There are thousands of manuals you can find on the Internet about the making coffee with a Vietnamese coffee pot. As I told you earlier, this kind of filter was imported to Vietnam during the French colonial era, as well as the coffee as a drink in general, and it has not evolved ever since. I don’t know if it is the best way to prepare coffee, but coffee made by this kind of pot can be delicious. I use my Vietnamese pot during the weekend, because I have time to wait for the coffee, otherwise, I use an Italian Moka
I made coffee following the steps:
1. Preparation: boil water, and in the mean time, put coffee into the pot. I put 3 spoon of coffee like showing in the image below for a full pot, and I happy with this concentration. Although being quite simple, the Vietnamese pot is quite efficient in coffee extraction, and the coffee made can be strong.
2. Then cover the coffee with the top filter. Remember to press hard enough so that the coffee is closely packed with uniform height I have a trick for this: after pressing the top filter strongly, I put a little bit of hot boiling water into the pot, just enough for all the coffee to be wet, then wait for 1 minute. There might be something to do with the percolation theory (the coffee grains swell and get bigger), so that I can press a little bit harder, and the packing feels more strong.
3. Then fill the pot with boiling water. You can go ahead filling even above the top filter.
4. Another trick: when the whole pot is filled, I use a spoon to press on the top filter to remove totally the air trapped inside the pot, to make sure that water penetrates all percolated paths .
5. Finally cover the pot. Now it comes the waiting game. Not much to do here, either you can enjoy the formation of the droplets and watch the coffee droplets fall, if you use a transparent cup, or listening to the noise the droplet makes when it hit the coffee (believe it or not, this is a source of aspiration for many songs and poems in Vietnam: watching the coffee droplets fall! See you relaxed we Vietnamese are). Me, I go doing something else.
6. Now enjoy your coffee. Note that since it may takes 5 minutes for the coffee to be made, some people put the whole cup-filter in a bowl filled of hot water to keep the coffee warm. It seems to me a good idea, but I don’t do it because normally I finish the coffee before it cools down.
I hope that this manual will be useful. The percolation related contents are purely speculation. Besides, mind you that my parents in Vietnam use the Italian moka more often than the Vietnamese brewer.