If you can't begin your day without your jolt you are in good company. Luckily for me I live in the coffee capital of the world...Saigon, Vietnam! Hands down the finest coffee in the world and the best coffee culture anywhere. Coffee is persuasive here, it drives this country. Everything seems to revolve around this culture. Business, networking, socializing and relaxing. Morning, noon and night the shops are filled with coffee revelers! Iced coffee dominates. Café sua da: ̣(coffee-milk-ice)... with condensed milk and ice and café den da (coffee-black-ice)...strong black coffee with ice are the two most popular. Café pha phin (coffee-drip) is the preferred method. While the water slowly drips through the filter you relax in anticipation.
Saigon is hot, stifling hot and humid. Lunch breaks are long, a siesta time to recuperate and wait out the worst of the heat. Coffee shops fill, some continue to do business thanks to smart phones and free internet. Others socialize, relaxing before returning back to work. Everywhere you go you see people carrying coffee to go (café mung vệ). Vendors on street corners, sidewalks, portable carts and even the backs of motorbikes offer coffee for sale.
Coffee is sold in great open air venues. Each with it's own style and design. A never ending variety of quiet, cool and eye pleasing digs. With a little bit of research or walking you can easily find a venue that fits you. The internet is full of articles of where to go.
My wife and I enjoy exploring new shops. Along the new walking street is one old and delightful building that houses a plethora of coffee shops mixed in with trendy stores and eateries. If you stop by here be prepared to climb stairs. The building still houses families who live there but be warned the elevator is slow, very very slow. So lace up and check out each floor. Surprises await!