Vietnamese coffee in all its sweet glory has always been a favorite of mine and when I am in Vietnam you can rest assure that I indulge freely in this simple pleasure. Coffee is everywhere in this country and the king of coffee is undeniably Trung Nguyen Coffee.
Trung Nguyen Coffee shops are hard to miss and if you can’t find one, one of the smaller sidewalk coffee carts are most likely serving Trung Nguyen beans. I get a kick out of sitting on a small plastic stool 15 cm off the concrete, but if you feel like something a bit more comfy and air conditioned, Trung Nguyen is the place to be.
Two of the nicest stores are located on Dong Khoi street right in the center of the tourist area and my favorite branch is located at 6A Dong Khoi.
According to what I read, the owner, Dang Le Nguyen Vu, deeply imprints his personality on his business and after what I saw on Dong Khoi street, I would love to meet the guy who opened such a great coffee shop.
The shop I visited was pretty much a tribute to coffee and and probably the only shop I ever visited anywhere which showcased different coffee traditions so well.
When you walk in the shop, the main counter is divided in 4 sections: Turkish coffee, Japanese coffee, Italian coffee and naturally Vietnamese. Each sections is a world by itself with appropriate coffee making apparetus.
I visited this specific shop on two occasions and on my first visit, I ordered the Kyoto coffee since I could not take my eyes off their automatic siphon coffee makers.
Siphon is quite popular in Japan, but the portable automatic version that they brought to my table is a whole different ball game.
Coffee is partly about the ceremony surrounding the preparation of a great cup and it does not get better than this. It’s not cheap, but it was worth it.
You get a bit more than 4 cups of coffee out of the tank and I enjoyed every drip of it. The coffee was pretty similar to what I can drink here in Japan and I would say they nailed it.
My wife ordered a coffee from their Sang Tao line up and it was pretty delicious. During our stay we must have tried the whole Sang Tao line up in different iterations.
If you like strong coffee, you can drink it straight, but Vietnamese coffee seem to be a its best when it is a bit diluted.
Trung Nguyen top of the line blend is the Legendee coffee which is said to be treated with a special enzyme to simulate the taste of weasel coffee or what is often know as Kopi Luwak coffee.
I like the idea and the coffee was served beautifully.
I have drank Indonesia Kopi Luwak in the past and the Legendee while good is not my favorite. I know that Trung Nguyen offers real weasel coffee at a very high price and I would be curious to give it a try one day.
My favorite blend remains until now the Sang Tao 8 which is their second best offering.
I ended buying 500 g of their Sang Tao 8 beans and I brewed them at home using a simple hand dripper and the result is amazing.
Complex coffee, deep chocolate and that particular Vietnamese coffee bouquet, but just a bit toned down compared to the result made with a traditional metal dripper.
Drinking coffee at Trung Nguyen is the quintessential Vietnamese experience and I am looking forward to see what Dang Le Nguyen Vu will bring us in the future. I trully hope I will have a chance to go visit the coffee producing region located near Buon Ma Thuot.
When I left Vietnam, it was announced that Starbucks coffee were about to open their first shop in Vietnam. I am really curious to see the future of coffee drinking in Vietnam.
Trung Nguyen Coffee
6A Dong Khoi, District 1, Ho Chi Minh