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I have been thinking about writing about this brewing device for a while yet unable to do so intil now. Phin basically is the name of a traditional Vietnamese brewing device, the name is probablly derived from the word "filter". It is a very simple device that holds the ground coffee inside the chamber, while hot water is being passed through it. The bottom of the "phin" has tiny holes that prevent ground from passing through. The device is usually made from stainless steel or alluminum.
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What so special about the Phin coffee maker to me is that it is probably the first coffee maker that I used and for the longest time! Since I live in Vietnam for almost twelve years, it was the only coffee maker that I knew back then. When I came to the United States, my family continue to use this little device to prepare coffee everyday. It was not until about three years ago that I started to look at other coffee makers that I forgot about my old trusty friend, the Phin.
Due to its simplicity, you would be right to guess that the Phin coffee maker is very inexpensive. If you live near an asian super market, you can probably get one for a few bucks (less than a starbuck frappuccino!); if not, Roaste actually sell one for about seven dollars.
So the question you might ask is, does it make good coffee? Well, absolutely! It is used to make traditional Vietnamese coffee; however, it can make normal drip type of coffee just fine. The basic guideline for making coffee in the Phin is the same as in any other coffee maker, use the freshest coffee bean you can get your hands on, grind it using a high quality grinder that you should own, use freshly boiled water and time your brewing to about 4 minutes( this is a variable, as it depend on the coffee and the grind setting you use), you can dilute the resulting brew to suite your taste!
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