!).
What the filter doesn't get right in versatile cup sizes and coffee strength, it nails in one-cup specialty coffee and to-go coffee culture.
This bundle has most of my favorite flavors included, (mint, rose, and churro latte), plus the traditional pack.