I grew up on a coffee farm deep in the Andes mountains of Ecuador and have been around coffee my whole life. My dad is a hardcore coffee snob who insists that it is the worlds ultimate health food, pointing at hundreds of studies claiming that it prevents heart disease, Parkinson, dementia and more. When I arrived in Vietnam 5 years ago I instantly took a liking to Vietnamese coffee, drinking it every day. To be clear, I love my Cà phê sữa đá as much as the next guy, but the condensed milk has taken a toll on my teeth and probably my arteries over the years. As a result, I have turned into a full-on specialty coffee snob. Pour over, V60, Kalita, Cold Brew, French Press, Italian Mocha. you name it, I try to know the differences and I appreciate a nice cup of coffee with the right amount of acidity, roast level ETC. And the fact is that since I have arrived in Vietnam our choices of specialty coffee shops has only grown and improved. As a F & B blogger I spend about 30% of my social media efforts dedicated to coffee, and about 70% of that, dedicated to specialty coffee. Here is a list of my favorite spots as listed on my page: https://streatery.net/the-best-of-saigons-specialty-coffee/
1) Okkio 1 and 2, Tokyo-inspired coffee houses with a phenomenal staff.
It plants itself as my absolute favorite, not just for the extremely good quality coffee and edgy decor, but also the extraordinarily well trained staff. They will walk you through the different processes the beans have been through plus the brewing methods used. After choosing your process (Honey or Washed) and Brew method ( Kalita, Pour over, Esperesso) a beautiful cup of brew will appear at your table. And then after you have sipped half your cup, the barista will come over and ask you how it was. Okkio, however is not cheap, their premier cups of brew range from 80k-120K.
2) La Viet, a Dalat-born coffee shop.
We love La Viet for slightly different reasons than Okkio, one is that it is one of few specialty coffee shops serving exclusively Vietnamese Specialty coffee, mostly hailing from its roots, Dalat. The other is how affordable the coffee is. With most shops of this category starting prices at 70K a cup, at La Viet you can sip a top notch cup of Kalita/V60 Arabica coffee for an easy 50K. La Viet, sport a minimalist decor and attract a very youthful crowd, including plenty of university students cramming for exams. They are expanding every year, with over 4 coffee shops around city, concentrated mostly around D3. Click Here for their Facebook page.
3) Bosgaurus, a stunning coffee shop with top-notch coffee toasting and brewing methods.
Sleek metal tables, aromas of constantly toasting coffee, minimalist modern interior design and a staff trained in brewing perfection. Bosgaurus serves up a premier cup of coffee that has been carefully crafted from plant to roasting, to brewing. They have a wide variety of coffee that pleases most palates, from classic pour-over coffee, to European classics such as Cappuccinos and Espressos one of the best espressos in the whole city in our estimation). But they are also one of the pioneers in creating an Arabica version of Cà phê sữa đá. As most people might know, traditionally Vietnamese coffee hails from Robusta beans, the more bitter, more caffeinated version of Arabica beans. Arabica being favored for its generally higher quality and better taste for those who want to taste pure coffee without milk or sugar. At Bosgaurus they fused the two together to create a very unique blend of beans and flavors. Bosgaurus cups come with a hefty price tag, averaging at 90K for most cups of coffee.
4) Reddoor cafe, third wave coffee shop looking over Dong Khoi Street.
Reddoor is a space for local artists and a consistently great cup of coffee. An unpretentious cafe located in the top floor of an old apartment building, we love Reddoor for its continually rotating art scene and its premier imported coffee. In the center of Saigon's business district, Reddoor provides the perfect place to chill during or after lunch breaks. The prices are average for high-end specialty coffee: 70-100K
Location: 151/3 Đồng Khởi, Bến Nghé, Quận 1
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And Instagram page: instagram.com/streatery_vietnam