The phin consists of a round perforated plate, that fits over a coffee mug or cup; a brewing chamber, that sits on top of the plate; a perforated insert that fits inside the chamber, to tamp the grounds down; and a cap to keep the heat in. Once the coffee grinds (about the size of table salt) are added to the chamber, the filter insert is twisted down, packing in the good stuff. Then the water is poured on top; after 60 seconds of blooming, more hot water is added. The cap helps retain the heat as the first drips descend, either into an empty cup or onto a generous spoonful of thick condensed milk.
It takes several minutes of dripping to yield a full cup. Once it does, stir and enjoy hot, or pour over ice.