Street food of Vietnam: Garden cafe and the art of coffee drinking, Vietnamese style

The more I travel, the more I see that coffee is a popular choice of beverage, and in some region of the world, it’s a necessity due to the weather. Some even have drive through coffee shops like Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington due to the wet weather.

What do you think of sipping your drip style espresso in condense milk while admiring the Koi fish in the sound of bubbling water from the water fountain?

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We do have drive through cafe/coffee house in California, but they’re never as pack when comparing to their counter part like Starbucks or Peets or some independent coffee house. I think this has something to do with the weather’s patterns. For those of you that have never been to California, or the San Francisco bay area, we have almost year round weather perfect pattern. I know because I lived there most of my life. There’s no wet rain and funky weather to deal with, so whenever we go out for coffee, we really meant socializing and be entertain, then comes the caffeine; We go there to meet up with friends, casual dates, etc…

A neighborhood garden’s cafe, in the alley behind my aunt’s house in Đà Nẵng

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More often than not, outdoor restaurant of any kind is NOT the norm in California, even with our perfect weather or the rest of the USA. I believed this has something to do with food handling and strict hygiene regulations. We do have the occasional so called outdoor, or enclosed patio dinning area where it’s more of an extension of the restaurant or diner. We have food stand type like a hot dog stand but everything is contained and maybe found at the county fair or festival. But the day to day eating and where food can be bought is either prepackaged or processed in a commercial building and not from your own backyard or kitchen.

The cafe is operate within the owner’s domain – his yard/garden. He does not pay business rent I would assumed!

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It seems like life is truly on the slower lane while in Vietnam. When in Vietnam, drink coffee like the Vietnamese. Coffee drinking is not pour out of a large pot. It’s made to order, espresso style, in individual drip filter, each droplet of Joe is slow drip into your glass while you have a chat with your friends. The dripping ritual can take anywhere from 15 minutes and up to fully extract the essence of coffee. And that’s a conservative length.

Here we have an iced cafe latte, a hot clementine/kumwat and a black coffee.

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I am a coffee lover and considered a coffee snob by family and friends in the States. It’s too hot to drink coffee here in  Vietnam, and I’m avoiding cold drink because of the ice. Instead, I opted for a hot drink to prevent my Western standard tummy for any bowel movement mishap from the ice, until I build up my immune.

What is your most memorable coffee drinking experience in your travel? Care to share with us?

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