Yellow. Red. Orange. These colors give the sign of fall coming to town, sweeping off the green pigment in every leaf and putting on each tree out there an autumn-color coat to stand the blowing winds of a cool season. With that picturesque scenery and ideal weather, nothing is as perfect as having a sit for a cup of coffee like one of these three below options once your footsteps halted in Vietnam. Let’s spend a little time to discover these must-try coffee for a better travel plan in Vietnam!
1. Egg Coffee
Also known as Vietnam’s Traditional Cappuccino, Egg Coffee stands out as the exclusive coffee flavor in Vietnam that enchant every tourist coming to try this country’s unique beverage. Originating in the early 20th century by Mr. Nguyen Van Giang, a former bartender at the 5-star Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel under French domination in Hanoi, the egg coffee was made with some creative changes from the cappuccino recipe so that Vietnamese familiar ingredients can be used.
The chief ingredients include chicken egg yolk, Vietnamese coffee powder, sweetened condensed milk. The reason for the egg yolk is that during the harsh condition in the 1990s, fresh milk was so scarce to find in Vietnam so to replace the creamy taste of fresh milk in cappuccino, the egg yolk beaten with condensed milk came to life. While the yolk is well-whisked into a mixture with condensed milk, the coffee is brewed with a filter. When the two components are ready, coffee is extracted into half of a cup and the yolk is added above creating two layers, one for the black brown coffee at the bottom, one for the buttery thick cream on top. The key factor to have a delicious cup of egg coffee is the perfect combination of the amount of egg and coffee mixed together to avoid the nausea from raw egg.
To fully enjoy the aromatic and bold coffee mingled with the rich yolk flavor, stir the bobbed froth of whipped yolk slowly with the fragrant coffee below and catch the wafting harmonious scent between bitterness of coffee and sweetness from the creamy yolk before taking a sip of its mesmerizing taste.
Here are the recommended addresses in Hanoi, Vietnam for you to try:
Giảng cafe: No.39 Nguyen Huu Huan Street (near the Old Quarter)
(It is also the first egg coffee shop in Hanoi where Mr. Giang introduced his creation of egg coffee)
Đinh cafe: No.13 Dinh Tien Hoang Street (on the 2nd floor of an old house from French domination period with the lake view of the Sword Lake)
(The owner of this coffee shop is Ms. Bich, daughter of Mr. Giang, hence the taste here is similar to Giảng café coffee chop)
2. Coconut Coffee Smoothie
When you are thirsty for cup of coffee that can satisfy the crave for caffeine as well as refreshment, the exclusive coconut coffee smoothie of Cộng Café (Cong Caphe) would hit the spot for you. Just appearing around 2013, Cong Caphe has created a sensational trend in the busy urban life in Hanoi through an on-trend quirky design with socialist-themed decoration that revive Vietnamese’s nostalgic memories of subsidized time during the 20th century, making it a nationwide coffee chain store with the signature specialty Coconut Coffee Smoothie.
The signature coffee was a kind of ice blended coffee with mixture of frozen coconut and coffee. For those who cannot stand the strong flavor of regular coffee, this one can be on top of your list for must-try coffee in Vietnam. The mild-sweetened cream from the frozen coconut blended with the aromatic coffee taste can really bring out a wonderful experience for anyone.
3. Bạc Xỉu (Coffee with hot condensed milk)
Unlike the two aforementioned coffee that originated from Hanoi – northern part of Vietnam, Bạc Xỉu comes from Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City – southern part of Vietnam. It is said to be imported from China when Chinese coming to Sài Gòn around the 20th century.
So, what exactly makes it different from milk coffee? It is different as this type of coffee is actually a cup of hot water mixed with condensed milk, then pour 2-3 spoons of coffee inside. The proportion of hot condensed milk must be bigger than that of coffee. Indeed, the name itself also answers for that question. Bạc Xỉu is a Chinese name shortened for “Bạc Tẩy Xíu Phé” in which “Bạc” is white – the milk color, “Tẩy” is a glass or cup, “Xỉu” is “a little”, and “Phé” is coffee. Hence, the name indicates a drink from hot milk with a little coffee. It is also different from coffee latte as it was traditionally served hot with condensed milk as again, fresh milk was such a luxurious drink at that time for regular citizen to afford.
As a harmonious combination among the cuisine of China, Vietnam and France, Bạc Xỉu was considered as a treasure of Saigon urban life in the 90s, an affordable drink for labor class’s social life. Normally, Saigon people in the past used to spend their morning relishing a hot cup of Bạc Xỉu with a few pieces of donut or dumpling for breakfast. And for now, it has become a favorite drink for any time during the day and any social classes.
The popularity of Bạc Xỉu has become nationwide, hence you can easily catch sight of it in any menu of a coffee shop in major cities in Vietnam such as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.
Check out for any addresses nearby your area in Vietnam to try it here: http://congcaphe.com/
Good luck with your bucket list of Vietnamese must-try coffee!
By Nguyen Thu Thao, ASEAN Correspondent from Vietnam