One Day-Tripper: How Vietnamese Coffee impressed Obama ?

One day, He said that he would like to enjoy some “Cafe sua đa”, which means “Iced milk coffee ”  (Milk here means Condensed milk) in Vietnamese.
When Obama – the president of the United States – visited Vietnam on May 2016, I think he definitely should, since Vietnamese coffee is absolutely great and even praised by people around the world.


As we all know, Vietnam is the second largest exporter of coffee in the world, just behind Brazil. Coffee in Vietnam is very popular and Vietnamese people even turn it into a big culture as well as a must-have thing in daily life.

Waiting coffee
Waiting coffee

Going around some big cities in Vietnam such as Hanoi or Saigon, you can easily see many people sitting on a chair on the pavement and drinking coffee, often with a newspaper in their hand, especially in the morning. Vietnamese don’t want to hurry when drinking coffee, they love enjoying it while doing other things like reading books, newspapers, talking with friends, business partners or simply meditating. You can find it very different from United States – where people are usually used to holding a big cup of coffee in their hand and walking very fast – but very similar to France – where they like “sit, sip and enjoy” the coffee, along with long conversations or some chit chats.

The way trying coffee
The way trying coffee

In Vietnam, you can even guess people’s personality or where they come from through the way they drink coffee or how they want their cup of coffee to be. For example, in general, southern Vietnamese, especially Saigonese, prefer washier coffee, with lots of ice and sugar. They also have “Bạc Xỉu”, which is simply iced milked coffee but with an extremely large amount of milk and just a little coffee. Meanwhile, there’s no “Bạc Xỉu” in northern Vietnam. Nothern people are into more concentrated coffee with little sugar and no ice.

You can have it everywhere, especially in Saigon
You can have it everywhere, especially in Saigon

These days, many coffee cultures from other countries have been influencing Vietnam, which brings a lot of novelties to this country and slowly changes the way people enjoy coffee. From my point of view, young generation nowadays prefers to go to “modern cafeterias” like The Coffee House, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf or Starbucks rather than traditional ones. The way they drink coffee is also not like before. However, the traditional coffee culture in Vietnam is still there and plays an important role in people’s daily life, just like Tet Holiday or Trinh Cong Son music.

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