While Vietnam had a strong tea-drinking tradition for ages, it was the French who brought coffee to the Vietnamese land.
It is fascinating to note that simple two beverages have been ruling the world for ages now. Do you know what we’re talking about? It is tea and coffee. The Vietnamese tea drinking culture goes back to centuries ago. It is believed that Vietnam is home to some of the oldest tea plantations. The culture of drinking tea was actually viewed as a socializing activity, limited to personal spaces and social gatherings. Manufacturing and selling tea began much later, around the 19th century.
The interesting part is that while the French played a major role in production and setting up of tea plantations in the country. The idea of sitting together and sipping a cup of tea was a way of spending time with friends and family at peace and considered to be a leisure activity.
How Did Coffee Enter Vietnamese Culture?
The interesting part is that it was the French who introduced coffee to the Vietnamese too. The story goes that a Catholic priest from France brought his Arabica tree in 1867 to Vietnam in hopes of setting up a business in the region. It was until the 1900s that the coffee business started picking up. Areas conducive for growing coffee beans were carefully identified and these coffee plantations were set up. While the Vietnam War in 1955-1975 affected the coffee production in the region, it quickly picked up pace.
It is the Robusta beans that were grown on a large-scale on the Vietnamese land and became popular from the plantations to the highlands. The boom in Vietnamese coffee economy began with the economic reforms that took place in the late 19th century. Interestingly, the tea-loving nation who is also neighbours with another tea lover, China, has managed to account for 20% of the world’s coffee production today and is second only to Brazil in producing the most amount of coffee around the world. This has been possible because the Vietnamese land is so conducive that it yields high amounts of robusta beans. However, these beans are often deemed to be bitter and suitable for instant coffee.
Today, you will find a variety of drip coffees that are special to Vietnam, depending upon their technique as well as ingredients used.
Types Of Vietnamese Drip Coffees
1. Vietnamese Drip Coffee
Also known as Ca Phe Sua Nong, this Vietnamese coffee variety is a classic. The specialty of this coffee lies in the use of a Phin or metal filter through which ground coffee beans and hot water are poured into the glass. This takes place at small intervals, hence, lending the coffee its name. Its aroma will definitely leave you tantalized.
2. Vietnamese Egg Coffee
This delicious and heavenly coffee, called Ca Phe Trung, is made in a similar fashion as the Vietnamese drip coffee, except for the addition of eggs in it. Large pasturised eggs are mixed with sweet condensed milk and poured through a metal filter into the glass. This technique is where all the magic lies.
3. Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Don’t want to have a hot cup in summers? Vietnamese have a solution for it. Try their iced coffee which is made by pouring hot brewed robusta coffee beans into the glass through a metal filter. What makes it unique is the fact that both condensed milk and coffee are poured over ice cubes. It is called Ca Phe Sua Da.