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Experience Coffee Culture during your Internship in Vietnam

ABROADER December 17, 2022 4 minute read

When it comes to Vietnamese culture, we must shout out to our special coffee culture. What is it and how to enjoy it? Let’s sit down and have a sip of coffee in this blog!

Vietnam is one of the biggest exporters when it comes to coffee. Vietnam’s coffee export turnover is forecast to hit 4 billion USD in 2022, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). The country raked in 3.1 billion USD from exporting coffee in the first three quarters of 2022. This means it surges by 37.6% compared to the same period last year. The ministry attributed the growth to the nearly 22 percent increase in export prices. Vietnam is the world’s leading coffee export and also an ideal place to find your best cup of coffee. Previously have you ever wondered what the coffee culture in Vietnam is like?

A calming coffee experience

Vietnamese people like to sit down for cafe especially in a nicely decorated coffee shop or an open café on the street. Together with the slow pace of service inside and the speeding, weaving mopeds outside, it makes an exciting contrast. Unlike the coffee culture of the West, this is an experience that takes time. Therefore, it cannot be rushed and is definitely a sit-down experience. So Starbucks might be a big thing in your country where a quick and light takeaway coffee is in style. However, in Vietnam, people like to take it slow.

internship in Vietnam Mental Model
Vietnamese coffee maker – Phin. Source: Mental Model

They often make the brew in front of you using a traditional filter system called a Phin. Basically this is a gravity-fed system dating back to the early 19th century where ground coffee and boiling water are mixed together as they trickle down into the cup, leaving behind medium-ground Vietnamese coffee. Generally for people who want their coffee sweetened, a touch of condensed milk can help. It does not only sweeten the drink but also thickens it.

Drinking coffee in Vietnam isn’t just about caffeine. It is more about building and reinforcing your professional and social network, and also a way to integrate into the community during your internship in Vietnam. In Vietnam, “di ca phe” (going out for a cup of coffee) refers to all sorts of social meetings between friends and colleagues. A coffee date often lasts for hours.

Conversations over a cup of coffee.

Touch of coffee in daily life

The location for a coffee date in Vietnam can vary. There are simple cafés where the seating is plastic tools on the sidewalk, these places originally were popular spots for older Vietnamese gentlemen to gather in the morning for morning conversations; nowadays, they are becoming hip places for young people to gather. Why? The prices at these cafés are often lower, the atmosphere is more exciting and open, what could be a better setting for a coffee date with your best friends?

Coffee for meeting time

However, more formal meetings call for more fancy places and if there is one thing Vietnam is in no shortage of, it would be coffee shops. The café business is springing up in the cities of Vietnam; there are coffee shops at almost every corner in major cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and each coffee boasts a different ambiance that lures you to come back the next time.

In our coffee culture, there are various kinds of coffee you can choose from: iced coffee with milk (ca phe sua da), black iced coffee (bac xiu), coconut coffee (ca phe cot dua), etc and not to mention our signature one: egg coffee (ca phe trung). It’s coffee topped with a creamy, foamy layer of whipped egg yolk and sugar, creating a creamy, decadent custard-like consistency. They serve it piping hot with that strong full-bodied Vietnamese coffee. And it is perfect for any weather or season!

Internship in Vietnam coffee
The Coffee House is a popular coffee shop for young people in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Source: vietnamcoffee.asia

Are you excited to go on a coffee tour to experience the unique Vietnamese coffee culture? Don’t hesitate to join a local or go by yourself, prepare a list of all the popular coffee shops in town and start your journey. And coming to Vietnam with our available programs right here:

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