Today’s Culture with Travel post is by Leigh Marcos
If you’re a travel and a coffee enthusiast, there are several places that instantly come to mind. There’s Norway, where coffee might as well be a national drink. There’s also Italy where coffee is served with an aesthetic. Cuba also comes to mind, offering some of the best varieties of coffee in the world.
Southeast Asia, however, deserves a mention, too. Vietnam, for one, is known amongst backpackers not just for its war history but also for its rich coffee culture. So, let’s have a look at what coffee is like in Vietnam.
Coffee and WiFi
Living like a local in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) means easily spotting the coffee shops that are literally everywhere. You can step outside of your hotel in any of these cities and you’ll easily see large signs that read, “Coffee WiFi.” These coffee WiFi shops are relatively small compared to the mid-level and high-end coffee shops that we’re familiar with.
Locals and tourists alike huddle up by these casual street-side stalls, sitting on plastic stools in the morning, afternoon, and even at night.
Vietnamese Coffee Culture: Egg Coffee
While some of us are content with our usual cup at Starbucks or preparing a delicious mocha at home, Vietnam takes it up a notch with perhaps the most popular of their wide coffee selection—the egg coffee.
As its name suggests, this popular drink consists of coffee, egg yolks, and condensed milk. It is a flavor-rich coffee that has become a staple for both tourists and locals as morning or afternoon pick-me-up.
The Vietnamese Drip
No matter where you are in Vietnam, it’s easy to spot someone who’s enjoying the classic Vietnamese drip coffee. This is a Vietnamese tradition where coffee is brewed in a ‘phin’, a small coffee filter that consists of just a cup, a filter chamber, and a lid. It literally drips the coffee from the filter, brewing it slowly. It allows you to savor the experience as you sit down and wait for a few minutes until your coffee is ready to be sipped.
Vietnamese coffee has a very strong taste, that’s why you won’t find it in large sizes. Just a small dose of the local coffee is enough.
Vietnam is the world’s second-largest coffee producer, so take this as a mental note once you’ve decided to travel to this place. Its past can be told through various war museums but its present is told by the culture, and a large part of that is coffee.
Have you had Vietnamese coffee? Share in the comments!