Exploring the Rich Flavors of Asian Specialty Coffees

In recent years, the consumption of coffee has been on the rise in Asia. Not only in China and India, but also in countries like South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand, coffee has gained increasing popularity. The region is witnessing a growing market for premium coffee, with new cafes popping up everywhere. Renowned for their mild acidity and smooth flavors, coffees from Indonesia, Asia, and the Pacific have captured the attention of coffee enthusiasts worldwide. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of the top specialty coffees of Asia, exploring their origins, unique blends, and cultural significance.

Egg Coffee – A Sweet Vietnamese Delight

Egg coffee is a delightful and unique beverage that originated in Vietnam. This sweet and rich concoction combines strong black coffee, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk. Traditionally prepared using a Vietnamese Phin filter, the coffee slowly drips into the cup, creating a smooth and aromatic experience. We’ll dive into the history behind this innovative creation and learn how it became a beloved drink in Vietnam.

Dalgona – The Whipped Coffee Sensation

Dalgona is a frothy and whipped coffee that has gained international recognition, especially in South Korea. While it originated elsewhere in Asia, it was actor Jung Il-woo who brought it to the forefront in South Korea. By combining instant coffee, sugar, and water, you can create this delightful caramel-colored coffee. We’ll explore the cultural significance of dalgona and its popularity across various Asian nations.

Kopi Tubruk – Indonesia’s Favorite Cup

Kopi tubruk is the most widely consumed coffee in Indonesia. Known for its simplicity, this coffee requires just a quick preparation step. Fine or medium ground coffee is mixed with hot or boiling water, and after a few minutes, the mixture is left to settle. Kopi tubruk shares similarities with Turkish (Greek) coffee, suggesting a historical connection with traders from the Middle East. Discover the reasons behind its popularity and the preferred way to enjoy this Indonesian classic.

Arabic Coffee – A Symbol of Hospitality

Arabic coffee, also known as Qahwa, has been an integral part of social life in Arabia for centuries. Made from Arabica coffee beans, this brew is characterized by its dark hue, potent flavor, and distinct aroma. Often served without sugar, cardamom is frequently added to provide a lighter taste. We’ll explore the cultural significance of Arabic coffee and its association with important occasions such as Ramadan, weddings, holidays, and funerals.

Kopi Luwak – The World’s Most Expensive Coffee

Regarded as the most expensive coffee in the world, kopi luwak hails from Indonesia. This unique coffee is made from beans that have been digested and expelled by the civet, a cat-like mammal native to Southeast Asia. The digestive process is said to enhance the smoothness and reduce the bitterness of the beans, resulting in a coveted cup of coffee. Learn about the intriguing history behind kopi luwak and its journey from colonial-era discovery to worldwide recognition.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee – A Refreshing Delight

Vietnamese iced coffee is a beloved drink that combines strong coffee, condensed milk, and ice. Brewed using a drip Phin filter, the coffee is poured slowly into a glass, creating a robust and flavorful base. While condensed milk is the popular choice, some variations opt for a simpler combination of coffee and ice. Discover the art of making Vietnamese iced coffee and the cultural significance it holds in Vietnam.

South Indian Coffee – A Flavorful Tradition

South Indian coffee, brewed using the Indian filter method, is a highly flavorful and aromatic blend. The brewing process involves a unique filter with two chambers, resulting in a full-bodied cup of coffee. Often combined with milk and sweetened with sugar, this coffee is enjoyed with a tumbler and saucer. We’ll explore the traditional brewing technique and the cultural importance of South Indian coffee in the region.

Vietnamese Coffee – A Cultural Staple

Coffee culture plays a significant role in daily life in Vietnam. Introduced by French colonists in the 19th century, coffee quickly gained popularity, making Vietnam one of the top producers and exporters of Robusta coffee. The dark roasting process gives Vietnamese coffee its distinctively powerful flavor and thick texture. Occasionally, additional ingredients like butter, sugar, chocolate, and vanilla are added to enhance the coffee’s richness. Discover the cultural significance of Vietnamese coffee and its enduring presence in Vietnamese society.

Ipoh White Coffee – A Malaysian Roasting Technique

Ipoh white coffee is a unique Malaysian creation that stands out for its lightly caramelized flavor. Contrary to its name, the coffee isn’t actually white but is known as such due to the roasting method. Developed by Hainanese immigrants, the beans are lightly toasted in margarine before being ground and brewed. The resulting coffee should have a frothy layer on top and is often enjoyed with condensed milk. Learn about the origins of Ipoh white coffee and the distinctive taste it offers.

Turkish Coffee – A Strong and Rich Delight

Turkish coffee is renowned for its strong flavor and unique brewing technique. Made by brewing extra-finely ground roasted coffee beans with cold water, this rich beverage is prepared in a traditional coffee pot called a cezve or ibrik. The coffee is brewed until frothy and on the approach of boiling, resulting in a potent and bitter cup. We’ll explore the history behind Turkish coffee and the art of its preparation.


As coffee consumption continues to rise in Asia, the region is witnessing a fascinating array of specialty coffees. From Vietnam’s egg coffee to Indonesia’s kopi luwak, each blend offers a unique and delightful experience. Exploring the origins, flavors, and cultural significance of these coffees allows us to appreciate the rich diversity of Asian coffee culture. Whether you prefer the sweet and creamy notes of egg coffee or the bold richness of Turkish coffee, the top specialty coffees of Asia are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Join the coffee enthusiasts in savoring the flavors of Asia and expanding your coffee horizons.