Kitchn Love Letters

This Vietnamese Coffee Has Me Reconsidering Everything I’ve Ever Known About Coffee — And It’s on Sale Today

updated Jul 11, 2023
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Midsection of man holding coffee cup while standing by window at home
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I am a bit of a coffee snob, and it’s an identity I wear with pride. I buy my coffee whole-bean only and grind it fresh so I can feel truly in control of my brew every morning. I use a variety of home brew methods, switching between pour-over, espresso, cold brew, and other methods depending on what I’m feeling at the moment, so I usually steer clear of pre-ground coffee (it limits my brew options!). Same goes for flavored coffees, which tend to go a little too heavy on the flavoring so it’s hard to even taste the coffee. 

But then recently I tried a new-to-me brand — one that’s both pre-ground and (gasp) flavored — and now I’m reconsidering everything I’ve ever known about coffee.

Credit: Kurt Suchman

What You Should Know About Copper Cow Coffee

Founded in 2017, Copper Cow Coffee is a Vietnamese coffee startup selling ground coffees, teas, creamers, and more directly to consumers and, later on, in stores like Walmart, H-E-B, and Sprouts. I recently spotted it on the shelves at Whole Foods and have since learned it’s the first line of flavored coffees ever sold by the retailer. It’s also online at Amazon where some of the flavors are 20% off during Prime Day on July 11 and 12.

Looking for more great deals? Check out our complete Amazon Prime Day sale coverage, and be sure to sign up for our Cook Shop newsletter for the latest sales and must-have kitchen finds.

Although flavored coffees make up a large chunk of coffee sales in many grocery stores, Whole Foods wasn’t one of them. The retailer avoided carrying any because of artificial flavors and heavily processed ingredients typically found in flavored coffees. Copper Cow is unique in that it doesn’t use any artificial flavorings and instead grinds whole herbs and spices right in with the beans. When you brew a cup of its vanilla coffee, you’re getting vanilla beans steeped right in with the coffee beans. Same with the churro coffee — there are actual cinnamon sticks in there!

Credit: Kurt Suchman

Another perk: Copper Cow specifically grinds its coffee to be used in a variety of different ways. Other brands have been too fine to make a pour-over or drip, or too coarse to make espresso. Copper Cow is the Goldilocks of ground coffee.

I’m not the only person who feels this way about it, either. Our Shopping Director, Jada Wong, is also a devout fan of the brand: “I usually take my coffee black, over ice, no sugar, no milk — call me basic, but I like to taste the coffee beans and all the little nuances in flavor. But when I venture outside the realms of my regular cup, it’s almost always a Vietnamese coffee and it’s almost always from Copper Cow.”

Credit: Kurt Suchman

My Honest Review of Copper Cow Coffee

The brand is Vietnamese-owned, so I thought it would be best to brew it in my phin coffee filter. I tried the classic first to get a true sense of the flavor profile on its own, and was immediately excited by the rich, smoky scents that wafted up from the bag. Pouring the water over the filter, I could tell a good mug was heading my way simply by how dark the coffee dripped out. 

Phin brewing is almost like Vietnamese-style espresso, where you brew it with only a little bit of water for a highly concentrated infusion; you can also cut it with water to make something similar to an Americano. Although pre-ground coffee has a tendency to lose some of the flavor nuances through processing, my mug was very full-bodied with notes of chocolate and nuttiness and a smooth mouthfeel. One sip is all it took — I could sense my feelings towards ground coffee shifting. Would the flavored brews cement this change of heart?

Credit: Kurt Suchman

Truthfully, I was a bit nervous. Flavored coffees often rely on light roasts in order to highlight the added flavors, which also tend to be sweet, and I like my coffee very dark and savory. But Copper Cow uses dark roasts for all its coffees, so there’s no masking the flavors of the beans, only enhancing them.

I opened the bag of vanilla coffee, which had a noticeable but modest creamy, honeyed scent from the vanilla beans, and in that moment my fears were assuaged. It smelled like being back in my favorite cafe. This brew had a vague natural sweetness that made even the black coffee taste like a treat. The same could be said for the slight spiciness of the churro-flavored variety and the warm cinnamon sticks ground in. I tried it with condensed coconut milk, much like the traditional Vietnamese coffee style, and I was officially eating (or drinking) my words about ground coffee. 

Now, there are plenty of reasons to support this brand (women- and AAPI-owned, hello!), but at the end of the day (or start, because you know, coffee in the morning), it’s just plain delicious coffee to keep in your pantry.

Buy: Copper Cow Ground Coffee, $25.58 for 2 (12-ounce) bags on Amazon

Have you tried this coffee? Tell us about it in the comments below.