If you’ve seen my previous post yakking about the Banh Cam, you already know that I was a tourist in Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam for a few days last week. Being proper tourists that my family and I were, we visited majority of the tourist spots that the city is known for. In all those spots where goods can be bought, you can be sure that someone will sell you coffee (or you know, shove it up your face), be it the beans of different varieties or already brewed, hot or iced.
Trung Nguyen is one of the bigger brands
To be fair, most of the beans I got to smell smelled wonderful. Most had a robust, strong coffee scent that make you want to have a cup at first sniff. Coffee is big in all of Vietnam. Being one of their leading export products, naturally, the locals have thought of other ways to market it. Besides plain old brewed coffee, one of the more popular coffee products for locals and foreigners alike is the cà phê sữa đá, or iced coffee with milk in English (my favorite!).
Making the delicious cà phê sữa đá
To make, filter finely ground Vietnamese coffee beans using their individual filter thingamajigs (or use a conventional coffee maker). Pour the filtered coffee into a glass full of ice and mix in condensed milk to suit your taste. Or you know, find the nearest street vendor selling the stuff and have it brewed, mixed, and packed neatly in a disposable container ready for sipping under the hot Vietnamese sun in 5 minutes all for just 10,000 dong (about 25 pesos). Luckily for us, it was easy to get our iced coffee fix daily from the street vendor in front of our hotel (the hotel staff order theirs from the same lady).
Other yummy coffee products: Kem Trung Nguyen (coffee ice cream, with coffee syrup. Yum!), street iced coffee, coffee chocolate cake
Vietnamese coffee is such a delight that the family hoarded and bought too much of it to bring back home, both as pasalubong and for personal use. Including my mom. She doesn’t drink coffee. Btw, advance happy mothers day to Mama and all the loving mothers in the world!