Vietnamese coffee

“Vietnam coffee is so strong!!!” These words are not mine but from the Poland couple that I met when I traveled to Japan last month. I cannot agree more with what they said 🙂

Talking about Vietnamese coffee culture, do not expect something like cappuccino, espresso, mocha, or latte. It is said that the French, during the colonial time, brought coffee culture to Vietnam as Vietnamese people are used to drinking tea. The photo below presents a typical cup of Vietnamese coffee, with a fin. The coffee, after processed, is put at the bottom of the fin. You must press it tightly, but not too tight, then pour a bit of boiling water. The water goes through the fin and drop into the cup

Hence, making coffee is a skill as one may press the coffee too tight (i.e. water cannot drop down) or too loose (i.e. the water going too fast and then the coffee is not strong enough, very plain). Then, the next step is to stir the cup of coffee until you see the bubbles. A good cup of coffee is the one that is bubblling

With only less than a cup, the coffee is so strong that it can wake you up immediately if you still miss your bed. Vietnamese people drink coffee almost every time, either early morning before work or during the day. You would see a lot of boutique coffee shop that serves customers working nearby. Therefore, it’s not unusual to see people in their suit sitting at the coffee shop during working hours (Yes! Vietnamese people do not really work hard!)

As Vietnamese coffee is too strong, and with bitter flavor, mostly only men can drink it. Some people prefer Vietnamese milk coffee as it’s less strong and the sweetness of condensed milk make it easier for some guys or for women to drink

Another version is called ‘Bac Xiu’ (the tall glass on the left side of the above photo) with more condensed milk and little coffee. People just choose depending on their taste

More over, it has gradually evolved to become the culture that people hang out at the coffee shop. Coffee shops don’t have to be sophisticated. A group of four or five people can gather around the small table with few stools. People go for a coffee with almost in every occasions: catching up with an old friend, meeting someone for the first time, discussing work, or seem like they have nothing to do. It reflects part of the Vietnamese culture which is very laid-back, relax, and casual. If you want to know what is the current hot topic that people ‘gossip’, just sit down to your local boutique coffee shop and listen to what other people talkin’

[Please notice that this is Vietnamese coffee with the Central region’s style – Da Nang’s style. You may experience different coffee style at Ha Noi or Ho Chi Minh City}


One thought on “Vietnamese coffee

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