Travelers come to Vietnam with the desire to explore the beauty of the country from the blue sea with long white sand beaches along the coast, through the ancient town covered by the bustling city and up North to the magnificent mountains with tribe hill villages. The charm of street food is also one of the reason that pull travelers all around the world to Vietnam. Once they get to Vietnam, especially our cozy Hanoi – the capital city, they can never forget one thing – Coffee!
Coffee was introduced into Vietnam in 1857 by a French Catholic priest in the form of a single Coffea arabica tree. Vietnam quickly became a strong exporter of coffee with many plantations in the central highlands. The beverage was adopted with regional variations. Because of limitations on the availability of fresh milk, as the dairy farming industry was still in its infancy, the French and Vietnamese began to use sweetened condensed milk with a dark roast coffee.
At its simplest, cà phê đá is made using medium to coarse ground dark roast Vietnamese-grown coffee with a small metal Vietnamese drip filter (phin cà phê). After the hot water is added, the drip filter releases drops of hot coffee slowly into a cup. This finished cup of hot coffee is then quickly poured into a glass full of ice making the finished Vietnamese iced coffee.
A popular way to drink Vietnamese coffee is cà phê sữa đá (iced milk coffee), which is Vietnamese iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk. This is done by filling up with the coffee cup with about 2-3 tablespoons (more if you like your coffee on the sweeter side) of sweetened condensed milk prior to the drip filter process.
Another way to enjoy Vietnamese coffee is “egg coffee” (cà phê trứng) during Winter. The drink is made by beating egg yolks with sugar and coffee, then extracting the coffee into the half of the cup, followed by a similar amount of egg cream, which is prepared by heating and beating the yolks. Egg coffee was described by BuzzFeed as a “liquid tiramisu”.
Come join us on our Hanoi Street Food Tour to try different tastes of Hanoi!